Unsolved Mystery: Apparitions
What It Could Be...
- Electromagnetic fields, or EMFs. An EMF is a low-frequency radiation that can be emitted by power lines, cell phones, earthquake fault lines, appliances, electrical outlets, and the sun. Whether or not EMFs have an effect on people is controversial, but studies have shown they may be able to create hallucinations by interfering with the brain’s electrical patterns. One woman told Wilson and Hawes that she was being haunted in her bedroom. When they whipped out their EMF meter, they found “her bed was right next to one of those old, flip number-style motorized alarm clocks, which made the meter react,” says Wilson. “We were able to solve her ‘haunting’ by replacing her clock.”
- Yikes! An actual ghost? “When we recently investigated a penitentiary in Pennsylvania, we had a presence run right at our camera,” says Hawes, who uses an infrared video camera to capture heat sources that can’t be seen with the naked eye. “I honestly believe that we caught some sort of apparition.” Houran is dubious: “Whenever I’ve investigated ghosts that were reportedly caught on tape via a specialized medium, such as infrared, it has always turned out to be a simple recipe: one part lighting and shadow effects mixed together with strong suggestion and a big heap of belief in the paranormal.”
- A problem even worse than a ghost. “Grant and I worked a case in which a woman was seeing strange things,” says Hawes. “It turned out she had cataracts. We had another client who mixed a new prescription with an old prescription and wound up creating a hallucinogenic drug.”