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Scientific Reasoning for Ghost Sightings

Jul 16, 2019

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For many of us, the thought of ghosts being a real occurrence is somewhat hard to believe. A number of (arguably questionable) theories have been formulated in order to explain these sightings. Regardless of whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, though, our ghost tours are the perfect thing to get your heart beating strongly and adrenaline pumping…

When it comes to the paranormal and the somewhat unbelievable aspects of our society, the presence—or lack thereof—of ghosts is a topic that will often get many people arguing back and forth passionately. We’re all raised to believe that ghosts aren’t real, and yet, the thought of them still sends chills down the spine of every individual; in fact, it’s fair to say that anyone would be trembling a little in anticipation and terror when confronted with the sounds of creaking floors and walls and inexplicable shadows in a dark and old house.

However, as with so many aspects of human society, there have been numerous attempts made at trying to explain away the ethereal sightings and sounds that people claim to have been witness to. These explanations range from the believable to the downright desperate attempts at finding an excuse for otherwise inexplicable situations.

Either way—regardless of what the truth may be—tales of ghosts and other ethereal experiences are still exciting and highly exhilarating.


Possible causes

There have been a number of possible causes made over the years in an attempt to explain the seeming existence of ghosts. While some more reasonable explanations are worth listening to and may help to alleviate your fears—such as the fact that old properties will creak under the weight of their own body, and will often have seemingly ‘inexplicable’ draughts through old and poorly sealed walls and windows—others are somewhat hard to trust at best. One such example of these explanations is the so called “haunted house syndrome”, where Toxicologist Albert Donnay argues that the high number of reports during Victorian times could be blamed on gas lamps which were often used at the time. These gas lamps would release carbon monoxide into the surrounding environment, and it is well known that an excess of carbon monoxide can cause strong hallucinations. While this might explain some of the Victorian era ‘reports’, though, it does little to prove or disprove ghost sightings for modern day reporters (because let’s face it; gas lamps aren’t exactly popular nowadays).


Hauntings And Confirmation Bias

Arguably one of the only explanations for hauntings that makes a strong case in the modern day is that of confirmation bias. Joe Nickell concluded that oftentimes, people searching for ghosts will latch onto anything that could be questionable—and for these individuals, finding that others may have experienced similar experiences may mean that the viewer concludes that what they saw was a ghost, when it was really just a shadow or trick of the light.