Article on "De-Bunking"
De-Bunking has 3 categories:
When we go to de-bunk a case of a supposed haunting, these three areas of explanation must be addressed.
In the category of "Physical" we confront the potential mechanisms in the environment that could explain activity. This can be anything from street sounds filtering through the duct work, plumbing, loose hinges and more.
Th only way an investigator can understand what is going on in a location is to go around and test out the sounds that witnesses described to find out what the ice maker sounds like, the dor opening and closing, the floorboards being stepped upon, the window being opened. I can't tell you how many times someone has contacted me who was experiencing a tree limb on a window, a cat hiding under the bed or a door that closed when one walked down the hall and applied pressure on the floorboards. The same goes for visuals. There are many conditions in a home involving car lights, reflective prisims and shadows being cast that help to recreate the scenerio.
In the category of "Psychological" we bring into the mix such things as religious background, belief in ghosts and demon, hauntings and possession. We needto know the ongoing conflicts and emotions in the home and with each accupant to see the dynamics. I have seen people who have lost a loved one often believe when tey hear sounds or see things in their home and that their relative s visiting. I also run into a lot of people who need their home to be huanted simply to explain why things at home are uncomfortable.
A ghost is the greatest scapegoat because you don't need to blame a bad marriage or troubled child for ongoing tension and anxiety, you can turn to the unseen, bringing a family that was fractured and not addressing problems to coming together to deal with what they see as the real issue.
Some people, either because of attention-seeking or other issues in their lives like anger, grief and sadness, need to be in a haunted place. It provides them with something they are missing and perhaps makes them feel special.
In the category of "Mental" we have a person's explanatory style. One time, I was walking into a very creepy old abandoned dome-shaped building. It looked like a good hangout for squatters. My mind was filled with fear of "what if I run into a squatter?" I had run into one there the prior time I had gone to the location. I was ready for something scary to happen. I was talking with a friend and entered the dome and heard a loud racquet that scared me so much, I turned and rushed out. It ended up being that my voice echoed in the hard building so loudly that it sounded like gunfire. If I hadn't gone back to see who might be in there, I wouldn't have realized the soundissue and explained the situation.
If we don't go a step further in figuring something out and jump to conclusions based on our belief system, or the setting, or a scary movie we just watched, then we have arrested our mental de-bunking skills. It happens to the best of us from time to time. The persistent though, go back and try not to assume anything.
Ultimately, an effective de-bunking is to try and yield explanations. If there are none, then an investigation is going to expose possibly true haunting features.....