Opening to the What-Ifs

Paranormal Encounters During Covid-19 – Did We Experience Greater Spirit Activity During Lockdown?

October 5th, 2020

By Nikki Harper

Staff Writer for Wake Up World

2020 has been something of a global experiment in social isolation, fear and human coping mechanisms. Although much of the world is now out of what we might call ‘total lockdown’, research is starting to filter through which provides fascinating insights into human behavior during these unprecedented months.

One of the more offbeat revelations to have surfaced is that there appears to have been a global upswing in reports of paranormal activity during the months April, May and June, when many countries were at the height of their lockdown periods.

What’s going on here? Have we really been seeing more ghosts? Many articles, like this one from the New York Times, seem to think so – or is there something else at the root of this?

I’m what I would call a sceptical spiritualist. I believe in spiritualist principles and I have occasionally witnessed excellent mediumship which I can’t explain as well as occurrences I can’t discount – however, much of the mediumship I see (and I’ve sat through thousands of hours of it through many years of running a spiritualist centre) provides only poor evidence of life after death and honestly convinces no one of anything. For this reason, I’d love to consider an upswing in ghostly sightings as evidence that perhaps we have been joined by more spirit beings during the lockdown – but I’m also drawn to considering psychological reasons why people may have thought they were experiencing something paranormal when they really weren’t.

A 2019 YouGov survey reports that 45% of American believe that ghosts exist; a much older but still interesting report from the Pew Research Center asserted in 2009 that 29% of people believed they had interacted with or sensed a spirit presence, and 18% had actually seen something they believed to be a ghost or spirit.

There are not insignificant numbers to begin with, and this of course was pre-pandemic.

Possible Psychological Explanations for An Upswing in Paranormal Experiences

It’s relatively easy to find reasons to be sceptical of the apparent increase in paranormal activity during the lockdown period.

For a start, much of the world was more or less confined to home. If you’re normally in your home for only around 14 hours a day, and then suddenly you’re there consistently for a full 23-24 hours every day, you’re going to start noticing things more.

Even newer houses make noises depending on temperature and weather conditions; if you suddenly notice your home creaking or squeaking or popping or groaning or doing any of the other repertoire of noises homes appear to be able to make, it’s not surprising that you might think it was haunted. But do you really know that it hasn’t been making those same noises most days, pre-lockdown, when you just weren’t there to hear them?

Factor in also that during the lockdown period, many people were fearful or psychologically stressed, whether about the virus itself or about the possibility of losing their livelihoods. Research such as this study by Peter Suedfeld in back in 1987 found that stress, boredom and danger can all alter our perceptions slightly as search for coping mechanisms, and that a sense of presence can be one effect of this.

Many people were also lonely or feeling isolated during the lockdown period. Interestingly, anecdotal evidence suggests that those who felt particularly stressed or lonely during this period were more likely to report a comforting spirit presence, which they may have believed to be a family member, or least a non-frightening presence. Could this have to do with the psychological need for company or a reassuring presence during a time of great worry?

One other factor to consider is that heuristics – mental shortcuts we tend to take without even realising it – suggests that we’re more likely to classify an experience as such and such if we’re aware that others are also experiencing this. In other words, if you’re aware that many other people seem to be experiencing something paranormal, you’re more likely to classify your own experience that way, rather than just assuming your floorboards are dodgy. The same principle may account for the upsurge in disturbing dreams during Covid-19.

Clearly there are a number of sceptical theories then as to why an increase in paranormal activity may have been reported, and a lot of these theories do make perfect sense.

But then, what if there really were an increase in spirit presence around us during this time?

An Increase in Spirit Activity – or Perhaps an Increase in Spiritual Awareness?

Could it be, perhaps, that loved ones in spirit really did draw closer to many of us than before during this time of great stress? Were they intending to offer comfort, or guidance?

