Science can’t prove that ghosts are real, but it can explain why so many people see ghosts

Are ghosts real? It depends on what you define as a ghost? Science is currently unable to prove the existence of spirits, which are capable of walking through walls, hiding under beds and going back and forth creating the creaking sound of floorboards at night.

But there are some psychological and neurological phenomena in which ghosts will appear from imagination, or disturbances in the brain of the person experiencing them.

Let’s find out the 5 most common phenomena among them, which causes many people to think that they have met a ghost and believe that ghosts are real.

1. Ghosts grow from faith


Not everyone who believes in the existence of ghosts has seen ghosts in real life. But most of them have seen ghost movies, read ghost stories and heard about ghosts.

From where The Conjuring, Annabelle, The Nun until RingHow many horror series have you watched? Even without the need for a million dollar movie, the idea of ​​ghosts has entered each of us from a very early age, from the stories your parents told to forbidding you to go out at night.

The belief that ghosts are real has been ingrained in the minds of every immature child, when we did not yet have consciousness, and did not yet have a sharp argument to refute it.

And once a belief has been formed unconsciously, it becomes a tyrannical and unconditional belief. You will grow up with that belief, until you are old enough to doubt and question its veracity.

According to market research firm YouGov, nearly half of the population in the US today thinks ghosts are real. Of that number, 13% believe in vampires. This belief takes over their minds whenever we hear the floorboards creak or suddenly feel cold.

In 1990, psychologists at the University of Illinois conducted an experiment. They recruited two groups of volunteers for a tour of the Lincoln Square Theatre, a site that had been abandoned for centuries.

For the first group, scientists put up a guide to tell them it was a haunted theater. The second group was led by a neutral guide who didn’t talk about ghosts.

The results showed that visitors in the first group were more likely to report feeling afraid and imagining strange things.

We tend to be like that because we are very associative creatures.”says Chris French, head of the Anomaly Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Humans have evolved to pick up signals from the outside world through all their senses. We learn to be very alert to detect and avoid threats, such as predators.

Sometimes that sensory system is overworked, drawing what we can’t see, isn’t real, and convincing us to believe it’s real. Just like that, ghosts begin to weave from random sounds, or blurry images.

French says there is a scientific term for this phenomenon. It’s called “pareidolia“, where, many people thought they had recorded a ghost voice. In fact, it was just an ordinary sound in an open space.

Many Western psychics or ghost hunters often take advantage of psychology.”pareidolia” to cheat. They purposely direct the caller’s attention to a certain phrase. Then simply wait for the person’s brain to pick itself up among random sounds one by one. similar sounds.

So it is possible to convince them to believe in ghosts.

2. You imagine a ghost scaring yourself in a risky situation


Few of us imagine the devil during the day. But somehow, the obsession with demons will appear at night, or when we descend into dark dungeons.

The reason is that people are always more alert in dimly lit environments. That’s when our survival instincts come into play, so the sensory system is also more susceptible to distraction.

Michiel van Elk, professor of social psychology at Leiden University, said: “If you walk in the woods and see movement, you can make two mistakes. In the first case, you may think that nothing threatens you, but in fact there is a potential predator. In the second case, the opposite, you might think there is a predator there, but in reality there is nothing.”

Psychologists suspect humans have evolved to lean more towards the latter. There is good reason for that bias, as our ancestors always had to be on the lookout for lurking dangers like leopards and snakes.

Those who would rather be physically weak just in case than be eaten would be more likely to survive. So they also reproduce more and pass their persistent fear on to the next generation.

The designers of the garden haunted house put this genetic paranoia to good use, by forcing our minds to grapple with darkness and ambiguity.

A well-designed haunted house doesn’t have ghost models or mannequins jumping in front of you. Instead, they’re often just offering advice, prompting you to wonder if you’ve just seen something.

It is uncertainty that increases the fear factor.

In 1975, British geographer Jay Appleton conducted a study to find out: When it comes to safe habitats, people tend to think of places that satisfy two conditions. One of them is to have a vision (a clear view of the outside world). The second is to have a hiding place (a chance to hide from danger).

