Apophenia - Stuck in the Matrix
By Laura Pennace | E-Mail
Apophenia, commonly known in paranormal studies as "matrixing," is a common phenomena in which the brain perceives a stimuli, such as an image or a sound, as something it's not. The human brain naturally attempts to find logic in the illogical, and will detect patterns, sounds, or smells that don't exist. Examples of this include seeing the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich, or, in terms of ghostly activity, seeing a shape of a person or face in mist, a window, or some other object.
If, for example, you take a photo of a house and notice a face in a window that wasn't there originally, it is most likely an example of apophenia. As both a paranormal investigator and as an observer, you must always be careful not to assume that what you are seeing is actual. Think of all the other examples that the media has covered over the years - food that resembles religious figures, faces in rock or tree bark - and realize that just because it appears to look like a face or figure, doesn't mean it is.
Unfortunately, if you wish to be a scientific paranormal investigator, you will often find yourself throwing away what, to the untrained eye, may seem to be excellent evidence. Apophenia is a real psychological occurrence. If you presented evidence that included examples of "matrixing" to a room of skeptics or scientists, your evidence would be quickly discounted altogether.
But how can you tell the difference between true paranormal activity and matrixing? The best advice would be to use logic and try to disprove what evidence you have. Have you captured what appears to be a mist-like figure in a photo? Ask yourself: was it cold that night, and could it be someone's breath? Was someone nearby smoking? What other forms of contamination could it be? If there's even the slightest chance it could be human contamination, then it's not a credible piece of evidence. If it appears to be a face or figure in a reflective surface, think about the weather conditions. It could very well be the clouds in the sky reflecting in such a way as to appear as something recognizable. Which, if you think about it, makes total sense - everyone at some point has "seen" something in the clouds.
So take caution in what you're seeing and the evidence you collect. Never jump to conclusions without thinking about all the different ways what you think you're seeing could be something else. Apophenia is a common occurrence for everyone, and can easily lead to assumptions that simply aren't true.
- Hauntings and Poltergeists: Multidisciplinary Perspectives
by James Houran (Editor), Rense Lange (Editor)
Happy Fourth of July! We hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday!
Tonight, we will be conducting an investigation at the Ayers-Allen House in Metuchen, New Jersey. The house was last investigated in 1960 by Hans Holzer. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages to see what we find tonight!
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Check out our Media page to see where we've bene featured lately! DNAInfo, The Gardner News, and The Worcested Telegram & Gazette have all done stories on us recently!
We'd like to wish all of our friends and fans a very Happy Thanksgiving!
We had a great time last night presenting our findings to the Narragansett Histiorical Society in Templeton, MA last night! Thanks to Brian & Beth for being so welcoming and hospitable to us once again! We had a full house of people, the guests asked great questions and we had a great time!
We had a great time last night investigating the Narragansett Histiorical Society in Templeton, MA last night! Thanks to Brian & Beth for being so welcoming and hospitable to us! We will be presenting the results of our investigation on November 19th at the Historical Society!
On Friday, October 21st, the Scared! crew will be premiering their newest documentary, "Haunted Snug Harbor" at Snug Harbor Cultural Center. The film looks at the history of Snug Harbor as well as claims of paranormal activty, and features Scared!, SIPS and us here at NYPS investigating locations on the grounds such as the Governor's House, Matron's House, and Cottage B. if you're in the NYC area you should come check it out!
Be sure to check out NYPS founder Jason Stroming on the Science Channel show "Dark Matters: Twisted But True" airing Wednesdays at 10pm! The show is also airing at various times throughout the next week or so. Click here for details and airtimes!
We just added two new cases to our Investigations page! You can see details and video about our investigations at Snug Harbor: The Governor's House as well as The Matron's House! More investigation summaries are coming in the coming weeks!
Be sure to check out NYPS founder Jason Stroming on the Sundance Channel show "Love/Lust" airing tonight at 6pm! The show is also airing at various times throughout the next week or so. Click here for details and airtimes! Our good friends over at Scared! are also on the show!
We'd like to wish everyone a safe, fun and very happy Independence Day!
Tonight, we will be conducting an investigation of Cottage B at Snug Harbor on Staten Island! We investigated two weeks ago and came up with some interesting results. Stay tuned to see what we find tonight!
Last night, founder Jason Stroming was on Unknown Origins Radio to be a part of their very first Paranormal Roundtable. Other guests included Tom Mullen, Kendra Belgrad and KD Foreman. Click here to listen to the archived show!
Over the last few weeks, we have been filming with our friends over at SCARED! for their new documentary about Snug Harbor. It's shaping up to be a great film not only about the supposed hauntings, but also the rich history of the location.
Our friends over at SCARED! are producing a new documentary about one of our favorite haunted places, Snug Harbor, and you can help! You can make donations of varying degrees to get free stuff, or even your name in the credits! Be sure to check out the link and support them in any way you can!
Be sure to check out The Paranormal Roundtable at Staten Island's Snug Harbor on Friday, January 28th! The event will be hosted by our friends over at SIPS and will give attendees the opportunity to discuss their paranormal experiences with others! We will be there. Will you?
We here at the New York Paranormal Society would like to wish all our friends a very safe and Happy New Year!
Check out the sneak peek video of our Brooklyn, NY residential investigation we have posted on our Home page!
If you are in the NYC area, there is still time to check out the Historical Hauntings Tours at Snug Harbor! Join members of NYPS, Scared, SIPS, EPIC, NJ Pro and PISI as they take you on tours of 6 haunted buildings on the grounds of Staten Island's Snug Harbor!
We have just updated our Field Reports page, with a report on Bobby Mackey's by Michelle Mason. And stay tuned for our new Case Studies section, in which we will talk about cases we've done in years past! First up will be Snug Harbor!
Our good friend Courtney Mroch over at Haunt Jaunts will be running a Halloween Blog Party, with lots of blogs joining in on the fun, including our friends Weekly Specter, Above The Norm, and our own blog The Occult Section! There will be giveaway contests, costume contests, special Halloween features and more! You can also attend via Facebook!
We blogged about this movie over on our blog The Occult Section and now "Cropsey" is finally debuting on TV tonight, on Investigation Discovery at 9pm, as reported by our good friend Courtney Mroch over at Haunt Jaunts. NYPS will be out tonight visiting some of the locations featured in the film, so stay tuned!
We have just added some entries to our Field Reports page. Check out our reports on The Stanley Hotel in Colorado, and The Conference House on Staten Island, NY!
The Occult Section is the official blog of the New York Paranormal Society. If you haven't checked it out yet, head on over for a more lighthearted look at the paranormal. This week: Bigfoot crashes a wedding, new ghost hunting TV shows, vandals in haunted places, and Part 2 of the Paranormal Professional's Primer!
Check out our new Media page to see some of the things the members of The New York Paranormal Society were up to before forming the team!
We have added some new pages to the site, our Equipment list and our Book Reviews.
We have added some articles to the site, dealing with Orbs, Matrixing, and a trip to the Conference House on Staten Island, NY. Go to our Articles page to read them!
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