Paranormal: Debunk your personal experiences

**What paranormal/odd events have you experienced that have a logical explanation? How have you debunked it?
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  1. The woman we bought this house from is adamant it’s haunted by a little girl. Once, in the middle of the night, I got up to use the bathroom and saw a little girl standing in the hallway.

Debunk: I was primed to see something because the previous owner laid down the groundwork; it was 2am, I was half asleep, and my brain was a little wonky; the backyard security floodlight hit one of the trees and created a shadow that my sleepy self interpreted as a human figure (Pareidolia).

  1. Early one morning there were sharp, loud knocks inside the walls of the house. This went on for about 15 minutes. Several hours later my mom called to tell us the terrible news: my little brother had died in the early morning.

**Debunk:**trapped raccoons, squirrels or other small animals; underground vibrations created by nearby “mountain removal” mining; primed for experience: I come from a Scots-Irish background and have heard numerous stories about a knocking banshee as a sign someone is going to die.

  1. I had a few seizures in 2012. The day after the seizures I saw a very tall, very wide black mass that walked a loop from the dining room, up the stairs, and back down. I wasn’t at all frightened; rather, the black mass was comforting and the experience felt religious. The mass walked around for a few hours.

Debunk: I was in a postctal state that caused hallucinations (a well-known “after shock” of seizures, especially in frontal lobe epilepsy). But damn, this was a powerful experience.

Early in our marriage, my husband and I lived in a little house in which we would occasionally hear unexplained moaning. We didn’t immediately attribute it to a paranormal happening, but we were completely unable to ascertain the cause, so the sliver of doubt was always there.

After about a year living with our very own Moaning Molly, as we had dubbed her, a nasty windstorm took out a portion of our chimney. After the chimney was repaired, we never heard the moaning again. Evidently there was a spot in the chimney where wind was coming through and making that noise when it was just the right speed or angle.

I have to admit, we missed Molly just a little. :slight_smile:

A few years ago, I was driving home from work after putting in some overtime. It was past 2 AM and I was on an unlit stretch of I-5 that passes through some wetlands, and at the moment there weren’t any other cars around. As I was driving, I briefly saw a shadowy humanoid figure outside the front passenger side window of my car, running fast enough to keep pace with it. By the time my brain processed that something was wrong and I looked to the right to get a better look, it had vanished.

Several years later I was driving the same stretch of road earlier in the evening and I discovered the cause of the spectre - there’s an older, non-reflective barricade along the edge of the highway, which, when the headlights of one and only one car play along it, creates an illuson that looks like a pair of legs running.

I don’t believe in ghosts but I would really really love to be proved wrong. I wanna see some PA. If you know of any in the social area please let me know as long as you aren’t Derek Accorah.

Early one morning, I attempted to break into someone’s house. I had it on good authority there was some good booze in there, and since I was stuck in the wilderness digging holes, I was really motivated. I was banging on the outside wall for about 15 minutes, but nobody came to investigate, thankfully.

Conclusion: Heavy sleeper or just plain lazy occupants.

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:stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve told this story before.
Paranormal experience:

Many years ago shopping at the Waldbaums in NY, late in the day near closing time the store was pretty deserted. Walking down one of the aisles I suddenly heard a voice say “Buy one pound of roast beef or ham at the deli counter and you will receive one pound of potato salad or macaroni salad for free”. I looked around but didn’t see anyone around who could be speaking so I continued shopping. Then in the next aisle I heard the same voice again telling me the same thing. It was certainly quite eerie, but I figured it was some kind hunger induced hallucination. However, I did want to pick up some sliced roast beef at the deli counter so I stopped by there and ordered a pound, saying nothing else. The guy sliced the meat and handed me the package, and then out of nowhere he said “You can have a pound of potato salad or macaroni salad for free”. Somewhat stunned I took the macaroni salad.

Debunking:

Well I can’t really. It was either a hunger induced hallucination or I heard the voice of God. There’s no other explanation I can think of.

