Thursday, April 5, 2012

Using Flashlights to Communicate with Ghosts

This is basically when a ghost hunting team sets up flashlights on a table, floor, chair etc. and asks the entity or ghost to turn the flashlight on or off in response to their questions. In the past year there have been a lot of discussions on-line between various ghost-hunting groups as to whether this is an effective way to communicate with ghosts. Several groups claim this communication is proof there is some kind of paranormal activity occurring.

On paranormal forums there are ghost hunters who are very much for using this method and others who are very much against using this method.

The groups or individuals who oppose this method point out that it is just a “trick” because how it is done is by pushing the switch or twisting the cap so that the flashlight is not completely on or off. In other words they turn the flashlight on and just turn it back a tiny bit to turn the light off. This makes the flashlight more sensitive. They state when a flashlight switch is not completely on it then takes little or no interference from a person or environment to cause the light to turn on, off, or flicker.

Those who oppose also point out that if you know the basics of how a flashlight functions then you know that it has several parts that come together to make it work. Among these parts are contact strips, the switch itself, the lamp, and of course the batteries. When a flashlight switch is pushed to the on position it makes contact between two strips, which begins a flow of electricity, powered by the batteries-- activated by this flow of electrons, the filament, or LED, in the tiny light bulb (lamp) begins to glow—producing light.

Those skeptical of this practice state that when a person pushes a switch or twists a flashlight cap so it is not completely off it disrupts the flow of the electricity, which creates an open circuit—this results in the flashlight not working right. In other words the light will turn on and off without a person touching it--because it has been tampered with.

Ghost Hunters who support this method ask--then how do you explain that the flashlight or flashlights light up immediately and in direct response to our questions? The response to their question is most often countered with-- the circuit is open so any movement on the part of the investigators will cause vibrations that will turn the flashlight on if it is off and off it is on in other words it activates this open circuit.

The groups or individuals who support it then ask —how do you explain the fact that when we asked, “Can you turn the right flashlight on?” The right flashlight turned on. And when we asked, “Can you turn on the left flashlight? The left flashlight turned on. In essence they are saying—the fact these flashlights turned on or off was not random in nature.

The opposition then always asks—how long did you ask before you got the response you wanted? Meaning if you keep after it long enough the random open circuit will eventually match your efforts. 

Many suggest if a team is going use the flashlight method--don't ask open ended questions instead ask specific ones (e.g. If someone is here turn the left flashlight on 3 times.) Can you make the right flashlight turn on every time I say the word, "happy." These examples move it away from just random responses.

They also suggest ask the same question multiple times to see if the flashlight responds consistently. Always use two or more flashlights and give each of them names--then ask that the responses correspond with the specific name of each flashlight.

Many ghost hunters who oppose this method state that skeptics will always wonder if the flashlight is turning on even when questions are not asked.

These ghost-hunting groups feel that if you tamper with flashlights in this manner you are in essence shooting yourself in the foot if you claim it is proof of paranormal activity. Those who oppose it often ask —have you tired this at a place with no paranormal activity? Do the flashlights still go on and off when you move?

The only argument that I have read, that I personally liked was written by a ghost hunter in response to an article written by a skeptic who opposes this method altogether. This ghost hunter from the Midwest pointed out to the author of this article that his group keeps their flashlights completely on or completely off and then they watch to see what happens…

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