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The Normal-Paranormal Problem

Updated on November 27, 2014
By Mahtomj (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Mahtomj (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Barbaramcgowin (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Barbaramcgowin (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Part Two

Are you a believer?

Do you believe in ghosts?

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An Introduction

There seems to be a lot of interest these days in the “paranormal.”

There has always been a keen curiosity about unexplained phenomena such as UFOs, ghosts, and ritualistic magic, but only in the cast half-century or so has there been such an enormous drive to explain these unusual occurrences scientifically. Prior to that, scientific studies were done in secret (if at all). Paranormal experiments were labeled as superstitious folly by anyone that did not have a supernatural experience of their own.

However, today there is a remarkable increase in interest in finding a logical explanation for seemingly unexplained events. Many colleges are adding paranormal studies to their curriculums. “Ghost hunting” shows are cropping up on the television by the dozens. Paranormal societies are forming in record numbers, and “psychics” are becoming celebrities with huge followings.

Why the Surge in interest?

There has always been at least some interest in the paranormal. It’s more a surge in acceptance that makes it seem as though we are more eager to uncover the mysteries and lay bare the truth. We live in a more permissive society than our ancestors did. Our imaginations are fueled by the entertainment media. At the same time, the rapid advancement of technology gave paranormal scientists and investigators new tools to play with.

There are still others who believe that the occurrence of paranormal events is on the rise.

What is Paranormal?

In order to explain the problems faced by paranormal researchers, it helps to define just exactly what paranormal is. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “normal” as that which occurring naturally.

The same source defines “paranormal” as that which is not scientifically explainable.

The goal, then, of paranormal research is to bring the paranormal into the realm of the normal. We need to explain these phenomena in a way that is quantifiable. To do this, we must first be able to separate a paranormal occurrence from all things that are already explained by science and that occur naturally (this is what some people call “debunking”). This can be a problem in that there are so many normal things that are only partially understood.


A Paranormal Investigation In Manchester,UK

So, What Exactly is the Normal/Paranormal Problem?

The problem with paranormal science is that the very thing we are trying to study may be by definition unknowable. Ghosts, of example, don’t exist in the same sense that we do. That is, they do not have the same three-dimensional physicality that we have. They are not quantifiable by familiar means.

Also, the psychic sciences are decades behind other sciences with regards to the huge body of data that they have amassed over the years. It is from this body of evidence that the truth will eventually emerge. In the physical world, even many of our most widely accepted theories are still just that-theories. How much more so with the seemingly non-physical?

By Mahtomj (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Mahtomj (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

Paranormal investigators

Documentary of a Near Death Experience

Here are a Few Examples:

Moving Objects.

We know that objects can move with no obvious provocation. But it is not enough to say that since we can’t see what moved it, it must have been something supernatural.

There are invisible forces that exist in nature everywhere. Wind, for example, can knock down a building or push a discarded piece of paper across a parking lot. The invisible force of the moon somehow affects the tides. Gravity makes things fall and an imbalance in air pressure can cause a building to implode.

In order to eliminate the natural as a cause for object movement, we need a complete understanding of the natural forces that could have caused that movement. We need instrumentation to pick up and measure those forces so that we can see if the forces present were sufficient enough to move an object of that type and size.

Once the natural has been eliminated, then only the supernatural remains. The task then becomes even more complicated, because even the supernatural has to have an identity. Our job is to find a way to figure out what that identity is. What are its properties? Is it energy? Does it have mass? What is its source?

Electronic Voice Phenomenon.

Electronic Voice Phenomenon, also known as EVP, is a sound that is picked up by audio equipment and that is often inaudible to the human ear. It sounds like a human voice, and it’s most impressive when it seems to answer questions posed by an investigator.

It Could Be a Ghost Voice. Still….

In order to claim an EVP as “contact,” we must have a complete understanding of sound energy.

Sound travels in waves, but is that travel always linear? What I mean is, does a word that we utter only travel through the space that we occupy today? Or can a sound wave remain in the same space but travel through time instead? Or can it travel through some kind of portal, enter a different dimension and come out on our side, thus occurring simultaneously?

Another question we need to answer is whether or not sound leaves particles of energy behind that can recreate the conversation at a later time. We already accept that human beings have an Aura that is an energy signature that we leave behind wherever we go in life. Could our conversations also be leaving energy signatures behind, causing something similar to what we now call “residual hauntings?” Can this be the reason that EVPs are usually only heard by electronic equipment? The human ear requires vibrations of certain intensities in order for the ear to send a signal to the brain. If there are such energy particles, they may not be intense enough to properly vibrate the eardrum, yet we would consider them normal of we were aware of them.

Perhaps this is the cause of some people’s ear ringing? Is the difference in perception the reason why it seems that some animals can sense things that we ourselves can't detect?

I could bring up many such examples, but it’s time to move on to the next question:

Paranormal Videos: Creepy School Ghost Kid Real? (DE Ep. 38)

How Do We Solve the Normal/Paranormal Problem?

I believe that we are on the right track. What we need now is data, and lots of it. As people go into the field to investigate and to debunk alleged paranormal events, they need to record their findings, including what exactly happened, what instrumentation was used, and what the general circumstances were. That is, the location, weather, phases of the moon, location of power sources, etc. all need to be noted in the record so that a scientist reviewing the data would know what influenced the event.

