ScienceWeird

[Ghost News] Bowling Phantoms and Psychic Studies

What is a ghost? A miserable little pile of secrets. But enough talk…here’s some Ghost News from the past month or so.

Ghostly Activity in India

New Delhi-based activist and film director Amber Zaidi recently shared unusual security footage of a motorcycle seemingly moving on its own. In the 30 second clip, it appears to roll away from a parked position before stopping and toppling over.

Some think it’s a hoax, others that a mischievous spirit might’ve temporarily crossed the veil and attempted to go for a joy ride. In her tweet, Zaidi says that if it weren’t caught on camera, no one would believe it.

In another video, shared on January 3, white vapor can be seen floating around a group of people in Raichur, India. Most believe it’s either smoke or a reflection.

A Haunted Bowling Alley

Strange things are afoot at Daffodil Bowl in Puyallup, Washington. Its new owners claim that, over the past year, they’ve learned first hand that the old bowling alley has its own resident ghost.

The paranormal activity, they say, mainly comes in the form of phantom bowling — the unexplained sound of a bowling ball rolling down the first lane, even when no one else is in the alley and no one is actually playing.

The current owner of Daffodil Bowl, Brad Swartz, shared his story with local news station King 5. He says that while the ghost business was news to him, the previous owners and other employees were all familiar with the alley’s ghost and strange activity. Said activity includes bowling shoes moving on their own, cooking utensils flying off walls, and pin setters turning on by themselves.

One employee claims the ghost once snuck up behind her and said her name. Others have reported seeing dark figures walking behind the lanes at night. The identity of the potential ghost, however, remains a mystery. Could it be an old customer, or an employee who feels like there’s still work to do?

Dark Figure Spotted at UK Hotel

Two Scottish women believe they may have captured video of a ghost girl in a white nightgown at Liverpool’s Adelphi Hotel, known as the UK’s most haunted hotel.

According to the Daily Record, Amanda Riddock and Maria Elliot had visited the hotel some time ago. They didn’t notice anything while wandering its allegedly haunted corridors and taking footage. However, after returning to their room and watching their video, they could just make out the dark figure of what appeared to be a young girl looking back at them through a stairway window.

In a screencap shared by the Daily Record, the figure appears as a dark blur through a doorway window, perhaps in the form of a girl with long hair.

Being a historically haunted hotel, the Adelphi Hotel has accumulated quite the number of reviews on Trip Advisor. Not all of them are good, but some do mention ghost sightings. One review from September 2020 mentions “frightening noises,” while another from August 2011 reports a ghost near the bedroom door of room 200-201.

Mediums Put to the Test

An unusual study published in December attempted to test the abilities of spirit mediums, or people who claim to speak to the dead.

The study involved two groups — one a group of spirit mediums, the other a control group of random ordinary individuals. Participants were shown a total of 180 facial photographs of the deceased, and then asked to determine, with no other information, the cause of death from three given possibilities.

While the results failed to prove a link between this world and the next, they were nonetheless strange. The control group actually performed better than random chance (by 4%), while the spirit mediums performed worse. The control group also responded faster and with lower heart rates, possibly indicating they were less stressed than the mediums.

But why would the control group — regular people without any claims of psychic abilities — perform better than random chance? According to electroencephalogram data collected during the exercise, occipital lobe activity was greater in the control group. They were more focused on the photographs themselves. Presumably, the mediums were more focused on channeling something from the other side.

Perhaps this study has more to say about intuition and gut instinct than spirit communication.

That said, according to the study, some of the mediums claimed their communication with the dead came in the form of feelings. They felt the cause of death, rather than being told, and so they may have misunderstood their otherworldly messages.

The study was published in Brain and Cognition.

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