Ghosts and Hauntings/Room darkening
QUESTION: We recently bought a historical home that has a history of being haunted, which was part of the reason we bought it. We have not moved in yet since we have some repairs to do (plumbing, heating, chimneys, etc.). We are keeping the original charm/history of the house and only repairing what's necessary, without changing anything major. We have had a few instances of things happening, such a the sound of something being dropped, a shadow passing behind me, tools going missing, the car doors being locked on their own, etc. My husband was at the house alone one day (doing some work). He had just come down from the attic (he was looking for something). There are stairs that go down from the attic and lead into one of the third-floor bedrooms. At the bottom of the stairs, there is a door. Anyway, after exiting the attic, closing the door, and leaving the room, my husband was standing in the hallway, looking at the room. This was during the day when it was sunny outside with fair-weather clouds. As he looked at the room, he noticed it grew very dark. All other rooms around it (including the hallway) remained brightly lit by the sun. He said the room was really dark, like someone had pulled down a shade (there is no shade, blinds, or curtains in the window in that room leading to the attic). The room stayed dark for 20 seconds or so. My husband found it strange and just stared into the darkness. Then, he walked into the room and flicked the light on. He didn't see anything, so he shut off the light. Fairly quickly, the darkness of the room went away. What do you think happened? Is it possible that a small passing cloud overhead caused the room to temporarily go dark? Or could there have been some dark figure that blocked the window and caused the room to go dark? Can a spirit cause a room to go dark without standing in front of a window (my husband did not see a "figure," just darkness)? We're very curious about what this could mean.
ANSWER: Hello "B",
Thank you for writing to me at All Experts, Ghosts and Hauntings. I will have a fairly detailed response for you covering the physiological reasons and the paranormal reasons, and a bit of parapsychology thrown in for good measure.
But could I ask you a favor. Can you take photos of the scene that you describe, preferably from your husbands point of view. As All Experts only allows a whopping two photos to be sent may I ask you to send them to me at
firstname.lastname@example.org or GregPocha@eidolonproject.org
Please take the photos in as close as the same conditions that were present on the day in question, remembering that the day is shorter.
As well, which direction is the window facing? And could I get a shot from the window looking outside and one from outside of the window.
Lots to ask, sorry about that, but it will help and I want to give you the best response possible.
Detector of Parapsychology, Afterlife and Paranormal Studies,
Eidolon Project Canada Paranormal Investigation,
Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Alberta
This work is protected by Intellectual Property Laws.
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QUESTION: I had emailed you a reply (with 2 photos) on 9/1/2016. Did you receive it?
ANSWER: Hi "B",
Yes I received the photos. What I am waiting for now is a reply from a colleague to confirm some of the answers that I have on vision. Sorry for the late reply. As soon as I get that information. t's important to the answer.
This response will then be replaced with a "Revised Answer". Thank you for your patience, as mine is dwindling.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thanks! As a side note, my husband is 40 and has never had issues with his eyes. He wears sunglasses outdoors 100% of the time, even on cloudy days, and his vision is 20/20 (no glasses or contacts).
There are a few issues that I'll address that may explain what has happened and what may happen in the future.
First, it is in my opinion that your husband didn't experience anything paranormal. The most likely explanation is that his eyes were merely adjusting to the change in light. The fact that he has 20/20 vision has nothing to do with this. I will l mention this merely for the sake of it, regular eye check ups at his age should be a given, I speak from experience as I developed cataracts around his age. However, that being said, eyes take time to adjust from one level of brightness to another as cones and rods and the chemical responsible for adapting to light changes (Rhodopsin) take a bit of time to kick in, depending on the amount of change. After consulting with a colleague, the event that might have taken place is what is known as 'Lateral Inhibition". This is just neurons at play so to speak, not a medical issue at all. Here is some information on it:
Even if not this, I'm certain that this was more of an optical effect than a paranormal one. Or, yes, a cloud passed over the sun might of been the cause as formally suggested. As someone who made every attempt to get a tan in Alberta this year, I dealt with clouds covering the sun every two minutes resulting in immediate change of light (although the shadow traveled to me according to wind speed), and the immediate change of temperature. That goes back to old physics where heat is light and light is heat.
Now knowing that you have an interest in the paranormal, you have undouble heard of "shadow people" which are most likely cones and rods and the way perceptual as opposed to forvial vison works. Seeing shadows from the corner of the eye is primitive, literally. It was needed for survival of the species. And even if the shadow were of an entity, the size leaves me in question. Most shadows, if paranormal in nature are not huge.
