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Old 19th September 2021, 08:55 PM   #41
Meadmaker
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
Now, that is nothing new for a lot of you. But, for me, it somewhat is. At the same time, I think a lot of people just scream "hogwash" and move on. It's like when I see someone claiming to have psychic experiences...I am not immediately going to discount their "experience". But I would be interested in seeing if they experience a difference in brain function when they think they these things are occurring, for example. I've actually seen one study like this, which showed no difference in brain activity.
Yeah, that can be a bit of a problem.

It is an interesting area of study. Why do people believe what they believe? Especially if those beliefs are, well, demonstrably false or, in the case of paranormal experiences, part of a pattern that includes so many demonstrable false claims that we can reasonable assume the rest are false as well. Trying to discuss it with people whose only interest is to yell "Hogwash" is a bit of an issue. Sometimes I think some posters think you get extra points for vitriol when insulting wooish posters.

The Skeptical Inquirer used to be a great source for information like this. In addition to just plain debunking, they also went into the psychology of belief sometimes. I actually renewed my subscription for the first time in about 20 years last year, but I found it boring. I don't know if the magazine changed, or I did.
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Old 19th September 2021, 10:29 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
If I told you that I felt the footsteps of a pet across my bed, when the pet wasn't in the room, would you say that I was insincere?

This is not to argue, I just want to better understand your position.

And yes, I did experience such an event.
I experienced that too, after a much loved cat died. I felt him walk across me, and then heard him purring beside my pillow.

The human mind is a remarkable thing.

To answer the OP question: I think we can safely rule out the existence of the paranormal until and unless a good reason to rule it in is finally produced. The only good reason would be clear, objective evidence. Anecdotes like yours and mine certainly do not qualify. But that does not mean those who report them are not doing so sincerely and honestly. Just that there is no need to postulate the existence of the paranormal to explain them.
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Old 19th September 2021, 10:51 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
At my grandmother’s funeral, I and several others saw a woman, completely white (skin, hair, dress) walking on a hill beneath a tree…occasionally disappearing and re-appearing.

That more the type of experience?

(I also know what mine really was, but would never had guessed if I hadn’t looked at the time).


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Can't believe you left us hanging like this.. what was the explanation?!
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Old 20th September 2021, 01:44 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
<snip>

Or, are we done with such things, in the opinion of this group?
I want to answer this question. I had a look at the number of threads in this sub forum over time. Recent pages in this sub forum cover a far bigger time period than older pages. This fact is not true in the science sub forum.

So there has been a massive loss of interest by members of this forum of the paranormal.
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Old 20th September 2021, 05:17 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post
Can't believe you left us hanging like this.. what was the explanation?!

Oh, sorry! I’ve told the story several times here before, so figured most knew

It was a cow.

A mostly black cow, with white forelegs and a strip of white across its front shoulders. In the shade under the tree, all you could see was the white. When it turned towards or away from us, the “woman” would disappear.

And about a half-dozen of us would believe in ghosts if I hadn’t climbed s fence for a close look


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Old 20th September 2021, 08:13 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
Understood. My interest in these things has taken a shift from "proving" them "real", to understanding why people perceive such things. Meaning, say, when someone says that they were confronted by a "ghost", I don't automatically doubt their experience. I want to understand what they experienced, and find a way to explain it.

Now, that is nothing new for a lot of you. But, for me, it somewhat is. At the same time, I think a lot of people just scream "hogwash" and move on. It's like when I see someone claiming to have psychic experiences...I am not immediately going to discount their "experience". But I would be interested in seeing if they experience a difference in brain function when they think they these things are occurring, for example. I've actually seen one study like this, which showed no difference in brain activity.
Could you link to it? I read a lot about this stuff and I can't recall a study that matches your description. Thanks.
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Old 20th September 2021, 08:18 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Could you link to it? I read a lot about this stuff and I can't recall a study that matches your description. Thanks.
This is the one I was thinking of:

Quote:
Researchers have used neuroimaging to study the existence of ESP. The scientists used brain scanning techniques to determine if the individuals have knowledge that cannot be explained through normal perceptual processing. The results appear to disprove the existence of ESP.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0103161531.htm
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Old 20th September 2021, 08:20 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
If I told you that I felt the footsteps of a pet across my bed, when the pet wasn't in the room, would you say that I was insincere?

This is not to argue, I just want to better understand your position.

And yes, I did experience such an event.
I would accept your experience as happening (unless you had prior), what I wouldn't accept is your conclusion that it was a ghost cat.

For me this is the central issue, you are not in fact describing an experience you are presenting a conclusion.

