Nicky Sewell takes a look at why there are so many more reports of the
paranormal each Halloween.
Halloween can be marked by an increase in the public’s interest in all
things paranormal, often accompanied by members of the public out on
their own search for paranormal phenomena. But is Halloween actually a
more paranormally active night?
There are no known research results to suggest that there is an increase
in unexplainable phenomena on Halloween. People’s perceived increase in
phenomena may be caused by several contributing factors.
Firstly, there is likely to be an increase in people out on
‘investigations’. These people will comprise a mix of experienced and
inexperienced investigators. With more people out searching for
phenomena, it follows that there would likely be an increase in reported
experiences – the more people you have looking for something, the more
likely you are to find it. But are these reported experiences genuinely
paranormal? Probably not.
The increase in ‘investigators’ will be largely comprised of
inexperienced members of the public, taking the opportunity to search
out phenomena for themselves. These people are less likely to be
analytical and rational in their scrutiny of experiences and are,
therefore, more likely to attribute non-paranormal phenomena to the
paranormal, due to their lack of experience. The increased expectation
and anticipation of phenomena is also a contributing factor towards an
increase in reported experiences. This is an effect that is largely
diluted amongst experienced investigators, but more concentrated within
the lesser experienced investigator.
The final contributing factor in this article is that of atmospheric
change. October is often recognised as the month where the weather
becomes considerably colder and more stormy weather conditions begin to
be detected as winter closes in. The increase in these types of weather
conditions can affect experiences in a number of ways. Firstly, dark,
cold, stormy nights are often linked to the traditional ghost story,
therefore reinforcing the lay-investigator’s expectation of phenomena,
as previously discussed. Secondly, these weather conditions are linked
to the production of greater static charges and the creation of negative
ions. These two factors can contribute towards the sensation of being
touched – an often reported form of ‘phenomena’, albeit entirely
The increase of inexperienced people conducting ‘investigations’ also
raises several other points that must be born in mind. Without the
necessary infrastructure to organise and conduct an ‘official’
investigation, many members of the public may result to visiting
allegedly haunted sites without prior permission. This can result in
charges of trespass, the creation of damage at such sites and tar the
reputation of genuine investigation groups who do seek prior permission.
Another issue raised is one of health and safety. Wandering around in
dark, and often dangerous, places without suitable lighting and attire
can result in personal injury and inadvertent damage to the property
being visited. There were recent reports of a young man on a ghost hunt
who fell asleep with a lit cigarette and burnt the entire building down,
narrowly escaping with his life.
Unofficial investigations are disrespectful, counter-productive and
dangerous. If you wish to go looking for phenomena on Halloween, or any
other night of the year, please find a reputable group to join.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!
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