If you are interested in exploring the paranormal one of you most important jobs is learning to distinguish between paranormal events and events that have logical physical or scientific explanations. Debunking is nothing more than investigating the activity to determine if there are more plausible causes for the event than paranormal activity. Although every situation is different, there are several areas that consistently cause confusion among amateur ghost hunters. Orbs Orbs are probably the most common and most controversial. True orbs are perfectly round and emit their own light. These may be referred to as spirit or ghost lights and are thought to be the energy of some spiritual being. Unfortunately, there are a number of other things that can cause what appears to be an orb. The most common is a speck of dust or flying insects that catch and reflect light as they make their way in front of the camera. Droplets of moisture in humid or foggy air, rain drops, snow and mist all create the appearance of orbs on film. These are often mistaken as a sign of paranormal activity. Orbs that emit light and cast a shadow may be a sign of a spiritual presence. Orbs on film must be examined carefully to determine their origin. Matrixing Matrixing is the ability of the human mind to create recognizable images from images seen by the eye. This most often takes the form of a human face. When viewing an object, particularly one made up of many parts, such as leaves on a tree or distorted reflections in windows or mirrors, the mind creates an image that fits with our expectations. Many people mistakenly think they have captured the image of a ghost, when the real cause of the supposed image is matrixing. The telltale sign of matrixing is an image made up of parts of other objects, like leaves. It is simply a trick of the eye and is not a paranormal entity. Sleep Paralysis Experiences with sleep paralysis, often referred to as old hag syndrome, have been documented for thousands of years. This sometimes frightening experiencing occurs when the body is between the stages of sleep and wakefulness. As we sleep, the body is temporarily paralyzed to prevent us from acting out our dreams and suffering physical injuries. Some people awake before the body returns to its normal state and experience paralysis for a short period. The mind is active and aware of the surrounding; yet, the body is unable to move. Many describe the feeling of pressure on the chest as though someone or something is holding them down or choking them, giving it the name old hag syndrome. It may be accompanied by visual or auditory hallucinations leading the person to believe that an entity is in the room. Although the experience may be frightening, scientists claim that the experience in perfectly normal and has a medical explanation.
For the person experiencing sleep paralysis, accepting the medical explanation may be difficult. Although I know there is a physical reason for sleep paralysis, I still have difficult time reconciling the fact that my experiences with sleep paralysis were nothing more than a physical sensation produced by normal body functions. Shadows Shadows cause much confusion when it comes to paranormal events because they are unpredictable and can flash across a room quickly as a result of movement at long distances. A car driving past the house may cast a predictable shadow, but if it turns into a driveway, stops beside the road or even changes from high beam to low beam that shadow may suddenly appear very different. People walking outside may cast a long shadow in one area and then suddenly cast a short dense shadow when they enter a different area. Pets may cast unusual shadows when they walk the back of the couch, leap from a counter or climb to the window. Some homes have lighting that causes several shadows to cast at once in different areas. When I moved to my new home, I was surprised to find shadows in the most unusual places. When walking in the hallway and approaching a window at night, a dark shadow suddenly darted from behind me and shot away in the opposite direction. Although this was a bit alarming at first, recreating my actions soon revealed that two lights from opposite ends of the house created this weird experience. When you experience unexplained shadows, explore all possibilities before labeling them paranormal. Walk around the perimeter of your yard while someone else observes the area, walk along the sidewalk, under streetlights and any other sources of light. Get down to the level or your pets to see if walking past a counter or under the table causes unusual shadows. Phantom Sounds The sound of wailing or groaning in the middle of the night may send chills down your spine, but that does not mean it is paranormal. More often than not, there are other explanations for phantoms noises in the night. Heating ducts, water pipes and air conditioners can make some eerie sounds when they kick on or off. Rodents, squirrels or bats in the attic may sound like someone walking or moving things around. Loose doors and windows may clatter and bang in the wind and may even open or close in draft. A close inspection of the area often reveals a physical cause. Look for air ducts or cracks in the foundation that can conduct voices from another area. Send someone outside to talk, stomp or walk around the house and listen for sounds from outside. Consider the neighbors TV or radio, children playing in another apartment or raccoons raiding the trash. Debunking what appears to be a paranormal experience requires a bit of investigative work, but provides you with a more accurate view of what is going on in your home. Without attempts to debunk the activity, you have no way to tell if what you experience is paranormal or not. If after exploring all reasonable explanations for the activity you still come up blank, then you might be dealing with the paranormal.