I have narcolepsy and one of the symptoms is hypnogognic hallucinations. It’s basically going into REM sleep while you’re still conscious. I had many experiences of wild animals coming through the windows. And things like seeing a man walking down the hall and getting in bed next to me. I could feel the bed move. I could see the numbers on the clock move. I could hear him breathing. I could NOT move a muscle.

I hate Freddy Kruger nights (my term) when I have three or four of those in a row. But I don’t believe that it’s a demon manifestation as some people used to. It’s a damned nuisance, though.

It’s not the hallucinations that will get you. It’s the delusions that will do you in.

Worked with a Skeptic group for a bit, we (along with “Paranormalists”) did a all nighter in a old “haunted house”.

Yes, it was creepy. Yes, unexplained noises and odd drafts.

However, any really old empty house will have the same if you sit there overnight.

But when you see a show like “Fact or Faked” (one of the better shows in the genre, they at least debunked more than half) and you see them getting spooked, it’s not all faked. It is spooky and creepy.

Wow, this is really creepy!

I watch a crapload of “reality” paranormal shows. I enjoy the sheer nonsense of EVPs, EMF readers, and all the other silly equipment and claims. But, as you write, some of the places are really spooky at night.

I get a fair number of hypnpompic and hypnagogic hallucinations. Jolly good ones, too: ninjas crawling around on top of my bookshelves, tarantulas on the ceiling, someone drawing their finger slowly across my throat, etc.

My sister saw something that “could only be a ghost”…until she waited and watched a while, and the owl (of course!) flew by a second time.

I will not diss anyone who has sat up all night in one of those houses and says “I dunno, man, it was really creepy, maybe there’s something to this Ghost business after all.”

It’s when they try to fake it with those “EVPs, EMF readers” as you say, and those faked sound recordings that I say “BULLSHIT!”.

Yes, I know there’s no such things as ghosts, but it’s still damn creepy and spooky.

My sister once went to a fortune teller for fun. She came home and told me what the lady told her: you’ll have two children, maybe twins. The chain of events that leads to you having children has already begun. Your husband will have dark hair. In other words, standard crap that is just guessing or maybe clever observation.

But just as my sister was leaving, the psychic told her to tell me to unplug my hairdryer before I leave for work tomorrow. There’s something wrong with that plug.

My sis related all this to me and we snickered about her “fortune”. I speculated that she might have had a dark hair on her clothing that tipped the psychic to predict she’d marry a dark-haired man. I teased her about one day having twins. She told me about the hair dryer thing, and we just said whatever, that’s weird that she would come up with something so off the wall, but there ya go.

Well. The next morning I got ready for work as usual, and as I was about to leave the bathroom, I remembered the caution on the hair dryer. Just for ducks I reached over to unplug it, and as I did, there was a sudden spark, a loud crack and smoke came out of the plug. :eek:

What an interesting coincidence. There WAS something wrong with that outlet. Of course, there’s something wrong with a LOT of electrical outlets and appliances, and I’m betting that blow dryers (cheap, mass produced, over-used, under-maintained as they are) contribute to plenty of electrical mishaps. And in any case appliances like that should be unplugged when not in use, so I do that as a matter of routine. And if I ever forget, I have this cool coincidence to remind me.

Some background to this story:

When I was younger (so much younger than today…) I used to work as a night porter in an old hotel. The front of the hotel that housed the reception, bar and restaurants was an old 17th century coaching inn, complete with low ceilings, exposed beams and rickety narrow staircases. The upstairs restaurant was (of course) reputed to be haunted, there were stories handed down among the staff of waitresses having things thrown at them at night, and several of the wait staff would refuse to go up there alone at night. It never really bothered me much though - I used to like the slightly creepy vibe.

So, on this one night…

1 - I was working in the reception area for a couple of hours, completely alone. I kept getting a feeling of someone standing next to me at the counter, and kept seeing what looked like people in my peripheral vision. Whenever I looked up, there would be nobody there. Also, occasional muted voices.