I always maintain that I have seen ghosts, the issue is not the experience, but the conclusion people shoehorn into that word i.e. supernatural, spirits of the dead, "resonance" in the energy of the building" and so on.

Rather than following the evidence you (3rd person) are leading the evidence.
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Old 20th September 2021, 08:25 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
I think you are missing the point, while at the same time solidly cementing it. I'm not debating it with you. I am not making a claim of the "paranormal", just relaying an experience.
But that claim isn't doing that. The experience would be "I felt small regular pressure points moving across the bed, they felt like a cat was walking across the bed". But that isn't what you are saying, you are saying that an invisible/ghost cat walked across your bed.
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Old 20th September 2021, 08:44 AM   #50
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And I said the same, even though I never for a moment seriously thought the ghost of my dead cat visited me that night. Describing what an experience felt like does not automatically imply a belief that what it felt like was what it actually was.
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Old 20th September 2021, 09:07 AM   #51
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I think I'm liable to see things when I get very emotional, and sometimes those things are relevant to whatever is upsetting me (i.e. face of a dead person). Whether they are "real" in some spiritual sense is of no interest at all to me.

I'd probably be more open to the idea than most here, but I truly just don't care.
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Old 20th September 2021, 09:54 AM   #52
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Grief hallucinations are actually quite common.
I, too, have felt the presence, the physical presence, of one of my deceased cats. It seemed entirely real. It is, of course, just the brain playing tricks.
https://theconversation.com/sensing-...-helpful-81048
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Old 20th September 2021, 01:39 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Grief hallucinations are actually quite common.
I, too, have felt the presence, the physical presence, of one of my deceased cats. It seemed entirely real. It is, of course, just the brain playing tricks.
https://theconversation.com/sensing-...-helpful-81048
What is it with these Ghost Cats?

My experience was not grief-related. We had a live cat in the house, but one that was not allowed to sleep with us, and was kept outside of the bedroom at night (no possible entrance).

One night, I feel the “cat” walking on the bed. This is a pretty distinct sensation. Of course, the number one possibility would be that “real cat” was on the bed. But, nope. I just figured my mind was playing tricks on me.

I brought it up to my partner a couple of weeks later. She was animated about it, as she had experienced the same thing on occasion, but had not mentioned it to me. We laughed about it, and we did end up often making jokes attributing things to “Ghost Cat”. We didn’t really believe there was a ghost, however.

I don’t know what I should attribute that experience to, really. I just know there is more likely a logical explanation than a spectral feline. “Real Cat” left us about two years ago, now. No signs of her ghostly presence since then, sadly.
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Old 20th September 2021, 03:29 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
What is it with these Ghost Cats?

My experience was not grief-related. We had a live cat in the house, but one that was not allowed to sleep with us, and was kept outside of the bedroom at night (no possible entrance).

One night, I feel the “cat” walking on the bed. This is a pretty distinct sensation. Of course, the number one possibility would be that “real cat” was on the bed. But, nope. I just figured my mind was playing tricks on me.

I brought it up to my partner a couple of weeks later. She was animated about it, as she had experienced the same thing on occasion, but had not mentioned it to me. We laughed about it, and we did end up often making jokes attributing things to “Ghost Cat”. We didn’t really believe there was a ghost, however.

I don’t know what I should attribute that experience to, really. I just know there is more likely a logical explanation than a spectral feline. “Real Cat” left us about two years ago, now. No signs of her ghostly presence since then, sadly.
Again you are claiming your conclusion not your experience.

According to what you posted above the cat wasn’t allowed to sleep with you so how did you know what a cat walking on the bed felt like?
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Old 20th September 2021, 03:31 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
According to what you posted above the cat wasn’t allowed to sleep with you so how did you know what a cat walking on the bed felt like?
As though the only time the cat might walk on the bed is at night, when the humans sleep? I never said the cat wasn't ever allowed on the bed.

Silly argument, imo. Not one that I will debate any further.
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Old 20th September 2021, 07:45 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
I don’t know what I should attribute that experience to, really. I just know there is more likely a logical explanation than a spectral feline. “Real Cat” left us about two years ago, now. No signs of her ghostly presence since then, sadly.
Hypnogogic/hypnopompic hallucination. I was once convinced in the middle of the night that there was a mouse on the bed.
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Old 20th September 2021, 09:14 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Hypnogogic/hypnopompic hallucination. I was once convinced in the middle of the night that there was a mouse on the bed.
I was once convinced in the middle of the night that a mouse had run right across me. Then, in my dim, mostly still asleep brain, I realized that I had bought a hamster the day before. Sure enough, she had gotten out of the cage. I got her safely back to her home.



