5 Questions that still remain unexplained by science #3

3. Ghosts and Paranormal Activities

Who doesn’t like a good ghost story? Ghost stories and horror films are sure to have one on the edge, biting one’s nails and waiting anxiously for the next thrilling moment. And the thrill is amplified by the much-expected sounds of creaking doors, whistling winds and ghostly groans and moans.

Many a time, people report strange occurrences that cannot be easily explained. But when one investigates further, most of these happenings have perfectly scientific explanations.

Here are some of the common reasons behind ghostly activities

Common reasons behind Ghosts and Paranormal activity

Abnormal Sounds

An online search for ghostly places often leads to images of tall buildings. The presence of multiple tall buildings leads to, what is called, the urban canyon effect. Any sounds in the lower parts of the building get amplified and heard as strange whispers, bangs and otherworldly sounds.

Helmholtz Resonance is another reason for sound amplification. There is a much-publicized case of a haunted building where mysterious ghostly whistling constantly occured. It was later found that disgruntled workers had embedded glass bottles on the roof which resonated the sound of wind passing over them causing eerie noises. Something similar also happens in the case of buildings with long narrow windows . Many old buildings with high ceilings fall in this category.

The vibratory hum of machinary, air conditioning units etc are also sometime perceived as abnormal sounds.

Abnormal Sensations

Infrasound, sometimes referred to as low-frequency sound, refers to the sound waves with a frequency below 20 Hz. It lies at the lower limit of human auditory ability. Many animals, however, can perceive this sound.

Infrasound, as per some studies, is said to cause varied sensations such as anxiety, headache, general discomfort and even abnormal sensations like being elsewhere (probably due to effects on the cerebellum). Effects on blood pressure and heart rate have also been reported in some experiments. The resonance of our internal body organs at very low frequencies of infrasound is said to cause them to vibrate leading to the symptoms.

While some studies have explored this angle, we do not have definitive proof yet. With more studies targeted at this, things might get clearer in time.

Many psychotropic drugs, psychological conditions, toxins and gases like carbonmonoxide can also lead to abnormal sensations as well as hallucinations.


Many psychological conditions, alcohol and hallucinogenic drugs and toxins can lead to the perception of visions and apparitions.

A relatively high concentration of Electromagnetic radiation has been found in haunted places. The source of electromagnetic radiation could be different type of equipments. How it effeccts the human physiology and psychology to produce is yet to be fully understood.

Moving objects

Objects moving or falling off their own accord is a source of much debate and discussion. Many such cases can be debunked by understanding the physics behind such occurances.

Sometimes, such events are deliberate or are easy to execute pranks too.

All in all, many cases of ghosts and paranormal can be debunked scientifically. Some are being studied and we will have answers in time. Some, however, are still a mystery and science is in a constant quest to find answers to these.