By Cayla Braccia
Contributor to Normal Paranormal
Ever get the feeling you are being watched? Or maybe like someone is chasing you up the stairs? We see it in classic horror all the time: the hair stands up on the back of the characters neck, their breathing becomes rapid, and just when the thematic music ceases and all is quiet something terrifying happens. Was the "feeling" they got a result of some physiological response to an unknown or uncomfortable threat? Or could it have just been a thematic element used by Hollywood to make a good movie?
Surprisingly enough based on core research the "feelings" we get can possibly be used as a concise validation of paranormal activity in an applied setting. The physiological responses our bodies give (understood as the "feeling") are a direct relation to an evolutionary mechanism that was developed to keep us ready at a moment’s notice. "Fight or Flight" as it has come to be known is this reaction happening within the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system when we feel threatened or the possibility of being harmed.
So how do we differentiate these feelings from nerves while doing an investigation? How can we tell when these feelings are a reliable reaction to activity about to occur?
As someone who has studied the effects and the psychology around this notion, in my own experience the answer to these questions are simple but complex: second guess everything, but never go against your gut. It is hard to explain to anyone, but the best explanations come from experience.
About a year or two ago, myself and a co-investigator were exploring a residential case in which the owner had passed within. Upon delving into the investigation it had almost seemed like though a large amount of activity occurred, never any feelings of an anticipation of a threat or negativity emerged, until close to the end of the night. Upon entering the basement where we had already been earlier in the night with not issue, Sarah (the co-investigator) and I tried to do our own investigative session using a technique vastly different and more compassionate compared to those who were in the basement before us.
Before we could even get into our session the two of us were both overcome with something beyond fear; pure terror. Trying to ignore it and continue our session it eventually became too much to bear and in the dim lighting we could see activity occurring, activity we would have rather not witness though it may have been imperative to our investigation.
In this instance, I truly second guessed the feelings that I was having in that I wanted to believe they weren’t real and just an illusion of the situation. But in the end I went with my gut and I can truly say for myself and Sarah that our experience could certainly be used as a validation of paranormal activity.
Being in the field you learn to differentiate easily between what is in your head and what is tangible as evidence. It is the acquiring of the plausible evidence and experience that gives you the ability to discriminate between what is authentic and what is imaginative.
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