Friday, March 28, 2014

Designing Paranormal Experiments



Growing up in a haunted home, I pondered all the time "why did it act up today and not yesterday?" "Why was it quiet a month ago and now it's insane?" I tried to take note of some basic things -

Instigators -- What is causing it to act up right now as compared to other times? Environmental? Psyches and emotional content of the living? An event in the building? A change of who is in the room and who has left? An earth energy burst like geomagnetic storms or weather shifts???

Quiescents - What made it quiescent? What seems to make it calm down? What makes it stable again? 

Designing experiments that test these things and can create repeatability on performing, are cornerstone for moving the field of paranormal investigation forward.  Sometimes we concentrate so much on proving a site haunted, that we forget to test the sites that are active.

It all begins with a simple question and then develop an answer.  Here's some questions I had and how I went about answering them with an experimental method.


Experiment 1 

Initial question:  Are experiencers influencing each other in their reporting of what they experienced?  
In-depth question: If people can influence each other's reactions in a situation, then shouldn't we find out if people are experiencing things at the same time without feeding off each other?

Answer:  My answer was to have two people in a room, facing opposite directions. Have the room monitored by cameras. When they feel, hear, sense, smell, see something - they raise their hand.

Loophole:  In performing the experiment, when the people leave the room, they may start talking about what they experienced, the other person could feed off of or alter his experience to jive, consciously or unconsciously with their partner's experience.

Closing the loophole:  Have the the people leave the room without speaking and write down their experiences and hand it to a third person who reads them out loud. Now, you have validation of what kinds of things were experienced and hopefully video to show if they raised their hands at the same time and had the same experience.


Experiment 2

Initial question:  How can we help laypeople find energy spots if a psychic is not present?  
In-depth question:  Can divining rods be useful in finding energy spots in a room so that lay people can find spots that psychics can find just by feeling?

Answer:  Have a psychic find energy spots in a room. Have people dowse the room.

Loophole:  The people could see where the psychic finds energy spots and have their rods cross consciously or unconsciously in those spots, as they could also do when viewing the others dowsing before them.

Closing the loophole:  Send the psychic into the space alone to find the energy spots, mark x's on a map of the space and fold it up, put it into her pocket, and leave. Next, send in one dowser to do the same with dowsing rods and a map. Then, send in the next dowser. And on and on. When completed, pull maps out and compare.

Experiment 3

Initial question:  Do ghosts need us to speak out loud if they don't have auditory canals for sound waves?  
In-depth question:  What if we just thought a question?

Answer:  Try a silent EVP session. 

Loophole:  What if people in the room are thinking different things? Might this be why sometimes we get odd EVP answers?

Closing the Loophole:  Everyone is given a set of 5 questions that are numbered. The leader calls out "1" and they all think and concentrate on question #1. After 20-30 seconds, the leader calls out "2" and they move on to the next question. Everyone is silent, everyone concentrates.



Think outside the box

Don't let common popular ghost hunting methods touted on websites, YouTube videos and TV shows determine how you are going to proceed with your knowledge in the field. We can pretty much say that after all those years of ghost hunting shows, their knowledge has not expanded in understanding the phenomena because they are piping the same storyline others have in the past about what a ghost is and how it works.

Ask questions. When you come up with concepts, look for the loopholes. Then, fill them in. And, never experiment just once. Continue trying it and be willing to adapt it. 

The future of para-investigation is research.

***Don't miss Paranormal Geeks Radio show's special episode tonight - look for my post this afternoon telling you more***






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