And....as a small child, eight or nine years old, I was deathly afraid of spiders. I still don't like them much. I dreamed one night that a spider was descending on a thread toward me in my bed. It scared me enough to wake me up....and....you guessed it, there was a spider descending toward me. I bolted out of bed and ran toward the other side of the room and turned the light on. I probably stayed there an hour before I got up enough courage to get back into bed. I remembered how that spider looked for years.

And then, years later, I think. I was probably a teenager, one day I was thinking about that creepy spider descending toward me.....and realized that I could see it quite clearly. But...it was the middle of the night. There was no light source. The spider was white, and I could see it clearly. Obviously, the part about seeing a real spider never happened.

I did jump out of bed, though. I "remembered" waking up after the first spider dream. I do not remember waking up after the second, very brief spider dream. I know I ended up across the room with the light on.
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Old 21st September 2021, 07:35 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
As though the only time the cat might walk on the bed is at night, when the humans sleep? I never said the cat wasn't ever allowed on the bed.

Silly argument, imo. Not one that I will debate any further.
That was not an argument, it was a question. It does seem strange the cat was allowed onto your bed whilst you were under the covers at other times but hey households are often chaotic places.
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Old 21st September 2021, 09:11 AM   #59
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Less forum response & why Google consolidation versus other search engines

For the comment (from rjh01) "So there has been a massive loss of interest by members of this forum of the paranormal" I'd like to respond. Perhaps it is because --- after decades of paranormal observations among forum members --- a hard-core belief has taken hold in some. That belief being, that 99.99% (or more!) of the paranormal believers are either outright frauds, or simply (and with little or no self awareness) delusional.

The group of frauds ranging from simple attention getters to full-time con artists seeking money. Many of these offer fragmented undeveloped stories as spin masters and overlap with pathological liars. Perhaps they represent 5-10% while the rest are simply delusional.

Its frankly difficult to figure out.

In either case they are not a responsible group to showcase paranormal activity as rising to a level of reality. Thus, a fall-off in long-term forum interactions.

On a side note, I have noticed that the Google search engine has over the past year swung heavily towards highlighting (often the first 15-50 listings) to pro-paranormal sites, particularly under IMAGES, while Bing, AOL, duckduckgo, and even PCH.com (Publishers Clearing House) equally highlight pro and con (skeptical) offerings about equally. Can anyone offer an explanation for that?
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Old 21st September 2021, 09:39 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
I don’t know what I should attribute that experience to, really. I just know there is more likely a logical explanation than a spectral feline. “Real Cat” left us about two years ago, now. No signs of her ghostly presence since then, sadly.
You're leaving out a very obvious, very important category of explanation:

Phenomena that have a logical explanation but don't provide enough data to determine conclusively which logical explanation applies.

I think the top possibilities for your experience are:

1. Hallucination

2. Misinterpretation

3. Faulty recollection

My guess would be some combination of the above. You felt something, it wasn't actually much like a cat walking, but your brain interpolated some phantom sensory inputs to help make sense of it, and over the years your memory has worked to fill in and shore up the idea that it was a cat walking.

But the anecdote you relate simply lacks anything near the level of reliable detail to actually determine which of these things it was, and to what degree any of them played a part in what you believe happened.

For the most part, the best answer to the question of "what's really going on when someone sees a ghost" is going to be "they didn't provide enough reliable data to even try figuring out what's really going on".

The best we can do is attribute the sighting to phenomena that are already independently known to exist, like errors of perception and errors of memory. If this isn't satisfactory to you, it's on you to figure out what else you want, and how to go about getting it.
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Old 21st September 2021, 02:22 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Hypnogogic/hypnopompic hallucination. I was once convinced in the middle of the night that there was a mouse on the bed.
Was it a hypnopotamouse?
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Old 21st September 2021, 02:30 PM   #62
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Maybe it was a rhymenocerous. Its lyrics are bottomless.
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Old 21st September 2021, 07:24 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Sherlock View Post
On a side note, I have noticed that the Google search engine has over the past year swung heavily towards highlighting (often the first 15-50 listings) to pro-paranormal sites, particularly under IMAGES, while Bing, AOL, duckduckgo, and even PCH.com (Publishers Clearing House) equally highlight pro and con (skeptical) offerings about equally. Can anyone offer an explanation for that?
Google heavily tailors your search results.
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Old 21st September 2021, 07:33 PM   #64
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No, sorry, I'm going to rant about this again, because it's annoying and it's something that everybody should know by now.

RANT! Two people will see different Google results for the same search terms.

Google customises the search results not only on your past search history, but on your location, your operating system, your browsing history, your cookies, what advertising you have responded to, and dozens of other parameters, even if you're not logged on to your Google account.

