Is it fake or not?
Two interesting videos which purport to show paranormal activity came out this week. The first is a cameraphone video from a woman named Ashy Murphy in Cork, Ireland who claims that poltergeist activity has gotten increasingly worse in her house recently.
The video has a peppy, up-tempo soundtrack, thanks to Kygo's "Firestone" playing on a stereo in the background. In fact, that's the first thing I noticed about this video: it conveniently begins just as the song starts up. Almost as if it was staged.
In real life "random stuff caught on cameraphone" videos in houses, I notice that 99% of the time, the television is blaring in the background. It's as if people don't even hear their televisions anymore, as though they are just unavoidable background noise, like street noise. No one ever turns the television off, apparently. So that was the first thing that seemed wrong - rehearsed - about this video. No television, just a very popular song that "happened" to start just as the video did.
Next, the camera captures an escalating pattern of things being harmlessly knocked over. Although quite a lot of force is shown, nothing is broken. This too is convenient. If you were faking a video, you wouldn't want to break any of your own stuff, would you? But any entity violent enough to push all that stuff around would no doubt make some sort of mess.
The camera also pans just ahead of whatever is going to happen next. Again, as if the whole thing was staged.
But the final straw was the bucket that slid across the floor towards the camera. First of all, they over-played their hand. It would have been more convincing if the bucket had only moved a few feet. Second of all, no one in their right mind would just stand there while the bucket slid towards them. Even the professionals will yelp and jump backwards if something like that happens. But Murphy calmly films the whole thing as the bucket zips across the floor straight towards her.
The next bit of film comes from a paranormal investigation team working at a house in Tyne and Wear, England. The homeowner brought the team in because he thought his house was haunted.
This footage is just a small clip from a much longer chunk of footage shot with night-vision camera. The investigators are sitting in the living room, asking the spirits to reveal themselves.
In the background, we see a kitchen chair move about a foot. Both of the investigators sit bolt upright and look over towards the chair. (It was dark, so they didn't see it happen - they only heard the small sound as it moved.)
Part of what's so convincing about this footage is that it is so underwhelming. The chair doesn't levitate or shoot across the floor. It only moves about a foot, but it does so for no apparent reason. It would take sophisticated string work to make the chair move like that, too - it doesn't simply slide out from the table, it pivots on one leg.