Cold spot

Cold spot
Cold Spots
Terminology
Irthermo.png
An infrared thermometer that measures surface temperatures is believed by ghost hunters to also measure air temperature, and thus to locate cold spots.
See also Ghost hunting
Haunted house
Stigmatized property

In the terminology of ghost hunting, cold spot describes an area of localized coldness or a sudden decrease in ambient temperature that is allegedly connected to paranormal activity. The definition of a cold spot is "a small, defined area of intense cold (at least 10 degrees colder than the surrounding area) that can not readily be explained by other natural or mechanical causes (e.g. air conditioning, a drafty window, ice or snow). [1] "

Contents

Background

Cold spots are believed by some to be an indicator of paranormal activity in the area. A cold spot is a space, usually within a building or structure of about the size of a human where the air seems to be noticeably colder. While there is no set definition for what makes a cold spot, it is usually agreed that a cold spot is at least 10 degrees fahrenheit colder than the rest of the room. The cold air seems to be contained within an invisible bubble, believed to be the ghost itself.[2]

A cold spot can be felt consistently in the same place, or seem to move or disappear without warning. In paranormal research, the prevailing theory is that when an entity is trying to manifest itself it draws on many sources of energy, such as the heat energy in air. As the entity draws the heat out of the air the area in that specific location becomes unusually cold, thus creating a 'cold spot' [3] . [4] Cold spots may exist consistently in the same place or even just for a brief period of time. Some people are more sensitive to cold spots than others, and this might indicate these people have some sort of psychic ability [5] . The manifestation of a cold spot is a dynamic created and composed of magneto caloric cooling and the ionization of air. [6] Some people think that cold spots represent where a ghost might be drawing energy. There isn't any evidence that a cold spot indicates something bad or evil [7].

Warm or hot spots can also form, but are believed to be much more rare than cold spots. Hot spots are believed to be the ghost showing its presence by producing heat just as a living human body would. Like cold spots, hot spots tend to be self contained, about the size of a human, and at least 10 degrees fahrenheit warmer than the surrounding ambient temperature. [8]

Why Cold Spots Form

It is difficult to explain why ghosts cause cold spots. It is believed by some that when a ghost tries to materialize itself in the physical plain, it draws on the energy in its surrounding environment. Heat is a form of energy. So, the ghost could be drawing the heat out of the air around it in an effort to materialize. Supposedly, the ghost does not meet the threshold of energy required to materialize, so a cold spot can be felt and observed, but no ghosts can actually be seen. The ghost is drawing energy from its environment and then using the energy to function and do work in the same way that humans gather energy from their environment and then use the energy to function and do work. [9]

Another viewpoint on why cold spots form attributes their presence as a portal from the the third dimension (the one we live in) to another dimension inhabited by ghosts. This viewpoint does not believe that ghosts are the cause of cold spots, however a ghost may use a cold spot as the portal through which it gains access to our dimension. By this theory, observing a cold spot does not guarantee the presence of a ghost, only that ghosts have the potential to access our dimension at that location. Some would go so far as to say that the Bermuda Triangle is a massive field of portals, or cold spots, connecting our dimension with the paranormal. [10]

Alleged paranormal indicator

Ghost hunters may carry thermographic cameras and infrared thermometers (which can only detect surface temperatures, rather than ambient air temperatures) to detect and document the presence of possible cold spots in the ambient air of locations that are reported to be haunted. However, more expensive infrared thermometers have ports for "K-Type" probes that do measure ambient air temperatures.[11] Ghost hunting organizations advise that the spots be checked from several different angles in order to confirm their existence and features.[11]

It is important that heat detecting devices are used to detect the actual temperature in the room because simply feeling an area of cold air can be misleading. It could be caused by the air moving in the room, which produces an effect called wind chill. Wind chill causes moving air to feel colder to us than standing air.[12] The fictional television series Supernatural portrays cold spots causing one's breath to suddenly become visible in the presence of a ghost. The ideal way of measuring a cold spot would be to set up a grid with small thermal sensors placed in it. This is a way to measure exactly where a cold spot is [13] When one is documenting cold spots one finds on an investigation site, they will want to write down the average temperature of the area at the start of the investigation and then document any significant changes in air temperature after. Most of the time, a change in temperature of more than 10 degrees is something that should be noticed and could be a big indicator of if it is a cold spot or not [14]

Before jumping to conclusions and thinking a drop in temperature is because of a cold spot, realize that there are many other things that could cause temperature drops. Drafts are an example, and subtle drafts can't be detected without the use of a thermometer. Also, there's the conduction of cold through windowpanes, metal surfaces, pipes, and glass [15]