If you're seeing more paranormal sites in your Google searches, it means that Google has reason to believe that you're more interested in seeing those kinds of sites. Other search engines do not do this as extensively as Google does. DuckDuckGo makes a selling point out of not doing it at all.


Okay I'm done. Carry on.
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Old 22nd September 2021, 02:26 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
Was it a hypnopotamouse?
There's an easy way to prove if it was.

Was the sum of your fear of the hypnopotamouse equal to the sum of your fears of two other mice?
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Old 22nd September 2021, 06:17 AM   #66
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My memory may be foggy, but I believe that it was last year where someone on the ISF posted an article from a prominent parapsychology research facility which announced that they were ceasing research into the paranormal, as no evidence had ever been found.

However, they were now going to study the psychology of belief in such things.
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Old 22nd September 2021, 08:29 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
That was not an argument, it was a question. It does seem strange the cat was allowed onto your bed whilst you were under the covers at other times but hey households are often chaotic places.
My experience with cats is that it's not really ever a question of allowing them onto the bed.
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Old 22nd September 2021, 08:45 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Sherlock View Post
For the comment (from rjh01) "So there has been a massive loss of interest by members of this forum of the paranormal" I'd like to respond. Perhaps it is because --- after decades of paranormal observations among forum members --- a hard-core belief has taken hold in some. That belief being, that 99.99% (or more!) of the paranormal believers are either outright frauds, or simply (and with little or no self awareness) delusional.
The way I see it, the interest from forum members is almost entirely an interest in "chew toys". What's fallen off a cliff in recent years is woosters interested in coming here to promote and defend woo claims.

This has also led to some long-running debunkers losing interest in the forum once it stopped being a big draw for their counter-parties. I seem to recall a few of the 9/11 debunking regulars explicitly stated they were backing away because it was clear their work was done and there was no more significant debunking left to do.
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Old 22nd September 2021, 09:33 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My experience with cats is that it's not really ever a question of allowing them onto the bed.
Then you have no experience with obedient cats?
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Just like the rest of the world
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Old 23rd September 2021, 02:23 PM   #70
rjh01
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Originally Posted by Sherlock View Post
For the comment (from rjh01) "So there has been a massive loss of interest by members of this forum of the paranormal" I'd like to respond. Perhaps it is because --- after decades of paranormal observations among forum members --- a hard-core belief has taken hold in some. That belief being, that 99.99% (or more!) of the paranormal believers are either outright frauds, or simply (and with little or no self awareness) delusional.

The group of frauds ranging from simple attention getters to full-time con artists seeking money. Many of these offer fragmented undeveloped stories as spin masters and overlap with pathological liars. Perhaps they represent 5-10% while the rest are simply delusional.

Its frankly difficult to figure out.

In either case they are not a responsible group to showcase paranormal activity as rising to a level of reality. Thus, a fall-off in long-term forum interactions.

On a side note, I have noticed that the Google search engine has over the past year swung heavily towards highlighting (often the first 15-50 listings) to pro-paranormal sites, particularly under IMAGES, while Bing, AOL, duckduckgo, and even PCH.com (Publishers Clearing House) equally highlight pro and con (skeptical) offerings about equally. Can anyone offer an explanation for that?
If you want to use Google I suggest you use this link https://trends.google.com/trends/exp...ligion,science.
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Old 23rd September 2021, 07:34 PM   #71
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I once drove down my street and saw a truck parked up ahead with someone leaning on it. Maybe 5 houses down from me. Their head was tiltled down kinda James Dean style.

As I approached it turned into a shovel leaning on the driver's side door, and the side mirror was the "head".

I could have sworn it was a person. My brain obviously saw something and filled in the gaps to make it into something I'd recognize.
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Old 23rd September 2021, 07:40 PM   #72
arthwollipot
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
I once drove down my street and saw a truck parked up ahead with someone leaning on it. Maybe 5 houses down from me. Their head was tiltled down kinda James Dean style.

As I approached it turned into a shovel leaning on the driver's side door, and the side mirror was the "head".

I could have sworn it was a person. My brain obviously saw something and filled in the gaps to make it into something I'd recognize.
Yep, that's something that brains do. There are specific structures in the brain dedicated to recognising stuff. Faces, forms, smells. I believe that the phenomenon of déjà vu is when the recognising circuitry of the brain is activated in error, making you believe that a situation you are currently in is familiar, even though you have never been in that situation before. In your case, the shovel/mirror combination was suggestive enough that your brain went "yep, I recognise the form of a person".
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Old 26th September 2021, 12:35 AM   #73
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Thank you. Good site.
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Old 26th September 2021, 02:59 AM   #74
P.J. Denyer
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Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
Was it a hypnopotamouse?
Nommed. Now go to the corner & think about what you've done.
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Old 26th September 2021, 03:11 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
I once drove down my street and saw a truck parked up ahead with someone leaning on it. Maybe 5 houses down from me. Their head was tiltled down kinda James Dean style.

