This month, we feature an article by one of our newest members! Since we are still in the process of getting our website updated and together, we'll just post the link here for now:
Am I just seeing things?
By Lisa Marie Lugo
I stumbled upon a post of an image of a dark doorway with a shadowy figure and a circle around what appeared to be a face. In the paranormal world we see these images and stills of video constantly. We see smiling faces in orbs and the occasional phenomenon of seeing Jesus in our toast. Is it truly a piece of evidence that is a scientific discovery? Or completely made up with our minds?
There are stories both local and global about finding images in food or in inanimate objects. This phenomenon is called pareidolia. According to Webster dictionary, pareidolia is “the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in considering the moon to have human features.” Even breaking down the word para is greek for something faulty or wrong and eidolon meaning image. Our brain is rationalizing an image we are not sure of and creating an image we recognize. The most common use of this is the Rorschach inkblot test, which is used to gain insight into a person’s mind.
The most famous cases of pareidolia are seeing religious figures. A local case was located in the windows of a Clearwater office building. Since 1996 the side of the building had several panels of glass in which the outline of what appeared to be the figure of the Virgin Mary. The office buildings later became a church and a homage for individuals across the state.
While being in the paranormal business it is important to keep an open mind to all evidence that comes your way.
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*Update: The Clearwater Virgin Mary was vandalized in 2004 with someone shattering some of the windows where her head appeared.