Have you ever wondered why there are so many paranormal legends and strange, scary things people believe in? A lot of people believe in ghosts, demons and other evil occurrences, however, how can all that be real?
Our world is quite rational, however, but there are many people who believe in the supernatural and claim that they’ve had paranormal encounters.
Could it be possible that our minds are tricking us? If you are interested in explaining the paranormal with rational explanations, there are a lot of conclusions that the world of science can bring us, and actually, sometimes the results that science can give us are even more perplexing that the world of the paranormal.
In one strange experiment, researchers wanted to test why some people seem to be able to sense when an evil presence is near. They placed one robot behind and one in front of a blindfolded participant who was made to touch the one in front. The robot in the back was programmed to replicate the participant’s hand movements, however, there was a half second delay.
Right before the robot moved, the participant noted that they felt very strange, like some weird and unnatural energy was behind them. Almost all the people that were tested had the same result, and some noted that they felt the presence of invisible forces. The scientists concluded that the results happened because the people lost their sense of control.
With the delayed reaction of the robot, people felt like their movements weren’t in their control anymore and when something like that happens, we have the feeling that a strange presence is near us.
The scientists conducting the experiment also concluded that stressed peolpe are more likely to have such a reaction. The connection between movements and the brain breaks and that’s what could make you feel like you are in the presence of something evil.
The main issue with exorcisms and demonic possession is that they can be linked with mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. However, what happens when priests actually perform an exorcism and cure the poor souls?
One explanation could be hidden within our minds. At the end of the 1500s, an experiment was ordered by King Henry IV, and it involved a group of experts who were meant to perform an exorcism on a young girl who thought she was possessed.
However, they performed a fake exorcism during which the girl drank holy water while the priests told her it was normal water and then they spilled regular water on her.
They told the girl that the regular water was actually holy and she started to scream and twitch. Then, they pressed some ordinary iron on her skin and said the iron was actually a piece of the cross upon which Jesus was crucified.
The girl started screaming, and then the priests read some Latin verses, telling her they were reading from the Bible, but they used some other book.
They concluded that the girl did not fake her behavior, but that her mind tricked her into it. The girl was convinced that she was possessed and that the holy items were hurting the demon inside her because her mind convinced her.
In another experiment, some psychologists gathered a group of people and told them that they believed in demonic possession.
They managed to convince even 18%, and many of the people left with the feeling that something was possessing them. It could be quite possible that all the real stories and accounts of exorcisms were just the product of a placebo.
Why do we sometimes think our luck or karma is related to something we did in a past life? And what about people who say they remember everything about their past life?
An experiment in a Dutch university wanted to test something called a false fame effect. The subjects were all people who claimed they knew everything about who they were in a past life and they were given a list with random names on it.
On the second day of the experiment, they received another list with names of celebrities as well as the names from the list from day one. What happened next is that all the participants who claimed they knew everything about their past lives actually thought that the random names were the nicknames of the celebrities in the second list.
The experiment concluded one simple thing: that people can easily confuse their memories and invent names and stories when they can’t remember their own memories.
Vic Tandy was a scientist who found himself inside a haunted house. He was working one night when he suddenly felt cold and felt like he was being watched.
Tandy saw a strange figure which disappeared within seconds and he was quite freaked out. The whole experience inspired him to test an interesting hypothesis. He believed that infrasounds were the cause of people believing in haunted houses.
Namely, when we hear something in a very low frequency that our ears are unable to detect, we could start to see strange things.
He experimented with his theory by turning off a fan inside the house and when he did that, his strange hallucinations were gone. Another experiment tried to test the scientist’s theory and in it, people were made to walk in winding hallways. One hallway was silent, while infrasound was played in another.
Surprisingly, the group that heard the sound felt a drop in the temperature and some people believed they saw strange shapes and even ghosts. The group who that was in the hallway where no infrasound was played was completely fine and didn’t experience anything freaky.
And what does it mean to see ghosts? A lot of people say that they have had a supernatural encounter with their deceased loved ones or celebrities. Psychologists have had a hard time trying to explain this phenomenon, however, they performed some experiments and made an interesting discovery.
When they tested people in groups, they found a very low number of people who actually said they saw ghosts. However, when they narrowed the group down to only widows, they found out that over 50% of them had an experience when they saw their deceased spouses.
Psychologists concluded that widows had these hallucinations because they were under a lot of stress and because the loss of their loved one left them isolated.
When they are in this uncommon environment, they are more likely to believe they have seen a ghost, and a similar thing happens to other people. Scientists believe that when someone sees a ghost, it’s actually caused by extreme loneliness, isolation, and stress.
Why do so many people believe in horoscopes? Can a person’s astrological sign determine their whole personality? Well, an experiment was once conducted by French psychologist Michael Gauquelin who asked people for their birth date and told them he would analyze their entire personality.
When the experiment was completed, over 90% of participants claimed that Gauquelin’s analysis of their zodiac sign was spot on. However, there was a catch. The psychologist actually sent the same description to all the participants, without even looking into their zodiac signs. Gauquelin’s description only contained some generic information, and it was all created to prove the Forer Effect.
The Forer Effect states that through “subjective validation,” people can connect two unrelated things in their mind and believe that they are completely related. The Forer Effect is one of the main arguments against astrology because it states we are simply believing in our zodiac signs because we want to believe things are tailored specifically for us.