There are many paranormal theories we can look to to try and explain and prove paranormal phenomena. 

A Quick Overview of Various Theories

A little taster of the theories covered here.  Scroll away to explore!

  • Ghosts are a Type of Energy
  • The Stone Tape Theory
  • The Singapore Theory
  • Trigger Object Theory
  • Natural Battery Theory
  • Orb Theory

Ghosts are a Type of Energy

The subject of what a ghost physically is captivates most people.  How can something with no physical body make a noise, move something or affect its surroundings?  The long and short of it is that no one knows, but we all want to try and find out.

One theory exploring what a ghost is, is the Energy Theory. 

Human beings are a bundle of various types of energy, we even emit a slight electronic field, but what happens to all of that energy when a human being dies?

“Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.” – Albert Einstein.

Einstein was one of the greatest scientific minds to ever grace our planet.  He stated energy cannot be destroyed and proved it in his many experiments.  One type of energy becomes another, it doesn’t just disappear in to nothingness.  

This means the energy within us must become a different type of energy after physical death.  As to what energy it becomes no one knows, but if our consciousness, or soul, is released from our physical body and transferred in to a type of transient energy then this could explain what a ghost is.

The Stone Tape Theory

The Stone Tape theory is widely regarded to be the key to residual hauntings, one where there seem to be no intelligence or interaction and is repetitive in nature.  

The idea is that the very material of the building can hold on to energies of repeated activities like someone doing their work, or high energy events like parties or traumatic events.  These energies are “replayed” and present themselves as a residual haunting.  

The concept of The Stone Tape Theory cannot be attributed to one person, but is rather an understanding of several individuals theories combined.

In the 18th century Charles Babbage published a book on natural theology called Ninth Bridgewater Treatise.  In this book he theorised that inanimate items, such as stone, wood and metal, could absorb “memories” of the events taking place within the immediate vicinity.  With the right atmospheric, meteorological and astronomical conditions the “memories” could be replayed in to the environment.  

In the 1900’s the Society for Physical Research President, H. H. Price theorised the existence of a psychic either.  This either could hold on to information of memories and events, releasing them at different points in time for people to witness.  

T. C. Lethbridge wrote Ghost and Ghoul in the 1960’s.  In it he discussed this theory stating it was his belief that past events could be stored in objects because of energy fields.

As paranormal investigators we can use this theory to try and encourage paranormal activity that we can capture.  When investigating a location you may find that the property was involved in a particular incident or activity, perhaps there was a civil war battle on the land.  You could then use a recording of battle noise from a re-enactment to play at the location during the investigation.  The hope would be that this would activate either residual or intelligent activity to take place which you could measure and capture.  

The Singapore Theory

The Singapore theory suggests that certain sounds, such as the playing music from the time period of the spirits’ physical life, can trigger paranormal activity.  

When doing research in to a location is it worth noting any substantial events that may have taken place there.  For example it could have been the site of an elaborate party, or caught up in the midst of a battle.  This means prior to the investigation you can download some relevant music or sounds to take to the location.  Once there you can then play the sound and see if there is any increase in activity immediately following.  

Unfortunately not a lot is known about the origin of this theory, but we have seen this theory put to practice and achieve results.

Trigger Object Theory

The theory behind using trigger objects is that the familiarity with the object will encourage paranormal interaction with it.  For example we used a replica rifle at Slough Fort in the Magazine area to see if this would encourage any activity.  As a result various motion sensors were triggered, suggesting that the spirits were trying to interact with the rifle.

We also use “friendly” trigger objects.  Being mindful that spirits are probably just as afraid of us as we are of them it makes sense that the equipment we use could make them uncomfortable and less likely to to interact with us.  Using something innocuous is hopefully less likely to make them feel uneasy with our presence.

The great thing about trigger objects is how adaptable they can be.  We can recreate objects from certain time periods using original parts and then implant sensors of various types in them.  This then let’s us know when they are being interacted with and we can use this activity to establish communication.

