Does the ‘ghosts in the breaks effect’ stili occur?
In the old days (last century) ghost vigils were a little different to modern ghost hunting. The usual format was for people to sit around quietly in one location within a haunted property for a fixed session. Then there would be a break before moving off to another location for another session and so on. Instrumentation was minimal, maybe just a notebook, camera and sound recorder and possibly a thermometer (for cold spots). Some of the locations would be known hot spots (see here) while others were not. The idea was to experience whatever had been reported previously by casual witnesses. If anything did occur, which was extremely rare, it would be investigated to see if there might be a natural explanation.
But here’s the interesting bit. Many of the phenomena recorded on these ‘classic’ (retro?) vigils actually occurred during the breaks between official sessions. Of course, during breaks participants were not watching and listening attentively for anything unusual. Nor were there any controls in place, like knowing exactly where everyone was.
So what are we to make of this ‘ghosts in the breaks’ effect? Well, the lack of controls suggests an increased probability of natural causes. There is also the intriguing possibility that looking intently for ghostly phenomena might actually make them harder to see! I often deliberately look for misperceptions that could be taken for ghosts. I am rarely successful but then notice such misperceptions when I’m not looking for them. I wonder if the unconscious part of the brain is better at spotting such things (and then alerting the conscious bit) than the conscious bit. This makes perfect sense as misperception is an unconscious activity.
I thought the ‘ghosts in the break’ effect would have disappeared in the very differently organised ghost hunts of today. But then recently I heard a report of someone experiencing a ghost during a break in a modern vigil. I’d be interested to know if others have noticed this effect in modern vigils.
The photo is the result of my ‘looking for ghosts’. It apparently shows a ghostly white figure in the trees (though ghosts normally look like ordinary people). It isn’t terribly convincing. The ones I come across when I’m not really looking are much better.
Author :© Maurice Townsend 2021
Other Blog Entries
The Garden Poltergeist
Strange Animal Strange Voices
Short Term Memory Fallible, Too
In the breaks effect
Ghost research - why so little progress?
Door ghost returns looking ominous
How do I know I’ve seen a ghost?
Expectation and ghosts
A ghost vanishes in plain sight!