Across the Great Divide

Environmental Factors of Ghost Hunting: The Moon

We left off last month discussing some of the mainstream scientific and environmental factors that contribute to paranormal research and ghost hunting. I touched on many of those topics as best I could and ended with a mention of how the Moon affects investigations. We’ve got a whole new month and column to stretch out our minds and comfortably talk about this important aspect of our otherworldly stroll.

The Moon has played an important role in spiritual and psychological matters for as long as there’s been recorded history; many modern terms, such as lunacy, derive from the effects that the Moon is claimed to have on our psyches.

As the lunar cycle waxes to full, incidents of psychotic behavior, violence, and crime seem to escalate; the phase of the New Moon also seems correlated to a rash of abnormal behavior. Current understanding of human psychology and physiology supports the observation that the Moon can exert significant influence on the human mind.

But is there really any scientific support for such claims?

Well, it so happens that this pattern has been proven in a variety of studies. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (1978); a 1987 survey; and at the University of New Orleans (1995) are a few examples.

Statistically, the studies found that psychiatric admissions actually drop at the New Moon, but that they increase during the first quarter; homicides, suicides, aggravated assaults, and fatal traffic accidents all increasing as the Full Moon arrives.

As a professional in the psychology field, I find this interesting. If the Full Moon exerts an influence on rising ocean tides and also an increase in erratic human behavior, and psychiatric admissions drop at New Moons, that supports a hypothesis that the gravitational pull of the Full Moon is counteracted by the equal but opposite effect of the New Moon having an adverse effect on the chemical imbalance in the brain, perhaps due to a reduction in the gravitational pressure exerted on the fluids within the body.

It is well established in science that the Moon’s gravity is the cause of the ocean tides and affects many different phenomena in weather and nature. The Earth is mostly water; but the human body is also made up of mostly water to the same percentages. So if the Moon affects the planet due to its abundance of water, why not the creatures on the planet made up of the same materials?

As long as we’re discussing the Moon’s effect on water, it may be interesting to note that sites with poltergeist activity report unexplained drops or small puddles of water in the room, and in general more poltergeist activity is reported near water; many poltergeist reports involve kitchens. Several of the best EVP recordings and other captured evidence for hauntings occur near streams or in close proximity to groundwater. Early studies suggested that running water may generate a frequency that renders some people more sensitive to psychic phenomena.

Some scientists argue that the lunar effect on gravitational forces doesn’t just affect the tides, but are linked to earthquakes as well. A study of 2000 earthquakes demonstrated that they occurred when tidal forces where over the epicenter of the earthquake. The study showed that there seems to be a lunar trigger. Another study in 1978 found that the Moon triggers particle flow, which disturbs the Earth’s magnetic field.
Eclipses are known to have an effect on the conductivity of the atmosphere, especially the E-region, which in turn affects the Earth’s geomagnetic field- the largest effects occurring in the morning around the time of equinoxes. A 7.4 magnitude earthquake in Japan occurred on the same day of the joint winter solstice/eclipse on December 21, 2010.

So if a major parapsychological theory contends that paranormal activity is tied to fluctuations in the geomagnetic field of the planet, then it stands to reason that investigations can benefit from close association with lunar events to produce effective results.

Activity often increases on the anniversary of death, especially if the Moon was full or new on the date that the person died. A possible cause of this is due to the gravitational forces being increased and therefore providing additional energy to bridge the gap between the different planes of existence. Whether or not the person’s death correlates to a Full or New Moon, it’s wise to check for increased activity on those nights each month, or on whichever moon phase was nearest the time of death.

Paranormal activity is often easily influenced by subtle factors so it’s possible that the Moon has a greater effect on them now that they exist in the non-physical realms.

Some researchers have noticed slightly better statistical results during investigations held during the New or Full Moon.

In addition to the effects of the Moon on spirits, researchers can have greater psychic sensitivity during the Full and/or New Moons. The Full Moon has been shown to affect the physical body, including menstrual cycles (which in turn affects the body mentally and physically); whereas the New Moon is related to increased influence on mental states.

There is definitely a lot of room for speculation about lunar cycles and increased paranormal activity, or perhaps more awareness of it.

So, have any of you noticed an increase or decrease in activity during certain Moon phases? Is there any credit to these theories, or is it all just lunacy? Let me know what you think. The floor is yours.

© 2011 R. Wolf Baldassarro/Deep Forest Productions