I’ve often wondered about the correlation between hauntings and electricity.
As paranormal investigators, we know that ghosts can manipulate our electronics. We’ve seen it happen over and over again. Cell phone settings get inexplicably changed during an investigation and radios or television sets get turned on and off, just to list a few. But, what if ghosts can actually pull energy from these devices?
One of the most standard pieces of paranormal investigation equipment is the EMF meter. Simply stated, an EMF meter measures the changes of the electromagnetic field in a given area. There are various units, some more precise than others, but I prefer the Mel Meter, manufactured by D.A.S. Distribution Inc., because it is easy to use and also measures the ambient room temperature. If you hold one near a source of electricity, the reading on the meter will often increase. Electrical appliances such as alarm clocks, ceiling fans, and microwave ovens will cause an EMF meter’s readings to spike upwards. So, what does this have to do with ghosts?
Everything around us is made of energy, even our own bodies. When we die, where does that energy go? Does it get released into the atmosphere around us? Or does it stay encapsulated?
Theories abound. Since energy is neither created nor destroyed, it remains. Many paranormal investigators and psychics alike believe that the energy remains with the spirit. This is one of the reasons why investigators use EMF meters, hoping to detect the presence of a ghost. It’s not why I use one, though. I use it primarily to debunk a haunting.
We were called to investigate a house where the owners felt there was a ghost in the basement. They brought us to one particular doorway, telling us they always felt as though they were being watched when they stood there. It took me about five seconds to figure it out. Beside the doorway was a very large electrical box. I put my EMF meter near it and immediately got a very high reading.
High EMF readings can affect the human body in various ways. One thing it can do is give the person the feeling of being watched or the sensation of being fearful. People who have experienced high EMF over a period of time sometimes report hallucinations as well. Health-wise, it isn’t good either as it has been linked to cancer and sleep disorders, since it could reduce the melatonin levels in the brain, which is the hormone that stimulates sleep. It can also point to a very dangerous electrical situation. The owners were advised to contact their electrician immediately to prevent a catastrophic house fire. After they fixed the electrical issue, all the sensations of a haunting stopped entirely.
Whenever I stay at a haunted inn, I will walk around with my EMF meter and check the levels. In one inn, we discovered that a faultily wired ceiling fan was causing a high EMF reading, giving the people in the bed below it the sensation of being watched. Bedside alarm clocks are also prone to emitting high levels. Correcting these man-made issues will often eliminate the feelings of a haunting, so it’s always worth looking into.
But, what if there is already a haunting and the ghosts are just using the electricity like a feeding station? Most of us have encountered something similar in the field.
We call it “battery drain.” Prior to an investigation, we always check our batteries to make sure they’re fully charged. Sometimes though, we’ll discover that our new batteries become instantly drained the minute we walk into a haunted establishment.
Many enthusiasts feel this is a ghost’s way of powering up. They will drain the batteries, and sometimes even the energy of the investigators themselves, in order to communicate or manifest. After living in a haunted house for 13 years, I can tell you that there is some validity to this theory.
Our house sat under high tension power lines. When we sold it in 2000, I knew nothing about electromagnetic energy. I just knew our house was haunted. Items moved of their own accord, footsteps could be heard in empty rooms, and writing once appeared on a wall. I’ve lived in several other locations with ghostly presences, but have never had the same level of activity. Do the ghosts feed on the extra electromagnetic energy, giving them more energy to manipulate their environment? While it doesn’t explain every haunting, I think it’s worth considering.
Rolling Hills Asylum in East Bethany, New York, is one of the most paranormally active locations I’ve ever been to. I’ve personally seen shadow figures wandering the hallways, heard footsteps and unexplained noises, and had the pleasure of having a ghost pass right through me. Every time I’ve investigated there, I’ve come away with countless class-A EVPs. I’ve also witnessed my EMF meter’s numbers rise on request. Why would one location be so much more active than many others?
Locations are usually haunted for a variety of reasons. If numerous deaths occurred there over a period of time, it would stand to reason that there would be more opportunity for a haunting. But what if there is another explanation?
I recently had a conversation with Sharon Coyle-Farley, owner of Rolling Hills Asylum to inquire about this theory.
Directly across the street from the facility is a power grid. Is it possible that the ghosts from Rolling Hills are using that energy to help them manifest and manipulate their environment?
Here’s what Sharon said:
“I hadn’t taken a reading from the power grid in ages so I went over to it. Its directly opposite the east wing (you can google earth it – 11001 Bethany Center Road, 14054) a 2 lane road – approximately 24 feet from the start of my land – and approximately 20 additional feet to the building itself (so approximately 44 – 48 feet away). The strongest hit is at the gate of the grid – varies with what I imagine to be power surges between 11.0 & 17.1 on the Mel. As soon as I take two steps in either direction – right, left or behind me it immediately subsides down to 3.0 to 4.0 on the Mel and by the time I am at the tall Cypress at the edge of my property (close to the road) it flat lines at 0.0 on the Mel. Which means – which is what I always knew (just couldn’t recall the stats) – that the power grid does NOT leak EMF into my building – which is why we get flat line readings of 0.0 on the Mel everywhere in the building -unless at a live power source – such as when the microwave in the green room is operating. So – the hits we are getting within RHA are true EMF spikes caused by spirit activity. Do I think the grid is an energy source for them – I sure do. I think they draw from it – feed from it – like going through a McDonalds for lunch – they come and go to it and it also draws other entities to it which in turn brings more entities/activity into RHA.”
This doesn’t explain every haunting, but it is something worth thinking about.
It could explain the “paranormal hangover” I always experience the day after an investigation. I’ve spoken to others who have felt the exact same way. I am just exhausted. Even if I’ve had enough sleep the night afterwards, I will always wake up the next morning so tired I can barely function. Depending on the location, it might take me days to build my energy back up. Since I’ve learned the valuable lessons on how to properly ground and shield myself, some of this has lessened, but not completely. Are the ghosts using my energy to do the things I’m asking them to do? Does every EVP come at a cost?
Part of my fascination with the paranormal field revolves around the “why” factor. I’m interested in learning more, which will hopefully help me and others better explain the experiences we continue to have as we investigate haunted locations.
If you have a theory you’d like to share, please let me know.
Working together will help us answer some of the questions we all encounter.
Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator, as well as a free-lance writer. Please check out her paranormal thrillers on Amazon.com and BarnesandNobles.com. For more information about the author, please see her website: Jonimayhan.com
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