2 - When I walked through the kitchen at about 3AM, I passed the stairway to the upstairs restaurant (the ‘haunted’ one), and could quite clearly and distinctly hear the sound of cutlery rattling. As I climbed the stairs, the noise stopped and the restaurant was empty when I got there.

3 - Now a little spooked, I went in to the toilets to empty the bins. As I was doing so, a door to a small electrical cupboard (set at the top of the wall) fell off of its hinges and landed with a loud bang on one of the toilet seats.

4 - Now properly freaked, I ran out of there and (for some reason) went into the nearby furniture store. About five seconds later, a stack of chairs on the other side of the room (about 20 feet away) toppled over.

5 - I then ran outside and wouldn’t go back into the building for about half an hour.

So, the debunk (sort of!):

1 - On that shift, I hadn’t slept that day or the night before, so was really tired. Classic sleep-deprivation hallucinations. Easy.

2 - Probably hallucinating again, but I do remember the sounds being quite clear and distinct. Another possibility is one of the staff (we had live in staff there) had snuck in to raid the kitchen for a late night snack. I didn’t see them, but to be fair I didn’t hang around to investigate for too long (was a bit creeped out by that point) and they may have been hiding from me.

3 - The cupboard door was never on its hinges to start with (just wedged in place) and the air movement from me opening and closing the door shifted it enough to fall out.

4 - ??? Air movements again? I dunno.

5 - I was shit scared by then. Nothing paranormal there. :slight_smile:

The thing is, if any one of those things alone had happened then I wouldn’t even have thought anything about it. But to have all those things happen in quick succession seems like more of a coincidence than I’m logically happy to accept. 3 and 4 definitely weren’t hallucinations, either - I had to go back and put everything straight again later.

This one was happening in my head and I still managed to debunk it myself.

For weeks, about 3 years ago, I saw huge spiders or crazy insects some times in the morning. Now that was something that was literally creepy.

Well, since I usually was not able to move I could get no pictures, so what the best explanation?

Debunking:

I investigated and I found one likely factor: eye floaters can trick your mind; your brain always tries to fill up information that misses many times (one of the big reasons why witnesses are in reality very unreliable) so the brain is looking to complete the picture of what it is seeing when you are in a sleepy stupor.

Fine, but there was something else in my case, the “spiders” or insects moved and crawled around, it seemed that there was something physical to it. (No wonder that people that encounter this can sincerely think they are living in a haunted house.)

Then I found about Hypnopompic hallucinations.

OK, so how can one experiment to see if those were the reason?

As it turns out, even with a typical sleep paralysis one can move his/her eyes, if the spiders were floaters then it follows that the spiders would behave like floaters when one looked to other different places in a room. Floaters do follow the general direction of where you point your eyes and then they move in other directions.

So instead of being scared I began to experiment the next time the creepy creatures appeared, and sure enough the insects began to do nonsensical things, it was like me being in “The Matrix” seeing glitches all around with the [del]agents[/del] insects looking as if they were the scared ones as they had no control of where they “tele-ported” or crashed around.

I began to enjoy trashing the bugs around like a Jedi master in the mornings. Of course the brain being the A-hole it usually is began to stop the hallucinations as soon as I found a way to enjoy what was supposed to be a scary time.

(Really, why would the brain set itself to scare you in an altered state and once you figure out what is going on it looks like it takes the ball and leaves in a huff?)

And that would be it, except that science can be also scary, reading other sources pointed that some eye conditions may be related to this kind of hallucinations so going to ophthalmologist is a good idea, it is also scary to me that many others will not investigate properly and would choose to believe that those spiders were “demons”. I can see that that would only lead to madness or blindness.

Always choose the rational explanation.

I’ve never found those to have lasting credibility. They’re totally convincing at the moment…but then, a few seconds later, you wake up more fully and realize, “Wow! That was a really convincing hallucination.”

