Ghosts that don’t move

Ghosts that don’t move

I noticed someone sitting in a parked van recently. I do all sorts of stuff for entertainment in lockdown. It caught my attention because I've often seen that van parked but never seen anyone in it. The person appeared rather thin and was leaning forward perhaps looking at something on the floor of the cab. I watched for a while to see what happened but the person remained completely still. I looked away, just for a second, and when I looked back the figure had gone. It would have been physically impossible for anyone to have moved out of sight from that position in just a second! So, a ghost then!


I looked closely at the scene and realised the shape of the figure was still there. But now it consisted of a pattern of sunlit areas of the seat and dark shadows, coupled with a reflection in the nearside window. It was a day of intense sunshine throwing dark shadows. Clearly the 'figure', which had previously looked utterly lifelike, was a misperception. The fact that I've never seen anyone, ghost or real person, in that familiar van before shows how misperceptions depend on very specific circumstances and are not that common.


I have been noticing misperceptions for many years now, frequently human figures. In most cases the misperception is stationary. If the object, or objects, being misperceived moves it often reveals its true identity and the misperception 'breaks'. I suspect a large proportion of completely static ghostly figures reported may actually be misperceptions, though I couldn't put a figure on it. There are, of course, also moving perceptions (see shadow ghost in the snow video for example) but they are rarer. Certainly, simply because a ghostly figure moves you cannot rule out misperception.

Author :© Maurice Townsend 2020

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