Poorly lit old houses don’t give us either of those conditions. It makes it impossible for us to see what is around us and provides a lot of darkness in which evil entities can lurk.

3. You need a ghost to accompany you


If you have watched movies like Feud good Amityville Horror, then you will see ghosts that sometimes do not appear bringing fear to those who imagine it.

Psychological studies show that some people who experience trauma, especially with grief over loss, can “call“Take out their souls to speak and at the same time calm themselves down.

As most amputees report a phenomenon known as “ghost“, feeling that their missing arm is still there, surviving partners often report seeing or feeling their deceased partner.

A 1971 survey in the British Medical Journal found that nearly half of widows in Wales and England had seen the spirit of their dead husband again. These encounters are so vivid they are almost lifelike.

Psychologists call it “postmortem communication”, and characterizes it as one of the most common paranormal experiences, affecting both those who believe in the spiritual world and those who do not.

In 2011, a study in the journal Death Studies reviewed hundreds of cases in which the living interacted with the dead. The authors say these ghosts are often imagined by living people in response to a traumatic event they encounter.

But death is not the only cause of friendly encounters with ghosts. Several studies of children who have been bullied or faced with dangerous situations have shown that they are more likely to imagine magical creatures on their own. This tendency is also present in adults with a history of childhood trauma.

4. Your brain is not healthy


With the above causes, we have seen that most ghost sightings are related to temporary psychological problems. But there are also other cases, when a person sees ghosts more often, hears the voices of spirits who continue to chase him.

Studies show that this could be an early sign of a medical condition, such as schizophrenia. Some evidence suggests that people with underlying brain disorders are more likely to experience intense and negative paranormal phenomena.

Even in people without mental illness, temporary changes in brain activity can trigger ghosts. For example, people who use psychostimulants such as LSD and magic mushrooms often report psychic fantasies.

Sometimes, people can unknowingly get these psychedelic substances from spores or mold in abandoned homes. This explains why the location is often referred to as a haunted place.

In another condition known as sleep paralysis, when you wake up but find your body immobile, you are more likely to experience strange ghost phenomena.

For example, people with sleep paralysis often experience the sensation of being pulled into another dimension, finding themselves suspended, drifting, or even detached from their physical body. In many cases, they even saw a spirit sitting on their chest.

Scientists have yet to pinpoint the exact root of this phenomenon, but some think it occurs when the brain overlaps between sleep and wakefulness.

Specifically, in REM sleep, your motor nervous system will shut down, you won’t be able to move around to prevent phenomena like sleepwalking or hurting yourself. If you wake up and your brain somehow doesn’t activate the motor nervous system, you won’t be able to move.

This situation puts you in a panic attack, perhaps thinking you are dead. From there, brain signals can be superimposed, causing mysterious ghost phenomena to appear.

5. You are affected by infrasound


Our brains also basically operate on bioelectric signals, so noise is inevitable. Research shows that on occasion, people may have an encounter with “people in another world‘ only because something around him was making strange noises.

In the early 1980s, British engineer Vic Tandy was working in the research laboratory of a medical services company when a strange feeling struck. Immediately, he felt a tremendous tremor, sensation, and fear.

Before entering this room, his colleagues warn Tandy that this is a haunted room. Many people who entered here before him had experienced a similar phenomenon.

But as a non-believer in spirituality, Tandy is determined to find the source of the problem. He explored every nook and cranny of the room and found a fan making noise at 18.9 Hz.

Even though our ears cannot perceive sound at these frequencies, these invisible sound waves can still cause our eyeballs to vibrate. That’s why Tandy felt her vision reversed and some vague ghost images appeared.

Subsequent studies have shown that certain sounds can stimulate people’s visual and auditory organs, causing them to experience stress or panic states.

The frequency of 18.9 Hz lies below the infrasound range, which the human ear cannot hear. After Tandy published his findings in the Journal of the Society for Psychiatry in 1998, the frequency of 18.9 Hz was then called “frequency of fear”.

So the next time you feel like you’re having a mysterious encounter with someone from the afterlife, in a space that’s repeatedly familiar, check to see if there’s an infrasound source nearby, which isn’t.

Referring Popsci 20220311165206618.chn

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