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Paranormal Investigations and Research
I suspect most of you have watched the television show “Ghost Hunters” or have that of some other paranormal groups, will likely recognize what has commonly been referred to as the “Flashlight Game” (or experiment) by various folks in the paranormal community.
In case you aren’t familiar with it, please allow me to describe the scenario. Typically, several investigators will sit in a dark room around a flashlight which is normally set on the floor or on a flat surface of some kind, and attempt communication by asking any entity present to turn the light on and off. The light turning on or off, seemingly on its own, is then considered to be a response from entity or entities present. Sadly, it appears that a fair number of people believe it is an effective method of communication… but is it?
But let’s take a minute to think about the flashlight itself. You see, before the “flashlight experiment” can be carried out during a paranormal investigation, the flashlight must first be tampered with. In fact, what investigators do, depending on their particular model, is either push the switch or twist the cap precariously between the on and off position, thus making the instrument that much more delicate. At this position, little if any vibration from a person or the environment is required to cause the light to turn all the way on, off, or flicker.
A flashlight contains several parts that come together to make the device work. Among these parts are contact strips, the switch, and the bulb or LED. Batteries, of course, are also essential to the use of most models. Activated by a switch allowing the flow of electrons, the filament in the bulb, or an LED begins to glow thus producing light. Disrupting the flow of this electricity, which is exactly what happens when you place the flashlight between the ON/OFF positions, i.e. unscrewing the body, creates an open circuit and, as a direct result, it doesn’t work as designed.
But what, you ask, about the responses investigators seem to get from ghosts in regards to the questions asked? Now that we know the flashlight is being used improperly, and is malfunctioning as a result, these alleged responses become suspect. One of the major problems with this method is how unscientific it is used in conjunction with a paranormal investigation. By example paranormal researchers are taking the flashlight only to locations they believe may be haunted and are using the flickering light to prove their case! Why aren’t the investigators testing the validity of the method in locations they don’t believe to be haunted? Perhaps the investigators have, but where is this mentioned? If the “flashlight game” is attempted in a non-haunted setting and behaves in a similar fashion, why would anyone believe it would be any different in a reportedly haunted location?
In conclusion, the “flashlight game” as used by ghost hunting groups on television, and in amateur teams around the country, is a severely flawed method for obtaining scientific validation of ghost communication. It can be explained easily by non-paranormal means as simple manipulation of the flashlight itself and an all too eager community of believers.
Don’t get me wrong here there could be something in all this however more true science is need… so I propose a challenge to all of you playing the “flashlight game” …
1) Use 2 flashlights, one with a black body, the other some other color such as red or blue.
2) Place the units on a platform that will absorb vibration, and that has clamps to hold part of the flashlight body still.
3) Instruct the entity to turn on the black flashlight for “yes”, the red flashlight for ”no”.
Remember these entities were people once too, or so some believe, as such they should be able to understand something more simple commands.