Reports of hauntings are flooding in during the coronavirus pandemic. Ghosts don’t respect social distancing guidelines, but are they really more active during quarantine?
Several prominent paranormal researchers are speaking out on the increase in haunted house calls. Jason Hawes, the host of “Ghost Nation,” says that his website has seen a marked increase in the number of paranormal sightings.
Despite his work as a professional ghost hunter, Hawes maintains a healthy dose of skepticism. He believes that a fair amount of this paranormal activity is down to more mundane causes. “People are spending more time in their home and everything from the wood drying out … you’re getting popping sounds … because we are getting into the warmer months of the year,” he said.
John E.L. Tenney of “Ghost Stalkers” says that his calls spike from 2-5 a month to 5-10 a week. That’s a significant increase. However, he told reporters that the majority of these cases are likely due to a “heightened state of anxiety” and “hyper-vigilance.”
“When the sun comes up and the house starts to warm up, they’re usually at work — they’re not used to hearing the bricks pop and the wood expand,” he said. “It’s not that the house wasn’t making those sounds. They just never had the time to notice it,” Tenney said.
For true believers, Tenney’s statement is disappointing. According to national polling, 45% of adults believe in ghosts and 18% claim to have encountered one. (Sources: YouGov.com and Pew Research Center)
The United States isn’t the only place where paranormal encounters seem to be increasing. India’s first and only paranormal helpline reports that they are getting 8-10 calls a day. Run by investigator Jay Alani, the helpline offers free assistance to people dealing with haunted houses. But like his stateside colleagues, Alani has found that many of these alleged ghosts are actually manifestations of the callers’ past trauma or the result of harmful lifestyle routines.
There are three possible explanations for the rise in ghostly activity. The boring one is, of course, that people are simply stressed out and afraid. That feeling could be making them see ghosts and other supernatural threats.
But what if these places were always haunted, and people are only now noticing because they’re home 24/7? As John E.L. Tenney told the Times, “Perhaps we’re just now starting to notice that the world is a little bit weirder than we gave it credit for.” Some ghost hunters believe that spirits feed on our energy, so self-quarantine is basically an all-you-can-eat buffet for ghosts. That might account for the uptick in sightings and other phenomena.
Or maybe your ghosts are just as sick of stay-at-home orders as we are. They could tolerate us when we only invaded their space at night. All day, however, is just too much to deal with. Just as we are all getting on each other’s nerves with the constant togetherness, the ghosts and spirits haunting our houses need some space.
Much of the lore surrounding ghosts and hauntings suggests that they don’t appreciate sudden changes in routine. Maybe they’re just as ready to get back to normal as we are.
That’s my theory, anyway.