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There is a common idea that ghostly, or haunting phenomenon, are accompanied by disturbances to the local magnetic fields in a haunted location. This is different to, but often confused with, the theory that certain magnetic fields - EIFs (experience inducing fields) - can produce hallucinations in certain individuals that can resemble haunting experiences. For the same of siomplicity I will refer to HIF (haunting induiced fields) to describe the idea of hauntings and ghosts producing magnetuic disturbances. As far as I know there is no official name for the idea.

There are several differences between EIFs and HIFs. Most importantly, EIFs need to be present for a prolonged period (over 20 minutes or so) to produce any hallucinations. In contrast, it is claimed that HIFs generally consist of short period disturbances, sometimes called spikes, far too short to be EIFs. Whereas it rtequires a magnetometer to identify EIFs, it is claimed that a simple EMF meter can measure HIFs. Indeed, it is usually held that when haunbting phenomena manifest, they are accompanbied by spikes on EMF meter readings. This article is concerned with HIFs. For more on EIFs see here.

Haunting induced fields

Despite years of looking into the matter I have never been able to deduce the origin of the idea of HIFs. Perhaps it arose simply from some observations that spikes tended to coincide with haunting phenomena. This lack of an obvious origin to the theory perhaps explains why it is so vague. There are differing ideas about what constitutes a 'spike'. In addition, there is no definite list of phenomena that are supposed to coincide with it. This is important because some phenomena are potentially verifiable, like object movement, whereas others are more subjective, like a 'sad feeling', which could arise from suggestion rather than any external influence. In addition, some people regard seeing 'spikes' on an EMF meter as indicating haunting activity even when none is being observed!

What evidence is there that HIFs exist? It appears to be mostly anecdotal with people reporting seeing 'spikes' on EMF meters when phenomena occur. This lack of a firm experimental foundation has not stopped the idea becoming widely accepted! It is, then, time to examine whether we should take the idea seriously. To start this process we need to define what exactly a 'spike' is and what kind of haunting phenomena it is supposed to coincide with.

What IS a spike?

Ambient magnetic fields at any location vary all the time. The field strength (technically flux density) at one point depends on the interaction of fields from any number of possible sources. There is the geomagnetic field which is present everywhere. It varies slowly, so it cannot be said to cause a spike. In a building there will be magnetic fields produced by all kinds of electrical appliances and their power sources and cabling. In addition, and often overlooked, any ferromagnetic object (such as one made or iron or steel) distorts the local field. If the object is moved, the distortion alters, so potentially producing a spike in a nearby EMF meter. So someone on a ghost vigil walking past a meter with something steel in their pockets might cause a spike.

So what exactly IS a spike? Most people would say it is a short-term, temporary change, usually upwards, in the ambient magnetic field. But how long is short-term? And, given that the field varies all the time, how big a change constitutes a spike? And does it always have to be upwards? And what if the field has a step-change where it stays high. Is that a spike? And what is the baseline level against which we measure this spike? It is clear that defining a spike is a lot more complex than at first it appears!

<<< Diagrams here >>>

Maybe show different field changes that produce identical spike in EMF meter

What kind of haunting phenomena?