There are some brilliant trigger objects which have been adapted out there, from REM Pod Teddies to motion activated music boxes.  Our personal favourite is the flashing cat toy, which also seems to be a spirit hit!

Natural Battery Theory

Areas where there are natural running water sources,  areas built of or on sandstone and limestone, thermal springs and locations with high geomagnetic energy would all be considered to have a natural constant energy source, a natural battery.

The theory that spirits need an external energy source to help them to manifest could explain the increase in reported paranormal activity at locations such as this, an example would be Warwick Castle, built on a sandstone bluff or The Historic Dockyard in Chatham, on the banks of the River Medway.

Quartz – Crystals have long been used in spiritual practice, healing practices and for work with the paranormal.  Different crystals have specific properties associated with them.  Quartz is considered spiritually to magnify energies.  We use quartz a lot in our daily lives.  It is used in watches, computer equipment and other electronic equipment.  It is recognised that quartz is able to enhance energies and scientists are even looking to the possibility that it can store information.

Natural running water sources – A stream or river is constantly moving.  We harness this energy by placing wheels in the water, the movement of the wheel creating the movement required to drive a mill, create electricity, irrigate crop fields and more.

The constant movement of the water is a type of kinetic energy.  It is thought spirits can draw on this energy to manifest and interact with its surroundings.

Thermal springs – Thermal springs don’t just hold the same properties as a natural running water source, but they also have added heat energy.  Many thermal springs across the world have been considered spiritually sacred, not just because of the health benefits of a high mineral content, but also because of the strong sense of energy that can be felt in the areas.

Magnetic Energy – The Earth has a natural magnetic field.  This field is not the same across every area, it fluctuates.  It is surmised that areas of extreme geomagnetic energy, (whether constantly high or fluctuating between normal and high), have higher concentrations of paranormal activity.  One rather famous example of an area like this is the Bermuda triangle.  Investigators have noted huge fluctuations in magnetic fields in this area.  As you may be aware, the Bermuda Triangle is the location of many reported disappearances of aircraft and vessels.  There have been reports of pilots traveling through time through worm holes.  Others have experienced malfunctioning equipment causing them to go off course.  These events are theorised to have happened because of the extreme magnetic fluctuations, the source of which is unknown.  

Orb Theory

This is a highly controversial area in terms of whether it is proof of the paranormal or not.

Orbs are round light anomalies, often caught on video or still cameras, but have been reported to have been seen by people with their own eyes.  

These orbs could be the result of the camera’s shutter speed capturing dust at the instant the photograph was taken, it could be light reflecting off of a spec of dust that is traveling towards or away from the camera.  It could be light reflecting off of tiny droplets of moisture.  It could be spirit manifestation.  

As to how an orb is formed, if it were to be paranormal, there is quite a lot of debate.  One theory is that the light of the orb is created due to releases of plasma.  Plasma is created when an energy is given to a gas, this forces electrons away from the ion (positively charged ion atom), and creates the plasma.  The best example of a plasma is lightning.  Putting this in to a practical situation, if ions in the atmosphere we were investigating were to receive a very sudden burst of energy, then it could knock some of the electrons away from the Ion generating the plasma which we then see as an orb.  This sudden energy could be a result of a dramatic temperature increase, electric pulse or solar pulse.  I say could, because this is an unproven theory and so there is no definite answer.

One theory is that spirit draws energy from its atmospheric surroundings and using this energy it manifests itself as a ball of light, converting the energy source in to that of a light source.  Again, this is not a proven theory and so is not a definite answer.

This really is a highly controversial area and I’ve seen many a strong debate on online forums and social media around orbs as evidence or not.  Many people discount orbs entirely, some view them with scepticism but where there are strange or anomalous orbs would concede it could be paranormal phenomena.  Some people believe whole heartedly they are spirit manifestations.  Whatever your school of thought it is still worth covering this area.

For an in depth look in to this area I would recommend The Orb Project, Ledwith and Heinemann.  

Taken on the second floor of The Ropery at Chatham Historic Dockyard, this is a brilliant example of dust orbs captured on camera. Nothing paranormal going on here.