Perhaps even more intriguingly, could it instead be that the same levels of spirit presence are around us as at any other time – but that we have collectively become more open to experiencing spirit presence and spirit visitations? Have some of us successfully raised our vibrations to a point where we’re more likely to experience mediumistic phenomena including spirit sounds, sightings or touch?

The lockdown period was the perfect opportunity for many people to work on their own spiritual development, and it could well be that many people found time to meditate, ‘sit in the power’, open up spiritually and simply build their awareness of other dimensions around them.

Only time will tell whether 2020 really has created spiritual growth opportunities for much of mankind. If indeed it has, an increase in paranormal activity and spirit sightings may be a fascinating first glimpse of higher levels of consciousness in a wider array of the population.

About the author:

Nikki Harper is a spiritualist writer, astrologer, and Wake Up World’s editor.


Einstein’s Ghosts


Do Einstein’s Laws Prove Ghosts Exist?

Benjamin Radford, Life’s Little Mysteries Contributor
Date: 09 November 2011 Time: 11:31 AM ET
Albert Einstein ghosts proof

Every night, amateur ghost-hunting groups across the country head out into abandoned warehouses, old buildings and cemeteries to look for ghosts. They often bring along electronic equipment that they believe helps them locate ghostly energy.

Despite years of efforts by ghost hunters on TV and in real life, we still do not havegood proof that ghosts are real. Many ghost hunters believe that strong support for the existence of ghosts can be found in modern physics. Specifically, that Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientific minds of all time, offered a scientific basis for the reality of ghosts.

A recent Google search turned up nearly 8 million results suggesting a link between ghosts and Einstein’s work covering the conservation of energy. This assertion is repeated by many top experts in the field. For example, ghost researcher John Kachuba, in his book “Ghosthunters” (2007, New Page Books), writes, “Einstein proved that all the energy of the universe is constant and that it can neither be created nor destroyed. … So what happens to that energy when we die? If it cannot be destroyed, it must then, according to Dr. Einstein, be transformed into another form of energy. What is that new energy? … Could we call that new creation a ghost?”


This idea shows up — and is presented as evidence for ghosts — on virtually all ghost-themed websites as well. For example, a group called Tri County Paranormal states, “Albert Einstein said that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only change from one form to another. When we are alive, we have electrical energy in our bodies. … What happens to the electricity that was in our body, causing our heart to beat and making our breathing possible? There is no easy answer to that.” [6 Paranormal Videos Debunked]

In fact, the answer is very simple, and not at all mysterious. After a person dies, the energy in his or her body goes where all organisms’ energy goes after death: into theenvironment. When a human dies, the energy stored in his or her body is released in the form of heat, and transferred into the animals that eat us (i.e., wild animals if we are left unburied, or worms and bacteria if we are interred), and the plants that absorb us. If we are cremated, the energy in our bodies is released in the form of heat and light.

When we eat dead plants and animals, we are consuming their energy and converting it for our own use. Food is metabolized when digested, and chemical reactions release the energy the animal needs to live, move, reproduce, etc. That energy does not exist in the form of a glowing, ghostly ball of electromagnetic energy, but rather in the form of heat and chemical energy.

Many ghost hunters say they can detect the electric fields created by ghosts. And while it’s true that the metabolic processes of humans and other organisms actually do generate very low-level electrical currents, these are no longer generated once the organism dies. Because the source of the energy stops, the electrical current stops — just as a light bulb turns off when you switch off the electricity running to it.

Most of the “energy” that any dead person leaves behind takes years to re-enter the environment in the form of food; the rest dissipates shortly after death, and is not in a form that can be detected years later with popular ghost-hunting devices like electromagnetic field (EMF) detectors. Ghost hunters who repeat the claim that Einstein’s theories provide a sound basis for ghosts reveal less about ghosts than they do about their poor understanding of basic science. Ghosts may indeed exist, but neither Einstein nor his laws of physics suggests that ghosts are real.

Benjamin Radford is deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and author of “Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries.” His website is