The world of the paranormal may not have the hype attached to it that it once did. I mean sure, Stranger Things is pretty popular but look at the buzz surrounding UFO’s during the early nineties when the X-Files graced our television screens. Despite it not being as mainstream as it once was there are many people that still believe in various paranormal phenomena. This article takes a look at a few of them that may have just a modicum of truth to them.
Yes, it sounds a little like something from a science fiction film, but it’s widely postulated that ball lightning does exist. Even so it remains totally unexplained. You’d be forgiven for being cynical of its existence given that among those claiming to have witnessed the phenomena are Aleister Crowley, who also went by the moniker the wickedest man alive, and not during a time period where “wicked” meant really good! Scientists have yet to recreate this paranormal phenomenon in labs but there are several prevalent theories about what causes it.
There is a horror movie dedicated to this phenomena. Weird audio recordings are frequently put down to being the voices of spirits, or occasionally aliens. The truth of the matter is that stray audio signals have numerous potential (and unfortunately not very exciting) causes. Ranging from interference from nearby electrical equipment to solar storms, even meteor showers can have an effect on recording equipment. And yes sometimes these stray sounds, sound a little bit like words, but no more so then we sometimes see faces in the clouds! Our brains are wired to see patterns where patterns do not exist.
We are not for one second suggesting we are being visited by little green men. However, there are as many stars in our universe as there are grains of sand on planet earth! Given as our own sun has 8 planets circling it, it’s not a massive leap to imagine some of those billions of stars also have planets surrounding them! Given the numbers involved, surely it’s incredibly unlikely there isn’t life elsewhere in the universe?
Okay, you may be thinking that this is a bit of a stretch! But honestly, there are some compelling arguments for voodoo having some effect. Firstly the reports of bringing the dead back to life. There are drugs that can cause the appearance that somebody is dead when they actually are totally fine scattered throughout literature. For example in Romeo and Juliet! What exactly goes into these drugs is a bit of a mystery. As for voodoo’s most prominent device, the voodoo doll, surely this can’t have any basis in reality? Well, maybe! Don’t underestimate the power of suggestion! The Placebo effect is recognised by science, and people have died from a broken heart. Your brain controls most of your bodily functions, so if someone can influence it perhaps it can have dark effects.
Hold fire before you shoot the messenger. I’m not suggesting for a second that psychic Sally isn’t anything but a fraud. I find the suggestion she can communicate with the afterlife almost offensive. However look at what she does do (badly) and what somebody like Derren Brown does superbly. It’s a collection of techniques which form a skill called “cold reading”. Cold Reading means without doing any research a “psychic” can uncover “facts” about a person. One such technique used is making “Barnum statements” things that appear to be true to an individual but are correct of most people. For example “you sometimes feel a little awkward when you meet new people for the first time”. This is clever because it rings true and helps develop trust in the “psychic”.