You may have also heard that in places where there has been a lot of negative energy, that that energy can take on a "life" of its own. This is mostly new age hippy speak. I will agree that negative energy exists, and that it can accumulate, but to take on independent intelligence is another matter. There is a chance that an intelligent entity could use the energy to its own gains. Negative entities are like the school yard bully, they like to look bigger and more foreboding than they actually are.
As a side note I want to mention that I spend many hours in the dark. During investigations it is common to go from a lights on situation to a light off situation in the click of a switch. During the transition, all in my group have noticed that at first the room is dark, but then after a few minutes, without apparent cause, the room will suddenly grow VERY dark, almost like a lead blanket covered the room. This is again, the way the eyes adjust to the light, or lack of it. Our cones, used in seeing in color give way to the rods, that can only perceive in black and white. To the casual observer, this might seem strange, but try it tonight in bed with the light off and the curtains closed to make the room as dark as possible. The room will be dark, but after a few minutes (in honesty, it might take quite a few minutes), the room will go almost pitch. Works best if you are looking at something in the distance, but not really focused on anything in particular.
You have mentioned event that have happened that are typical of a haunted location. Given the fact that the home had a reputation of being haunted makes me think that some, not all, but some, may be related to a ghost(s) -(they are seldom alone. There is usually a head honco and a few lesser groupies attached). And this is my sigway to the events that might occur and how you perceive them...
... beginning that you deliberately purchased a home rumored to be haunted, that it was a selling point, a feature that you wanted. Personally I'd go for a hot tub. That leaves no doubt in my mind as a parapsychologist that you will view things through a different perspective, with what is known as cognitive biases. Biases that you will have to become aware of are:
1- The Observational Selection Bias. This is when you start noticing things that you didn't pay much attention to in the past but under the right circumstances notice an increase in frequency of any given event. In your case, creaks and groans of an old house take on new meaning because you are subconsciously tuning in to them more than you would if for example you purchased a highrise concrete floor condo.
2- An Attribution Bias. This is rather similar to the above, and common in cognitive biases. This is where you attribute or give different meaning to events that would under normal circumstances have a logical meaning. What happens it that you give a different cause to the effect.
3- The Observer Bias. This is a double edged blade. In the case of paranormal investigations it usually results in a location that our client has reported to be very active, to go completely quite. It is supposedly caused by some ghosts deliberately trying to make the client look like a liar. On the other hand, the observer effect make work opposite for you, making the home more active. When this happens you must pause and take into consideration the two above biases.
Okay, "B", this might sound as if I am trying to convince you that you're home is not haunted and that events can be explained away rationally. This is not so. On the contrary, your home may well be haunted. What I am attempting to do is to assure that you look at any event that occurs which seems out of the ordinary through the eyes of a skeptic, that is, as a questioner. It is a common warning of mine to give to those in your situation not to catch what I have termed "ghost fever". This is when every little thing that happens get a paranormal label. Unfortunately I have seen this happen with people I know, people I had warned. They went from a belief that they were subject to a haunting to actually becoming psychotic having developed "Bizarre Delusions", someone who now needs psychological help. What I am saying is that you bought a haunted home, and that comes with a certain expectation, both on a conscious and subconscious level. You will likely encounter things that are actually paranormal, but you will also encounter everyday "Stuff" Happens occurrences. And sometimes it will be hard 1- not to jump to an conclusion, 2- to tell the difference. One thing to watch out for is not to create the results of the Phillip Experiment.
"B", I would like to keep in touch with you as you have a situation that is unique to a lot of people whom I encounter - that being that you are living in a home with a history of a supposed haunting. I'd like to keep track of how you are getting along with this. As well, there will be inevitable future events that you may need some advise on... so don't be a stranger. You have my personal e-mail should you need it, or of course I can be contacted via All Experts.
Most of all, enjoy your home, and when things happen during the fix up and renos, simply tell the ghost what's up, that you are making fixes to their home to preserve and its beauty, not harming it. And in any case, I would have a secular cleansing of the energy just to clear the air, so to speak. Get rid of the negative energy so that there is room for the light and love that you'll be bringing into it. In closing, I will ask that you forgive errors in this reply. I have to rebuild our web site and have spent every waking moment over the last four days glued to a pc screen and my eyes are paying the price.
Ciao for now,
Director of Parapsychology, Afterlife and Paranormal Studies,.
Eidolon Project Canada Paranormal Investigation,
Edmonton, Red Deer Calgary, Alberta,
blah, blah, blah, I'm turning off the screen b4 I go blind....