As I approached it turned into a shovel leaning on the driver's side door, and the side mirror was the "head".

I could have sworn it was a person. My brain obviously saw something and filled in the gaps to make it into something I'd recognize.
I had a similar one at night a while ago, as I got close I realised it was a combination of shadows from the overhead street light, the bodywork, a hard hat on the dashboard & my brain looking for patterns.

Funnily enough given the topic this is no revolving around I was lying in bed the other night & 'felt' a dog's muzzle press into my hand, my dog wasn't in the room & it wasn't him anyway, the flews were wrong, I think it was my mind sorting through the memories formed that day and 'misprocessing' a memory as experience.
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Old 26th September 2021, 11:09 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My experience with cats is that it's not really ever a question of allowing them onto the bed.
Correct. If you allow them in the bedroom, they will get on the bed. The only question is how much of the bed they will allow you to use. It's almost paranormal the amount of space a cat can manage to occupy on a bed.
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Old 27th September 2021, 06:33 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
If you want to use Google I suggest you use this link https://trends.google.com/trends/exp...ligion,science.

I added the search term "politics," and the resulting graph line tracked very closely to "science." This was on the worldwide setting.



I make no suggestion of the reason for this.
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Old 28th September 2021, 07:48 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
What is it with these Ghost Cats?

My experience was not grief-related. We had a live cat in the house, but one that was not allowed to sleep with us, and was kept outside of the bedroom at night (no possible entrance).

One night, I feel the “cat” walking on the bed. This is a pretty distinct sensation. Of course, the number one possibility would be that “real cat” was on the bed. But, nope. I just figured my mind was playing tricks on me.

I brought it up to my partner a couple of weeks later. She was animated about it, as she had experienced the same thing on occasion, but had not mentioned it to me. We laughed about it, and we did end up often making jokes attributing things to “Ghost Cat”. We didn’t really believe there was a ghost, however.

I don’t know what I should attribute that experience to, really. I just know there is more likely a logical explanation than a spectral feline. “Real Cat” left us about two years ago, now. No signs of her ghostly presence since then, sadly.
Just curious, what would be a potential reason for two people to experience such a similar sensation, within the same timeframe, as outlined above? We definitely did not discuss it prior to the realization we had both had a similar experience.

Now, some will undoubtedly say of that aspect, "it didn't happen as you say". But, it really did. I figured it was just coincidence, at the time. It is the only thing about the story that makes it semi-unusual, in my mind.
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Old 28th September 2021, 08:36 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
Just curious, what would be a potential reason for two people to experience such a similar sensation, within the same timeframe, as outlined above? We definitely did not discuss it prior to the realization we had both had a similar experience.

Now, some will undoubtedly say of that aspect, "it didn't happen as you say". But, it really did. I figured it was just coincidence, at the time. It is the only thing about the story that makes it semi-unusual, in my mind.
Both of you go to bed aware of the fact that the cat is supposed to be outside the bedroom. Both of you may be aware of the possibility that one of you may not have shut the door properly or that the cat may somehow have found its way in regardless. That both of you have a similar experience is not even remotely surprising. When I had my experience of thinking that there was a mouse on the bed it was at a time when I was living rurally, and our mouser cat had just died, and we hadn't got a new cat yet. I'd seen mice in the house before. That clearly factored into my near-dream state.

And as for "it didn't happen as you say", I tend to take people at their word that they had a genuine experience, but I always caveat by reminding people that human memory is notoriously unreliable. Memories are changed and embellished over time - this is not a failing, this is just the way brains work. So while I don't doubt that you have a memory of a certain thing happening, the more remote that memory - the further back in time the actual event you are remembering was - the more likely it is that some details will be inaccurate.
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Old 28th September 2021, 08:39 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
And as for "it didn't happen as you say", I tend to take people at their word that they had a genuine experience, but I always caveat by reminding people that human memory is notoriously unreliable. Memories are changed and embellished over time - this is not a failing, this is just the way brains work. So while I don't doubt that you have a memory of a certain thing happening, the more remote that memory - the further back in time the actual event you are remembering was - the more likely it is that some details will be inaccurate.
Do you believe this example requires an inaccurate memory in order to be correct? This isn't exactly a complicated tale.
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