Generally when things seem extraordinary, it’s only because we haven’t heard of the branch of sound behind it. As pessimistic as that it for would-be Ghost Hunters, it’s fairly likely that soon, all the phenomena we experience as “paranormal” will soon be explained by deceptively simple science that plays tricks on a susceptible mind.
Infrasound is a low frequency sound, which borders on the outer limits of the range of average human hearing. So while it isn’t a sound that we would identify as ‘audible’, the body still recognises it and responds to it in a variety of ways. Many predatory animals use it in the wild as a form of communication, and it is produced by various natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. So it is no surprise from an evolutionary point of view that infrasound causes the listener to feel a strong sensation of fear or anxiety.
In a 2003 experiment in the UK exposed a large number of people to infrasound at a concert, with over 20% of the subjects reporting feelings of anxiety, uneasiness, extreme sorrow, revulsion, fear, chills down the spine and pressure on the chest. Some theories also claim that infrasound is responsible for the early reactions of animals to impending disaster, such as in 2004 when it was noted that animals had fled a specific area long before it was hit by a tsunami.
Early experiences of infrasound include that of Vladimir Gavreau, who, while working in a lab in the 1960s, experienced pain in the ears and observed shaking equipment in the absence of audible sound. Vic Tandy also experienced similar symptoms while working late in a supposedly haunted laboratory in Warwick. He felt anxious and could see a grey blob out of the corner of his eye but could not turn to focus on it. He also saw a piece of metal held in a vice vibrating, and deduced that the low frequency emissions of an extractor fan were responsible. The visual disturbances are caused by the eyeball resonating and creating an optical illusion.
So one small branch of aural science can explain most of the signs we associate with hauntings – feelings of fear and dread, visually observing spectral entities and the appearance of objects moving of their own accord. It really will be a matter of time before everything we experience that seems outside the realm of possibility will be able to be reduced to math and science – the lowest common denominator that takes away a little bit of mystery from the world every day.
Ah one last thing – Hollywood has already utilised infrasound in movies like Paranormal Activity, inserting cues which make the audience anticipate scary events. While it doesn’t affect everyone the same way, it might explain why you were so tense and jumpy during the movie.Hhjfjfjf