Myself and some other researchers get the same stories over and over from people that call, write or email us for help with what they think is a haunting. These misconceptions are ingrained by TV, the movies, religion, superstition, legends, and mother culture. Here is a list of things that are NOT paranormal and misconceptions that the public in general tend to believe.
To be effective in this field you have to not only learn about the paranormal but also about the normal. You have to study psychology, child psychology, medical conditions, science, electricity, energy and a host of other things that are necessary to be a competent and rational resource for people who think they are haunted. I am a firm believer in spirits and in paranormal activity but after almost four decades in this research, working case after case, I am well versed in what is NOT paranormal. I get letters and phone calls all the time from people who tell me the same things that they have been misled to think are paranormal by ghost hunters, TV shows, religious superstition and more. The most popular misconceptions I hear all the time are:
1. I hear this at least once every week: My toddler is seeing and talking to someone and I know it is a ghost. Toddlers are prone to night terrors, talking to imaginary friends and realistic play where they act out scenarios and even conversations. This is NORMAL behavior for toddlers from the ages of 2 to as old as 6 years of age in some cases. Please reference: http://seattlemamadoc.seattlechildrens.org/toddler-sleep-4-reasons-toddlers-wake-up-at-night/
2. I hear this at all the time: I woke up with scratches that have no explanation. We all scratch in our sleep and we actually reach places you never thought you could. We do it every night. Many people believe that anything that comes in 3's is the devil's work. Scratches are always usually three parallell marks because our three longest fingers, are the ones we scratch with. This is NOT paranormal. There are also numerous medical conditions which can even produce scratches, bruises etc that seem to be without cause: http://www.pinellaspascoparanormal.com/medicalconditions.htm
3. This one comes from the movies but people still think it is a real paranormal sign. “Insects, frogs etc, have invaded out yard, home or windows.” This is not paranormal folks. The movie the exorcists started this nonsense. Insects swarm for hundreds of reasons and none of them have anything to do with ghosts. Amphibians and reptiles often amass also and they even get into houses all the time. Ghosts do not cause these natural events with animals. Do your homework look it up, and you will find that these animal infestations are natural and happen all the time. Another common claim is "MY dog or cat is looking at something or growling at something that he sees and we don't. FACT: Animals hearing and sometimes their vision is different from ours. Cats see in a different light spectrum than we do so they can see the tiniest insect or microscopic cobweb etc that we do not see. Dogs can hear things from blocks away and from outside even with all the doors and windows closed. they react accordingly. It does not always mean there are ghosts tormenting your pet. There is a humorous saying that every cat will eventually do battle with "The invisible thing" because cats also play in this manner. Studying animal behavior is something we also have done here at PPP.
4. Normal occurrences that people make into paranormal signs when they are scared or think they are haunted:
A. Pictures falling off the wall. Unless the picture flew 20 feet across the room, or through the air, it is not paranormal. Things fall off the wall for many reasons all the time folks.
B. Objects vanishing and appearing later. People mislay their stuff all the time and more often than not that is exactly what happened. It is also possible that someone else moved it? Pets take things too. Spirits can move objects but most of the time they do it when you are watching so they can enjoy the reaction.
5. Spirits are everywhere all the time and sometimes we catch a glimpse of one passing through or passing by BUT that does not mean you are being haunted and it does not mean you are a psychic medium. This happens to just about everyone sooner or later. People who are gifted in this manner are rare and few to be honest. I get at least 75 calls every year from people who all tell me they are gifted, they have always seen spirits, everyone in their family is gifted, spirits follow them, they are ghost magnets etc. etc. etc. Many people think their teenager is a medium. Countless teens believe they are mediums now or are haunted because they watch too many TV shows, and it is a popular topic these days. Some teens want to be special or crave attention. Teens are not any more susceptible to being mediumistic than anyone else, they just are more dramatic, and have a more active imagination. There are gifted people of all ages all over the world but not as many as people think there are. Most of the ones you see on TV are actors and actresses not real mediums. A real medium usually will never brag about it or exploit it and often keep very much to themselves unless their help is truly needed. If everyone had these gifts and or problems the entire world would be gifted or haunted. For every 5000 people that think they are spirit sensitive, only perhaps 30 really are. If everyone was a spirit sensitive they would not need to call us for help, they would know exactly what was there and what to do.
6. Another common complaint is "My motion sensor lights outside are acting crazy, and going off or on for no reason. Motions sensor lights are very unpredictable and subject to all kinds of interference and malfunction. Many things affect them and the worst ones are the solar powered ones. They malfunction all the time. So this kind of thing does not always mean a ghost is out there tripping them. About 88 percent of the time the lights are being triggered by something else or just malfunctioning.
7. Many panicked parents say..."I hear voices on my baby monitor." Spirits can talk and be picked up on these monitors because they are so sensitive. They are made to hear the baby breathing. The problem is that they can also pick up sounds and voices from as far away as the house next door. It could be your neighbors TV, that you hear and that you think is your ghost. If the voice sounds loud enough to sound like it is in the room, then pay attention but if not, explore the other possibilities before you panic.
Everyone eventually will have some kind of paranormal experiences and maybe more than one, but very few people are truly attracting ghosts. Before you take normal things and make a haunting out of nothing, please learn a bit about it. Go to the real researchers with decades in and not the TV reality shows and the New age, fortune teller, fakers. Education is beneficial and wonderful for all things. We strive at this website to provide education on this subject from every angle. We may not always tell you what you want to hear or what you want to believe, but we will tell you what we have learned in this long journey of working with "real" hauntings and real research, not the misconceptions encouraged by the current craze of ghost hunting.