Another example of poor reasoning in the investigation of ‘paranormal’ activity:

Another day and another video of ‘paranormal activity’ reported in the media.  Unsurprisingly, the incident involved a ‘ghost-hunting trio’ giving suggestion that if you are in pursuit of and expectant of paranormal activity, then your interpretation of any objective data is distorted through your expectation.

Case in point, this time it is from the UK’s Daily Express and the article and video is linked below:


A GHOST-HUNTING trio was left stunned after a poltergeist was caught on CCTV ‘opening’ a candle lantern door in a hotel bar, just yards from where they were sat sipping tea.

Source: WATCH: Ghost hunters shocked by poltergeist caught on CCTV | Weird | News | Daily Express




The trio were ‘scouting’ for a future investigation.  Such implies they were actively pursuing paranormal activity, thus colouring their perception as outlined above.

As reported, their first thought was ‘is this really happening?’, further supporting the analysis as to their expectations.  As if further adding credibility, they claim to have shared the clip with friends in an attempt to ‘de-bunk’, yet none have been successful.

So here is the de-bunk:

-the report states that the trio identified the candle was not lit at the time.  The video confirms such.  The assertion here is that the cause of the door opening was not due to the expansion of the metal frame/lock or the increase in air pressure within the lantern.

-what is absent however is evidence as to if the candle had been lit in the period prior to the clip.  The closing of a latch mechanism under the expansion of heat from the flame is a possible cause for the occurrence.  The failure to close the door and/or latch correctly whilst the candle is lit can lead to the distortion of the door and frame as a result of the heat.  The subsequent effect is that the door may ‘close’ and stay in such a position until the cooling of the frame leads to the contraction of the door/frame interface – resulting in the ‘click’ as the door ‘pops’ out of the frame and releases to swing open.

-the lantern is situated upon a bar.  Given the mechanical nature of beverage pump lines that run beneath the bar, there is a significant potential for harmonic resonance from these causing the vibration of the lantern door.  If the door had been ineffectively closed (note the lack of confirmation as to if the latch on the door had ever been closed), then the subsequent vibration of the frame/door is a possible cause for the release and motion of the door.  External traffic (note the proximity of daylight to the left hand side of the shot) is also a plausible source for the cause of such vibration and the subsequent door motion.  Indeed, the basic use of Google Maps shows that the bar/hotel is situated in very close proximity to a narrow road and that there is a bus stop adjacent to the window.  The presence of a bus is an extremely likely cause for the vibration that is a likely cause of the doors motion.

-the claim that the loud clicking of the doors release was not caught by the CCTB footage is the result of a false perception or the adjustment of the video.  The video clip contains the audible ‘creaking’ of an opening door, yet there is no recording of the ‘loud pop’ as the door released.  The wooden door at the front-bottom of the frame is stationary and so is dismissed as the cause of the audible creaking sound.  Further supporting the notion that whatever ‘pop’ the trio heard was unrelated to the doors motion is that such a loud ‘pop’ would suggest a violent release.  The reflected light upon the lantern is stable and so suggests that no such violent release of the mechanism occurred.  An attempt to explain the motion of the door is likely to have dismissed common occurences (such as the sound of a bus outside the window) and may also result in the creation of a false memory, accounting for the ‘memory’ of a ‘loud pop’ where there is unlikely to have been one.



No paranormal activity present.  The witnesses have inadvertently distorted their perception of events through their expectations and desires.  They have failed to identify, or effectively rule out, the likely cause for the doors motion – a release caused by contraction or harmonic resonance.





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