Natural variance

Some ghost hunters warn against using cold spots as a paranormal indicator because cold spots can often be explained by natural temperature variances.[16] Skeptics also commonly dismiss them, saying that it is normal for buildings to experience temperature variations.[17] Rooms that are not properly insulated can produce what many would think to be cold spots. Failure to place enough insulation behind the drywall of a building can cause cold air to enter the room, even though there are not visible entrance points for it. A draft such as that can also be caused by an open window or door somewhere in the building. Poor insulation, or no insulation at all, can be common in very old buildings, where many supposed ghost sitings occur. The room or space that you are examining should also be carefully checked for any heat sources or sinks that could cause the cold spot to appear. [18]

Depending on one's body temperature, a space may feel cold to one person while it feels warm to another. Body temperature can vary from person to person depending on health, age, anxiety, or physical strain. This again highlights why it is so crucial to use technology such as laser thermometers to determine the true presence of a cold spot. [19]

Cold Spots and the Media

Cold Spots are often overplayed in the popular media. Movies and television shows often use cold spots as indicators of paranormal activity. The presence of the cold spot is conveyed to the audience by the actors shivering and the visibility of their breath in the air. The television show, Supernatural, and Shyamalan's movie The Sixth Sense are notable for their use of cold spots. However, it should be noted that cold spots are not always so strongly correlated with paranormal activity as their media would have you believe. [20]

See also

References

  1. ^ Long Island Paranormal Investigators. "Paranormal Terms And Definitions". http://www.liparanormalinvestigators.com/definitions.shtml. Retrieved 11/7/2011. 
  2. ^ Hawkins, Robb (2008). Getting Started in Paranormal Investigation. Robb Hawkins. 
  3. ^ Long Island Paranormal Investigators. "Paranormal Terms And Definitions". http://www.liparanormalinvestigators.com/definitions.shtml. Retrieved 11/7/2011. 
  4. ^ Townsend, Maurice. "Paranormal Co ld Spots". http://www.assap.ac.uk/newsite/htmlfiles/Cold%20spots.html. Retrieved 10/19/2011. 
  5. ^ Joyce, Judith. "The Wiser Field Guide to the Paranormal". http://books.google.com/books?id=9aYqjnjDzBQC&pg=PA44&dq=cold+spots+paranormal&hl=en&ei=qQbATrLRJ8qYiQKw5sC7Aw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=cold%20spots%20paranormal&f=false. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  6. ^ Schill, Brian. Stalking Darkness. pp. 90. http://books.google.com/books?id=TLRs3H6U2IIC&pg=PA228&dq=cold+spots+paranormal&hl=en&ei=qQbATrLRJ8qYiQKw5sC7Aw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=cold%20spots%20paranormal&f=false. 
  7. ^ Broome, Fiona. Is Your House Haunted?. pp. 101. http://books.google.com/books?id=OmPitfjaIQ8C&pg=PA101&dq=cold+spots+paranormal&hl=en&ei=rojBTqzmF-fhiAKElaWOAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CFoQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=cold%20spots%20paranormal&f=false. 
  8. ^ Wilson, Grant (2010). Ghost Hunting: Chilling Tales of the Unknown. New York, NY: Hachette Book Group. 
  9. ^ Warren, Joshua (2003). How To Hunt Ghosts. New York, NY: Joshua Warren. 
  10. ^ Ellis, Stephen (2011). Explaining the Unexplained. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse. 
  11. ^ a b Danelek, Jeffry Allan "Tools of the ghost hunting trade", Our Curious World (2007-04-13)
  12. ^ Townsend, Maurice. "Paranormal Cold Spots". http://www.assap.ac.uk/newsite/htmlfiles/Cold%20spots.html. Retrieved 11/7/2011. 
  13. ^ Townsend, Maurice. "Paranormal cold spots". http://www.assap.ac.uk/newsite/htmlfiles/Cold%20spots.html. Retrieved 10/19/11. 
  14. ^ Schill, Brian. "Finding & Understanding Your Cold Spot: A Scientific Explanation". http://www.iprfinc.com/brian50.html. Retrieved 11/7/2011. 
  15. ^ Miller, Mary C. (2005). Am I Crazy Or Just Haunted. pp. 15. http://books.google.com/books?id=zijINx4zd0EC&pg=PA15&dq=cold+spots+paranormal&hl=en&ei=gozBTrHPB-OqiQK2zIDHAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CD4Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=cold%20spots%20paranormal&f=false. 
  16. ^ Warren, Joshua P. (2003) "How to Hunt Ghosts: A Practical Guide" Fireside, ISBN 0743234936
  17. ^ Nickell, Joe (September 2006), "Investigative Files: Ghost Hunters", Skeptical Inquirer V30#5 (2007-04-13)
  18. ^ Joyce, Judith (2010). The Weiser Field Guide to the Paranormal. San Francisco, CA: Weiser LLC. 
  19. ^ Joyce, Judith (2010). The Weiser Field Guide to the Paranormal. San Francisco, CA: Weiser LLC. 
  20. ^ Joyce, Judith (2010). The Weiser Field Guide to the Paranormal. San Francisco, CA: Weiser LLC. 

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