There are many people on this earth that do not believe in ghosts and there are many scientists that believe the phenomena of ghosts has not been scientifically proven to be real. So, if there is no such thing as ghosts how do we explain ghostly phenomena and manifestations like the sounds of footsteps when no-one is around, knocks and taps on walls, the opening and closing of doors, visible sightings, voices? Well, here's a list of the most prominent explanations for ghosts and other entities that scare us in the middle of the night:
From the very beginning, mediums have often used trickery. Often the same type of tricks your everyday stage magician would use on, Who's Got Talent. James Randi, the famous medium debunker, uncovered many unscrupulous fraudsters. Usually the trickery included darkened rooms so it would be harder to detect the trick and the use of invisible wires to tilt tables and levitate objects, mirrors would give the illusion of a ghost and a host of other gadgets that would project shadows on walls and noises in closets.
These hauntings aren't really hauntings at all, they could include underground water springs, that make gurgling sounds coming from the basement, drafts blowing from under doorways or cracks in windows that make eerie sounds and give people the impression someone has walked over their graves. Subtle vibrations in the earth, even the front headlamps of cars reflecting off mirrors and glass have been thought of as ghosts.
Hallucinations are visions caused by drugs, illnesses, or mental condition such as the state between wakefulness and sleep. Groups of people have been known to see the same ghosts and apparitions through the process of mass hallucinating.
It's not always what we think it is. A misperception is a misunderstanding of what we are seeing, hearing, feeling or sensing. Any sound could be mistaken for the sound of a ghost in the right circumstance. For example one may hear a knocking sound coming from another room and think it's a ghost, but in reality it's a flapping window shade from an open window. You could be reading a ghost story in a book when you hear a noise, and immediately think it a ghost.
For every ghost story uncovered as a fraud, as natural, a hallucination, or a misperception there must be twenty or so that cannot be explained away by scientists with these four explanations. These explanations do not cover every ghost encounter, some just cannot be explained. So, I will add another category to the list, the Unexplainable.
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