ANN MASSEY explains why it’s normal to feel you are experiencing heightened paranormal occurrences within your home during this time of Coronavirus lockdown and restricted movement and what you can do to help yourself.
At Irish Paranormal Investigations, we have noticed a marked increase in the number of people contacting us for help during this coronavirus lockdown.
They are feeling and experiencing what they believe to be increased paranormal activity at an alarming rate.
While social distancing and restricted movement has changed the way we can help at present, we are helping and here are some ways you can help yourself.
Awareness of Your Surroundings
So your home is familiar and you know it and the sounds inside out? Wrong!
The home you know is built on your routine and that of your neighbours.
Increased hours inside mean there are sounds and light changes new to you.
The creak on the floorboards above you in your home could just as easily be the neighbour who would normally be on shift, moving next door and the sound of footfall on a joist or floorboard carries through.
The dark figure in the corner you have never seen before could just be a shadow cast from a vehicle on a neighbouring drive that wouldn’t normally be there.
Windows are open a bit more and causing drafts making items move or doors bang.
Take some time to sit and absorb the sounds and sights around you and then look for an underlying cause.
This is exactly how we begin any investigation.
There is less traffic on the roads, less aircraft overhead and less movement in general.
As a result, other sounds are amplified and can seem very close to you indeed.
For example, my local church is two kilometres away and down a hill, yet with the breeze in a certain direction, the ringing of the bell sounds right over my head.
Often on an investigation, we think it is quiet, yet when playing back an EVP recording, we can hear cars, planes and mechanical sounds we were either unaware of at the time or attributing to something else.
Much is written about visual pareidolia, however, audio pareidolia can be much more terrifying.
Being exposed to lower levels of carbon monoxide poisoning over time while you are at home for long periods can be very damaging with prolonged exposure.
It can cause fatigue, dizziness, hallucinations and memory loss, so your keys may not have been moved by an unseen entity, but more a case of you simply forgot.
Always have a carbon monoxide detector, check your batteries regularly and ensure your home has adequate ventilation and only light a fire with a clean chimney.
If you have any doubt regarding a gas appliance, make an emergency call.
High Electro Magnetic Fields and Electricity in the Home
With so many people working from home, there is a marked increase in the amount of equipment being used, desktop computers, monitors, laptops, additional phones, the list is endless.
Many are set up in bedrooms or shared family living spaces on top of the usual visual/audio equipment, kitchen goods, gaming stations and so on.
All of these items give off a minimal level of EMF individually so all together there is a permanently low-level EMF field around your home.
If there are any faults with wiring or high concentrations of equipment left on in close proximity, particularly at head height during sleep, these can have a notable effect on your physical and mental health.
Irritability, discomfort, rashes, hallucinations, forgetfulness, fatigue, nausea, headaches and feelings of paranoia are not uncommon.
Try and have electrical items switched off as much as possible, use the right amperage for sockets and extension leads and wattage for bulbs and remember that qualified electricians are allowed to attend emergency call outs if you are in any way concerned.
One day seems pretty much like the next so it is easy to confuse dosages or even run out of medication.
When it comes to medication and mental health, particularly for sleep assistance, personality disorders, anxiety or depression, just one forgotten dose or taking a dose too many can have a debilitating effect and cause paranoia, confusion and hallucination.
Make a reminder on your phone, write it on a calendar or use a daily pill dispenser from the pharmacy and tick off as you take them.
Always allow a few days extra to get a prescription and if you are unable to collect yourself, friends, family, neighbours and community support groups can get them for you.
The one common effect the lockdown has had is problematic sleep.
There is a marked increase in insomnia which causes confusion, irritability, forgetfulness and when it has been ongoing, hallucinations which can again lead someone to believe they are experiencing a paranormal event.
Many are having disturbed sleep patterns, with vivid and lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis which at the time, are very real and very terrifying.
From seeing deceased loved ones to monsters, these dream and sleep disturbances can appear to be a traumatic ghostly experience.
Try and maintain a bedtime routine and waking routine, but slightly more relaxed than if you were commuting to work.
Alcohol will actually exacerbate these problems so keep it to moderation and not every day.
And remember you are probably watching more TV than ever before and some of it may be playing havoc with your imagination!
It has been proven time and time again that isolation and lack of communication for extended periods leads to paranoia, hallucinations and ultimately, mental instability.
Keep yourself busy, stay in contact with family and friends any way you can and remember you are not alone. If you are scared, call someone.
If you genuinely are terrified something is going bump in the night, my own team and many others are experienced and able to talk things through with you.
If things get really dark, The Samaritans and similar organisations are on hand to talk.
Many people do not realise how closely mental and physical wellbeing are linked.
Being stuck indoors is not healthy.
Even as a paranormal investigation team, we spend far more time out of doors than we do in the dark looking for proof of the paranormal.
Exercise is as vital for clearing your mind as it is for pumping oxygen around and working your heart and muscles.
Certain foods such as cheese and chocolate can create mayhem with your dream state and a poor diet can cause drops in sugar levels that can cause dizziness and feelings often attributed to interacting with the spirit world.
Insufficient water intake can cause fatigue, forgetfulness (once again not always a poltergeist moving your keys!) and in extreme cases, hallucinations.
Keep a Diary
Of course while 99.9% of activity will have an underlying identifiable cause of the non-paranormal persuasion, there are anomalies which is why we do what we do.
Keep a written journal of your experiences, but add dates, times, how you are feeling and so on, so a pattern can be determined.
This is one of the first things we ask a private client to do when they feel scared or threatened by unseen forces in their home.
Groups like ours at Irish Paranormal Investigations are available to contact worldwide for help and we take every enquiry seriously.
Any respectable group will listen and help following the steps above for a process of elimination and refer you on if something is outside of their area of expertise.
We are fortunate to have an electrical expert on the team, but we happily refer to anyone from plumbers to demonologists and always follow up.
Stay well, stay safe and remember – you have far more reason to be afraid of the living than the dead.