What’s Haunting Your House?
Odd noises? Creepy voices? Scary visions? This Halloween, learn what’s behind them.
Unsolved Mystery: Doors Opening Spontaneously
What It Could Be...
- Your door is breathing. No, not the come-alive-holding-a-butcher-knife breathing. "Most claims of this type of paranormal activity in the northern United States are made between the months of October and March," says Grant Wilson, cohost with Jason Hawes of Syfy’s Ghost Hunters. Here’s why: “In the winter, the heating system evaporates moisture in the wood, making doors contract and causing them to become unlatched.”
- A small draft. When a door opens or closes, it can raise or lower indoor air pressure, causing another door to move.
- Bad hardware. “Not long ago, we went to a lady’s house where, during really humid days, her door’s latch would be a hair off, so that it didn’t fully close,” says Wilson. “On particularly windy days, the door would open by itself.”
Unsolved Mystery: Sudden, Drastic Temperature Changes
What It Could Be...
- Mood lighting reminiscent of M. Night Shyamalan. “Different lighting levels or strong contrasts―a bright light in one part of the room and a dark corner in another―can play tricks on your mind,” says James Houran, Ph.D., a research psychologist in Dallas and a coeditor of Hauntings and Poltergeists: Multidisciplinary Perspectives ($55, amazon.com). This uncertainty (like not knowing what’s lurking in that dark corner) can make the room seem colder. Chill equals ghost, and suddenly you think you’re Haley Joel Osment.
- Poor insulation. "Many times," says Houran, 'the temperature-change phenomenon elicits a big Homer Simpson 'D’oh!' when it turns out to be lousy insulation that results in cold drafts."
Next: Unsolved Mystery: Voices
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