Tuesday 10 April 2012

Conversation With A Flashlight

Those who follow this blog know I’m skeptical about most of the evidence of “paranormal activity” captured by amateur ghost hunters.  They also know I do actually believe in ghosts.

I can easily dismiss the majority of orb images, strange mists and lights and EVPs.  But one thing I have a hard time dismissing are flashlight conversations.

Granted, I know it wouldn’t be too hard to rig a flashlight with some kind of remote trigger to get it to flash on and off on demand.  But I tend to give these ghost hunters the benefit of the doubt and believe they haven’t deliberately rigged something.  After all, if you go that route, all the evidence can be tossed because you can rig or manipulate everything.  Unless and until someone catches them, I’ll assume they’re overenthusiastic and overly credible but not outright frauds.

I have seen a flashlight conversation in person.  For those who aren’t familiar, it involves placing a flashlight on a table or the floor, out of reach of anyone present.  The spirit can then turn the light off or on to answer questions, at least in theory.  It’s actually one of the more difficult tricks for a spirit to do and most of the time, the flashlight just stays there and doesn’t do anything.  Maybe that’s why I have more confidence in it.

In this case, no one was near the light.  We tested to make sure it wouldn’t turn on if we stomped on the floor or rattled the table.  When we were all satisfied, the organizer began to ask questions.  And the light began to pulse flashes in answer to yes/no questions.  The light would pulse on for yes.  My arms were crawling with goosebumps and I felt a definite sense of presence. 

The organizer asked if the spirit was human?  Yes.  Was it a man?  No.  Was it a woman?  Yes.  Was she happy to talk to us?  Yes.  Did she like having visitors?  Yes.  After that, the flashlight stopped answering any questions and it turned out the batteries were completely drained although they had been pulled out of a new package at the beginning of the session.  Very interesting.

Now, maybe it was a rigged flashlight with a remote control.  Or maybe it wasn’t.  If it was, I don't think I would have set it up to fail after only a few questions.  More dramatic if there had been more of a story.  I don’t count it as genuine, incontrovertible proof since it is possible to be faked.  But it is less likely to be an accidental positive the way dust in the air can become orbs or lens flare can become mist or strange lights.

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