We then need to share our findings with other scientists and investigators. A networked database would be helpful. Science builds in part on whatever knowledge came before the current study. The rest comes from inspiration that may be generated by reading a current file.

We need more experimentation. For example, we talked earlier about a moving object. Once we know an object will move in a certain environment, we need to attach monitors to it that can measure the natural. We need to see if we can find anything in that environment that will cause the object to repeat its movement. We need to learn as much as we can from the experience.

Finally, we need to keep the lines of communication open. Great minds don’t always think alike, and we have much to earn from each other. Please pardon the cliché, but two heads really are better than one when it comes to a problem as difficult as this.

This really is one of our last frontiers. I hope we can keep our minds open until we have the answers that we seek.

Alien "UFO" Rods at Harewood House

Hywel Williams [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Hywel Williams [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


By Biblioteca Pleyades [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Biblioteca Pleyades [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Where Does the Sound Go?


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      Ebenizre 3 years ago

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      Nanette 3 years ago

      That was really cool. You were beettr off not investigating further since there was such a negative feeling. I bet the being really wanted the house to be empty.

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      Vanessa Kristovich 3 years ago from Vineland,NJ

      Thank you for sharing!

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      Terrence 3 years ago

      nothing. We went back upstairs and S cetninuod to show us around. Then we approached a chain hanging and S pulled it down. It led to the attic. The moment the attic opened there was a very disconcerting feeling and P and I both became very uneasy. We climbed the stairs. S asked if we were ok (I guess I had a weird look on my face) and I told her I didn't like the feeling I was getting up here.The attic looked ribbed like the inside of a ship. All the beams seemed to be held in place by wooden pegs or square nails. There sounded like wind blowing through (sort of like wind howling) although there was no wind. We pressed further into the attic. There were all sorts of boxes up there, left by the previous owner. I marveled at this wonderful looking dresser and expressed what a wonderful piece it was. The overhead light only lit the area directly under it, casting shadows everywhere. In the corner was a very old Singer sewing machine. The kind that uses a foot peddle to operate. I really wanted to to look at it but I got a weird feeling from that corner and it was far from the light so I couldn't see the area well.It was at this time that P said she didn't feel well and couldn't stay up there. We walked her downstairs and asked if S's aunt had a flashlight. She did not but gave us a candle (in a candle holder) and told us to be careful with it. She didn't want us to burn the place down. LOL. P did not want us to go back upstairs. We told her we'd be fine and left.Once back upstairs S and I started to look through the boxes. We put the candle on the dresser since that was the most stable place. The boxes had run of the mill stuff. Suddenly we heard this weird sounding version of how dry I am and we exchanged looks. What the hell? We walked over to where the sound was coming from. It was a box and we rummaged through it until we found a decanter with what appeared to be a music box attached. It was the type you wind and it has a metal drum with spikes that trigger metal tines to play music. We both smiled figuring that we must have disturbed it and that was why it was playing. The music stopped immediately as I touched it and when I flipped it over we discovered the actual mechanism was missing. We both couldn't believe it and went through the box thinking the mechanism had to be in there and just fallen out when I picked it up. It was not. I remember saying to her, You heard that right? It was playing when I touched it, wasn't it? We were both a little freaked to say the least and I kept getting this very weird feeling we were being watched from the corner. At that moment we heard something fall down the stairs. It sounded like it hit every step. We both peered over the edge and it was some kind of round wooden puzzle toy. I said, where the hell did that come from? We both knew we had not hit anything to cause it to fall. In fact we had not even seen that anywhere. A cold breeze blew past us giving us both goose bumps when suddenly from downstairs we heard P scream out for us.We bolted from the attic down 2 flights of stairs to the living room. We pretended that it was just to see what was happening but honestly we were afraid of the attic and what was starting to happen up there.We asked P what the problem was and she said she felt like we had been in grave danger. She started to cry and we consoled her saying ok we won't go back up. Then S's aunt asked us where the candle was. We exchanged looks. It's upstairs and it's lit. We knew we had to go back upstairs.We both climbed the wooden stairs and I reached out for the candle on the dresser except it wasn't there. I looked at S. What the? She shrugged and we scanned the attic. Over on the Singer sewing machine sat the candle. There was a plume of smoke coming from the wick as if it had just been blown out. We exchanged frightened looks. I said, I'm not getting that. Hell you couldn't pay me to go over there. It's out. I say leave it and let your uncle get it.? She nodded pulled the string to turn the light off and we flew down the stairs. I don't think I actually touched the stairs. I was so frightened once the light went out that I was sure something was gonna grab us. We didn't even put the ladder up. We figured S's uncle could do that too.When we got downstairs we told P and S's aunt what had happened. S's aunt said, that settles it I'm telling my husband we have to sell this place. We left and took several polaroid photos of the outside. The next day the photos showed what appeared to be a figure in the attic window. S asked if she could take the photos and show her aunt uncle. I said yes but the next day when she came to work she showed me the photos and the figure had mysteriously disappeared. I remember S telling me that after months of her uncle trying to convince her aunt it was ok that he relented and sold the house.I always look back at this event as one of my very first ghost hunts'. Long before it was cool and popular to do so we had been brave enough to conduct an investigation.Look for my next experience story very soon Barb

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      Vanessa Kristovich 6 years ago from Vineland,NJ

      If you have had a paranormal experience that you want to share, feel free to comment on it here!