~ Written By Pattyhap1863 ~

Whenever a ghost picture pops up on the net, it gets a lot of attention. After all, ghosts have been looking for ways to scare us for centuries now. The fact is that nobody can prove their existence, and even though the pictures that pop up over the net claim for the umpteenth time that there are ghosts in them, they are debunked and quickly dismissed by the skeptics. They argue that the majority of these pictures are nothing more than great examples of pareidolia. I happen to agree with them.

Pareidolia is when the brain tries to make sense of random images. It is a perfectly natural brain function that occurs as soon as we are born. Because the first thing that our brain focuses on and learns to recognize is the human face, we subconsciously look for facial features in random patterns. Therefore, when visibility is poor our eyes can trick us into believing that there are faces or beings in random patterns. This is especially true when there is poor lighting in the room or area and normal every-day objects appear distorted. We can then argue that there is a person sitting on a couch, when it is just a blanket and pillows left there by someone. Shadows and half-light create such deceptive images that we are easily tricked, and will swear there is an apparition in the room.

Pareidolia or matrixing as it is called by some paranormal teams, is much more evident these days. The reason for this is that there are people who insist (in spite of being told otherwise) that normal objects such as gravestones have faces in them, or that trees have people standing next to or in front of them. They refuse to see patterns in the wood, or trails of erosion forming the ‘face’ or ‘figure’ and look upon it as a ghostly visitor. In reality it is just a series of random patterns and what they are doing is connecting the dots to explain what they are seeing. What is more disturbing is that sometimes these normal objects that show us ‘faces’ can be common things such as toast or a tortilla. Take a look at the picture below taken by one of our members. It shows a smiley face in the upper right of the toast. If you look closely on the bottom right hand corner there also seems to be a black jack-o-lantern. Does this mean that there is a ghost in the toast?

Not only can great illusions be created in rocks and stone, but wood grain can also give some excellent examples too. If you look at a wooden door, you can find as many faces as you want to, provided you look long enough. Our brains naturally connect the dots. What is more, if you take a picture on any ghost cam available all over the net, and look at a normal door in the half-light, there is a very good chance that you may capture what appears to be a clear face on it. Below is an example of this from a pic I took on one of these web cams. I enhanced the face using a photo shop program and got a lovely lady on the woodwork. On the right of the fireplace, I could also see the faint outline of a girl sitting there. The fact is that there is plaster peeling on the wall and this contributed to forming the image. Of course, this is a very haunted location and this capture is not saying that it isn’t. It just tells us that when we do capture an image, to be very careful because these things may be ordinary objects and to look for the real ghosts, not the false ones.

For a larger picture, please click the link: http://www.ghostsamongus.net/v2/Forums/viewtopic/p=60.html#60

Trees and foliage make excellent pareidolia pics. Below is an example of a deformed tree. When we look at it during the day, we see it for what it is. But at night in the dark, when most of the details are missing, we can be led to believe it is actually a person hugging the tree trunk. Leaves and branches can also give us remarkable examples of faces and figures and they are the objects of hundreds of thousands of ‘ghost pictures’ all over the net today.

The thing that bothers me most, is that the people who take these pics and argue that they are ghosts get so angry when you try to explain that they are brilliant examples of pareidolia and not pictures of ghosts at all. They become offended, when we have said or done nothing to offend them at all. We are analyzing the picture and NOT the photographer. Indeed, some of the pictures taken of cemeteries and natural spots are true works of art. But to say that a gravestone holds the face of a ghost when in reality it’s because the shapes seen on the gravestone are the natural wear and tear of time and weather and to fight about it or get nasty and rude, just shows us that these kinds of individuals should be ignored and avoided at all costs. This is one of the principal reasons why skeptics do not take paranormal researchers seriously. How can they when there are so many people out there that continue to defend their pics instead of contributing to the field by debunking and accepting that the ghosts so desperately sought out are not mundane ordinary objects?

Over-enhancing is also one of the main reasons why there is plenty of pareidolia in pics as well. The more you blow up the photograph, the less detail you will make out. As a result, you’ll see more figures and faces as our brains struggle to connect the dots. In all my years of studying the paranormal, I have actually come across people who have told me that the ghosts ‘use the pixelation in the pictures to manifest’. This is something that has not convinced me at all, and I’m certain this has not convinced professional photographers either!

Classic example of pareidolia taken by one of our members: Do you see the face?

We must make a stand. This has to stop if we want to work in a scientific manner and advance in the paranormal field. I recommend studying photography or at least reading and investigating what the lens see and how the shutter works. Reading about how nature wears rocks and stones, looking at pictures of rock formations, and noticing details of erosion to gain a better understanding of what is natural. Noticing the effects of light and dark, and understanding what the absence of light does to a photograph. Education is what it is all about and will ultimately be the final step to overcome pareidolia and find our way through the darkness into the light.