Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Ghost investigators when reviewing evidence need to be aware of the pareidolia phenomenon or matrixing. 

The word “matrixing” was coined on the T.V. show Ghost Hunters

Matrixing is the way the human brain sometimes fools the eyes and ears into seeing or hearing something in a place you would least expect them. Matrixing occurs because our brains pick out random patterns and then arranges them so they are familiar.

Investigators need to be aware of this phenomenon so they don’t mistake it for genuine paranormal evidence. 

An example of matrixing is when a person takes a picture of a tree. When they look at the picture afterwards they spot amidst the branches a human face: they can clearly see: a nose, a mouth, and eyes etc. 

At this point it should be asked are the proportions of the facial features in keeping with a normal face? Does the face stand out from the rest of the background? If not matrixing may be occurring.

Some other examples of sight matrixing include faces in liquid, figures on walls, faces at windows, our brains also matrix shadows, and faces in mirrors. All of these could be the brain making sense of random patterns. 

This does not mean that when a paranormal investigator sees faces, figures, and shadows or captures them on film that it is always our brains matrixing—it just means that it should be considered first before conclusions are drawn.

Note: Be careful when enlarging photos to see an item more clearly—this is when matrixing often occurs. 

Also when you spot a figure in real time or in a photo. First ask, does it have a shape and color all it’s own or is it made up of the shapes and colors from the background objects around it? If the latter applies it could be matrixing.

Matrixing can also happen with items you hear. Your brain just like it does with your sight tries to make sense of the sound it is hearing. 

When using white noise, or a Franks Box, Shack Hack, etc. ghost investigators need to consider whether it is words being spoken or just matrixing. 

At this point it should be asked are the words heard related to the questions asked or the conversation that was held at the location. If not matrixing might be occurring.

Here is a photo we took at the Shaffer Hotel of one of the second floor hallways; it looks like a giant figure is looming over our DVR Camera tripod:

This is a classic example of matrizing. When we looked at another photo we took at the end of this hall we spotted the bottom of what was a long art piece on the wall with the chair below. Mystery solved:

Note--this photo just shows the bottom of the art piece.

Happy Ghost Hunting!

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