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Feel a ghost? Perhaps it's infrasound


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#1    schadeaux

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 08:44 PM

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) -- Mysteriously snuffed out candles, weird sensations and shivers down the spine may not be due to the presence of ghosts in haunted houses but to very low frequency sound that is inaudible to humans.

British scientists have shown in a controlled experiment that the extreme bass sound known as infrasound produces a range of bizarre effects in people including anxiety, extreme sorrow and chills -- supporting popular suggestions of a link between infrasound and strange sensations.

"Normally you can't hear it," Dr Richard Lord, an acoustic scientist at the National Physical Laboratory in England who worked on the project, said on Monday.

Lord and his colleagues, who produced infrasound with a seven meter (yard) pipe and tested its impact on 750 people at a concert, said infrasound is also generated by natural phenomena.

"Some scientists have suggested that this level of sound may be present at some allegedly haunted sites and so cause people to have odd sensations that they attribute to a ghost -- our findings support these ideas," said Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire in southern England.

In the first controlled experiment of infrasound, Lord and Wiseman played four contemporary pieces of live music, including some laced with infrasound, at a London concert hall and asked the audience to describe their reactions to the music.

The audience did not know which pieces included infrasound but 22 percent reported more unusual experiences when it was present in the music.

Their unusual experiences included feeling uneasy or sorrowful, getting chills down the spine or nervous feelings of revulsion or fear.

"These results suggest that low frequency sound can cause people to have unusual experiences even though they cannot consciously detect infrasound," said Wiseman, who presented his findings to the British Association science conference.

Infrasound is also produced by storms, seasonal winds and weather patterns and some types of earthquakes. Animals such as elephants also use infrasound to communicate over long distances or as weapons to repel foes.

"So much has been said about infrasound -- it's been associated with just about everything from beam weapons to bad driving. It's wonderful to be able to examine the evidence," said Sarah Angliss, a composer and engineer who worked on the project.

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#2    Nancy

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 11:04 PM

QUOTE
"Some scientists have suggested that this level of sound may be present at some allegedly haunted sites and so cause people to have odd sensations that they attribute to a ghost -- our findings support these ideas," said Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire in southern England.


Well? Doesn't that just take all the fun out of Ghosts. Shucks! Bummer!  ohmy.gif

dying is easy ... tis the living that's hard...

#3    Cufflink

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 11:29 PM

A good theory, and one that no doubt allows the sceptics to sleep that bit easier at night.  disgust.gif

As with a lot of the paranormal I suspect that this theory could account for SOME of the phenomena, but hardly all.

That story originates from my home town, yet the first I hear of it, is a quote from a CNN report.  How odd is that?  blink.gif  

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#4    babyforrest

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 11:36 PM

It said that the music was played to an audience in a London Concert Hall and that 22% of people were affected by it.  How many people were in the concert hall?  If it was 200 people only 44 were affected.  That really isn't a high number, at least not high enough to explain ghost phenomenon.

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#5    uranium101

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 11:36 PM

that explains sensations. some of them. but we have apparitions, photos, and the like which are kinda hard to explain, don't ya think?

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#6    Cufflink

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 11:45 PM

Damn right. clap.gif

As usual, those wanting to dismiss the paranormal have a very selective memory when giving us their expert  laugh.gif opinions.

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#7    Kismit

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 11:54 PM

Maybe the ultra sound waves are the missing link that connect a discorpereal to this plane of exsistence . Maybe they need a frequency disturbance like this to be able to affect people on the physical plane .



#8    Cufflink

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 12:14 AM

That's a good theory.  thumbsup.gif

There's a connected one, and from what I know, an increasingly popular one amongst scientists, that `ghosts', whatever they may be, create electro-magnetic disturbances, which affect their environments.

These electro-magnetic disturbances affect air molecules, causing temperature changes.

And those infamous temperature drops!


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#9    Kismit

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 12:26 AM

Welcome to the board Cufflink  original.gif ,

  We had a pretty long winded discussion on the theories of  where ghosts come from HERE If your interested . Be warned though it may take several hours of wading through ... enjoy your stay  wavey.gif


I dare say these are the things Exeter may be looking for have you any links on the electro magnetic disturbances theory .....?


P.S .  I like your site  original.gif  


#10    Cufflink

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 12:52 AM

Thank you Kismit for those kind words about my site!  notworthy.gif

I didn't think anyone other than my fellow warhammer enthusiasts would have spotted it.  That was very kind and very unexpected. blush.gif

As for the electro-magnetic theory, I'm afraid I only have a few Peter Underwood books on the matter, to hand.  I'll search around to see if he or the UK ghostclubs have any details online.

I'm still blushing under my helmet.   blush.gif  

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#11    Kismit

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 01:26 AM

  Your welcome Cufflink . I allways had a soft spot for Arthurian legends .


Trying desperately to get back on topic here's an article from the Whitley Strieber site .

Why churches play organ music....

I found this particular piece in the article interesting . original.gif
QUOTE
Recent studies have shown that elephants communicate this way, and that volcanoes that are getting ready to erupt may also produce infrasound
  


#12    Cufflink

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 02:32 AM

It's an interesting thought, that people's emotions might be stirred by a church organ.  I can't see how it could be controlled to elicit particular emotions, though.

My heart sank when I saw the name Richard Wiseman.    thumbdown.gif

The man is so blindingly sceptical on EVERYTHING, that were he abducted, probed, tatooed with the word `Abductee' on his forehead, and then taken for a quick spin around Venus, he would probably put it all down to a dodgy migraine.

Hopefully the greys will still have a go.   abduct.gif

There is definitely something in the infrasound theories, though.

Did you know that the US army are developing `non-lethal' sound weaponry for stuff like urban pacification?

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#13    Kismit

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 02:52 AM

Lol Cufflink ,
   there is a discussion on the board somewhere about the new wave of military euipment . I don't know if the non-lethal sound weaponry was mentuioned as I prefer not to read about nasty killing things . Urban pacification sounds no where near as bad .  


#14    Agent_21

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 04:03 AM

Urban Pacification? Give a viper a pretty name and pat it on the head!

That haunted house Dr Wiseman is building should be worth seeing. Subterranean tremors in the basement, a miasma of ghost-inducing vapours swirling about the ground floor and now a mad organist in the attic! It wouldn't surprise me if Dr W found a way of resurrecting Peter Cushing to greet 50% of the visitors with the haunted history of the house so they are primed to expect something ghostly.

Seriously, Kismit and Cufflink make a number of very good points here that could be expanded upon. Here are a couple more ideas: 1) Could ghosts exude (or excrete laugh.gif ) infrasound when they manifest? 2) Might there be an optimum temperature range within which ghosts tend to materialize? Usually the ambient temperature is low or drops. I have come across odd instances of temperature rising.


#15    Lionel

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 07:15 AM

QUOTE (Nancy @ Sep 9 2003, 04:34 AM)
Well? Doesn't that just take all the fun out of Ghosts. Shucks! Bummer!  ohmy.gif

Not yet, its still under investigation.


Here is another link I found.

Infrasound harnessed to create emotions

He who walks in another's tracks leaves no footprints. Joan Brannon




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