However, I have friends who have had these (okay, that’s my hypothesis) and yet never “woke up” from them, and still fully believe they actually did see elves or angels. So I guess I can’t be so sure.

Wish you had named her Myrtle instead of Molly. :smiley:

(Harry Potter reference, for those who didn’t get it)

I’ve had those as well, most often during the years between developing chronic migraine and getting a good treatment plan. I was on a LOT of medications, so when I’d be half-asleep and see The Big Scary Blob-Monster or stuff running down the walls or hanging off the ceiling fan, I’d remind myself that my brain has had a three-day migraine (which apparently affects the brain much like a seizure), and I’ve taken a boatload of heavy drugs to get rid of it. Honestly, it would’ve been surprising if I didn’t see stuff that wasn’t there.

On a paranormal side note: one benefit of the cats sleeping with me is that if something actually alarming is happening, they wouldn’t be snoring next to me. They’d either be investigating or hiding. The other benefit is that if I hear a weird noise, my first thought is, “What are the damn cats into NOW?”

A couple of years after I graduated from college, a roommate and I had an apartment in the cool, artsy part of town. It was also a cheap part of town, and big houses from the pre-WWI-to-WWII era were split into apartments.

One morning, my roommate and I left for work at exactly the same time. I knew she’d been in her office all day because she called me from her office a couple of times to check on plans and whatnot.

I got home from work before my roomie. I walked into the house and went into the kitchen to get a glass of wine.

All of the kitchen cabinet doors were open, and all of the pots and pans were on the kitchen floor.

blink

blink

It was so weird and random that I couldn’t think anything beyond a bemused, “Well, would you look at that? Huh.”

Not…quite…knowing…what…to…do…in…that…situation…I just put everything away and got my glass of wine.

Went back into my room to change out of my grown-up-drag suit and high heels. After a few minutes, I heard a kerfuffle in the kithcen.

And I walked in to see my little (not even a year old) cat opening the cabinet doors by wrapping her paws around the knobs and pulling, and the ferret dragging out all of the pots and pans by his teeth.

I’m sorry we did not yet have smartphones with video abilities.

My paranormal experience. The wife’s grandmother was very sick and in hospice. The kind of state where she wasn’t necessarily expected to die any day, but if you got the call you weren’t surprised. Well, one day, The Wife gets a call and I can see by the look on her face it’s not good news and I suspect it’s Nanny. Katie ends the call, and, no, not Nanny but Gramps (Nannys husband) who was found unexpectedly deceased on his chair.

A little bit about Gramps. Gramps was poor his whole life. Grew up poor, went into the Army and was a mechanic. Came out of the Army and made a living repairing small engines. (lawnmowers, etc) Only time did I ever see him not wearing some dirty overalls without oil and grease stains all over his hands (my wedding). Even then, he was in jeans and a button up shirt. My point is he didn’t own, need or want nice clothes and spend his life working with grease and was perpetually covered in it.

So, we go to the funeral. Nanny doesn’t go due to her poor health. Katie’s mom and Aunts bought him a nice suit to be buried in, he was cleaned up, shaved, hair combed. He looked really good, if a little unrecognizable at first. Afterwards, we go to visit Nanny and Nanny tells us she just saw Gramps.

Now, we know Nanny is losing it, so we don’t overreact or anything.

"He looked so good, " she said, " He was shaved and had his hair combed, and he was wearing this nice blue suit! He told me it’s ok to let go and join him. So, I’m going to stop my dialysis. "

She did, and passed a few weeks later.

Damndest thing I’ve ever heard, describing the man that lay in a casket she didn’t see and not the man she lived with. I can’t explain it.

Debunking: This is hard. I know she knew the funeral was that day, but she wasn’t really with it. She generally didn’t retain new info any longer. But she was clearly more lucid that day versus others to recount her story. I know nobody talked to her about the details. My best guess is that, knowing the funeral was that day, and feeling lonely without Gramps, she dreamed him up in an ideal state and just so happened to be he was in a blue suit? I don’t know.