http://www.apaw71.dsl.pipex.com/decisions/ Paranormal Phenomena: Equipment failure in haunted locations

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Equipment failure in haunted locations

It is often reported that equipment mysteriously goes wrong at haunted locations. Cameras that normally work fine suddenly stop working for no apparent reason. Batteries are found to be completely drained even though they were recently recharged.

This might be a paranormal phenomenon in its own right but no one seems to have formally studied it yet. When they do, the following questions need to be answered:

a) are equipment faults REALLY any more common at haunted locations or are they just NOTICED more because of the occasion? In other words, is it a question of suggestion rather than the paranormal?

b) how much is the equipment used normally? How often do you use an EMF meter? Probably only on ghost investigations! If that's the case then how do you know the meter is reliable normally?

c) how do cold, damp, dusty conditions (typical of some haunted locations such as castles and stately homes) affect equipment reliability?

d) have rechargeable batteries been abused? Many people do not follow the instructions on rechargeable batteries. The result is batteries that discharge much more quickly than they should.

e) what is normal battery performance? Digital cameras get through batteries at a frightening rate, even in standby mode. Equipment may be left on much more during an investigation than would happen in everyday use. Always take spare batteries!

f) is equipment checked at the start of investigations? Equipment should always be tested at the start of an investigation. In particular, wiring connections should be checked as they can be affected by damp and dust or might just be loose. Also, some equipment doesn't react well to being knocked around in transit to the venue.

Only once these questions have been answered can we really say that there is anything unusual about equipment failure at haunted locations. I've seen equipment fail at such places but the reasons have always been obvious, natural and the fault fixed easily on site.

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