Do You Know What Goes Bump in the Night?

Do You Know What Goes Bump in the Night?
January 6, 2009
Bernard Powell

"I've heard that paranormal activity is highest at night. Why would this be?" ~question via email
scared kid
Could being afraid of the dark act as its own catalyst?
Photo by Bonnie King

(SALEM, Ore.) - I believe we are either brought up with, or somehow develop a natural association with fear and darkness. A pitch-black room or sitting around a campfire at night are the perfect settings in which to share ghost stories and scare our friends, let's face it, in the dark we are more susceptible to our imaginations!

The concrete lines of what “is” and “is not” become softened and the two worlds ooze into one another, we are no longer as confident about what “can” and “can not” be lurking in the unseen as we are in the light.

To expect that paranormal or ghostly activity occurs mainly at night has more to do with this same brand of fear than anything else. Not saying that paranormal activity does not occur at night, but in my opinion, it is not regulated to any particular time of day, though it is possible that certain occurrences are more easily observable under certain conditions.

Most accounts of paranormal activity that have been brought to my attention have actually occurred during daylight hours or at least while the lights were turned on at the location. Believing that “ghosts” or entities are only active at night is akin to believing that the stars are only in the sky at night!

There are however, at least a couple of theories floating around among Paranormal Investigators as to why activity may be more likely to occur at night than during waking hours. Some theorize that we are more are more apt to notice things during night hours due to a heightening of our other senses brought on by being deprived of the faculty of sight.

Other investigators speculate that 3:00 a.m. is “the demonic hour” because it is an introversion of 3:00 p.m., which is believed to be the hour of Jesus’ death. According to this train of thought, 3:00 a.m. would be used by demons as the hour to “mock” his death... and 12:00 midnight is known as the witching hour.

From a psychological point of view, I think it is fair to say that at night, in the dark, we are more prone to attribute a sound or a movement to something paranormal because of fear. We instinctively fear what we do not know or understand... and darkness is, in the symbolic language of the human subconscious, the embodiment of ALL that is unknown.

According to popular opinion, a good reason for conducting paranormal investigations in total darkness is to be able to turn off all power in an area to better observe fluctuations in EMF fields, and while on the surface this may seem to be a reasonable technique, it has serious drawbacks. Aside from picking up changes in an immediate, localized area, EMF meters also pick up fluctuations in the earths magnetic fields and can detect lightning from as much as 6 miles away!

In the case of televised paranormal investigation, conducting every investigation in total darkness is for little more than dramatic effect because one could just as readily create a power-free environment during daylight hours by simply flipping the main power switch inside a location.

Paranormal activity is unpredictable for the most part, and who is to say that in the otherworldly realm (that our ghostly neighbors inhabit) night and day even exist?

Perhaps being afraid of the dark acts as a catalyst of some sort, the fear or uncertainness primes our minds, enabling us to catch a glimpse of something or have an experience that we otherwise would have been shut off to...

Our minds filter incoming information from our environments based on what we expect and accept as “normal”. The brain disregards some bits of information while it can also completely fabricate others to coincide with our expectations of what reality is (or is not). The darkness embraces and encloses us in its ambiguous arms, totally engulfing us while concealing from our view everything around us.

The bottom line I believe is this, whether or not specters and spooks are among us in the daylight... we all fear the things... that go BUMP in the night.

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