Question of the Week
March 19, 2017
Each week I will post a question raised by people I meet at book events or at haunted locations I visit, or submitted to me by e-mail.
I will post my answer Sunday evenings, usually no later than 6:00 PM.
Why do ghosts appear for only a second or two instead of remaining visible for long periods?
Most people have the impression that ghostly manifestations are fleeting. Typically, the apparition appears for an instant, and then it is gone, not to be seen again for a long time, if ever. Often witnesses report that they spotted the apparition at the periphery of their vision (“corner of the eye”). When they turn their head to get a better look, the image is gone.
While this notion is commonplace, it is not my experience. Yes, I have seen those briefly appearing images. But most of my encounters have lasted more than 45 seconds. Many of them have persisted for several minutes.
My most vivid ghost sighting occurred in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. I was traveling a distance of 130 miles on horseback, camping out several nights. One morning, in the bright daylight, I watched the ghosts of two buckskin-clad explorers approach me. They remained within my view for at least 5 minutes.
So why do most ghost hunters report those “fleeting” images as the most common paranormal encounter? I suspect it is due to one of two reasons, or possible both reasons.
One, the ghost may not be able to generate enough energy to sustain a manifestation on our plane or existence (our “physical” world) for more than a few seconds. Imagine trying to manifest yourself underwater by holding your breath and swimming to a depth of 20 feet in the ocean. That’s a tough thing to accomplish due to the vastly different physical nature of the underwater environment compared to our land-based existence. Ghost may face a similar challenge when they try to manifest in our physical world.
Ghosts who do manifest for longer periods of time may be able to generate the necessary energy.
Second, short-lasting images of ghosts may be due to our inability to create or maintain a high degree or receptivity. Receptivity is our ability to receive the mental or telepathic images a ghost creates.
According to one of the best theories about ghostly manifestation: when we see or hear a ghost, we are actually perceiving the ghost’s telepathic image or sound. Those of us with poor receptivity never see a ghost. Those of us with high degrees of receptivity see them often.
In order to see ghosts for more than a second or two, we have to create and maintain a high degree of receptivity. There are several ways to do that but all of them depend upon clearing the mind of those bothersome, extraneous thoughts we have constantly. Meditation, performed before a ghost investigation, can reduce or eliminate external and internals mental distractions. Once that is done, we can create the necessary mental receptivity.
Let me know the length of your longest observation of a ghost. Serious paranormal investigators should recognize that this is an important data point. Those of you who have had long contact with an apparition should realize how fortunate you are.
For your review; last week's Q and A . . .
What is the paranormal basis of statues and sculptures that bleed or cry or exhibit other signs that they might be alive or inhabited by spirits?
This question has been sent to me about 7 times over the past ten years but I have never written about it.
Recently, I was contacted by a man who has a small metal Buddha that drips tears from its eye. Apparently, this intriguing event has happened a number of times with without a “normal” explanation. The droplet of fluid (presumed to be water) has not appeared elsewhere on the statue. Because of that, it seems unlikely that the creases in the metal are simply capturing moisture from the air and condensing it. If that were the case, we might expect to see “tears” in other spots on the statue.
This is nothing new. There are many widely known repots of religious statues and other effigies that bleed, drip tears, oil, or display movement that seems impossible due to the inert nature of the materials from which it is made.
In Civitavecchia, Italy, a status of the Madonna first shred tears in 1995. In Japan, a wooden status of Our Lady of Akita, the Roman Catholic title of the Virgin Mary, also shed tears. At times this statue has been surrounded by ghostly apparitions as well. In Kerala, India, a statue reportedly drips honey and milk.
Many claims of bleeding or tearful statues were have been disproved by DNA tests that revealed that the allegedly supernatural substance came from a caretaker, priest, nun, or other person who had frequent and close contact with the statue.
Ghost hunters who encounter a weeping statue will find that chemical tests on the substance and person who possesses it are not cheap. Therefore, the next best way to debunk the event of tears of blood is to set up a video camera aimed at the statue and use a long playing mode. Naturally, it is best to maintain the status in a carefully controlled environment, say a large box that also contains the video camera. The box should be sealed with tape to prevent tampering by others who might have access to the place where the box sits. In fact, it would be best to lace the box in a locked room or closet to control access.
If a video shows a tear emanating from the corner of the eye, or blood on the statue‘s hand when it is certain that no one had access to the box, we might have some good evidence of something paranormal.
The central question is: what is the paranormal basis of this phenomena? We know that ghosts can create detectable changes in the environment such as thickened air and cold spots. Ghosts can also leave a few drops or puddles of water in places far from any source of moisture.
If a ghost becomes attached to a statue, it is conceivable that this spirit may cause changes such as a change in color or temperature, or a droplet of water that appears to be a tear. How that droplet of water is created remains the mystery. At times, witnesses believe they’ve seen a statue move - eye movements, for example – or the chest move as if the statue is breathing. Actual motion may not have occurred, but the ghost may project an image to the mind of the witness - through telepathy - that creates the impression of movement.
Before concluding that a spirit inhabits a statue, it is vital to stage a surveillance as described above. Rule out all possible natural explanations, such as condensation of moisture from the air. The eyelid of a statue may be a perfect place for moist air to settle, creating droplet that appears as a tear.
Copyright Jeff Dwyer. All rights reserved.