THERE ARE AMAZING CLAIMS made about paranormal phenomena – from cases of magic affecting matter, to séance manifestations; from vampires physically harming people, to the enigmatic Indian rope trick. So often we hear of the laws of physics being suspended, or entities reacting with the experiencer. Is there a reality to such physical effects?
In recent years there has been a new entertainment phenomenon in the stage hypnotist. Among the many stunts he makes people do, they also seem to experience the unusual, the hypnotist placing thoughts in their minds which are experienced.
Such stooges recall the experience in a similar way to some witnesses to séance phenomena – there was a feeling they knew this wasn’t right, but were unable to do anything about it. So could hypnosis be involved in such paranormal phenomena?
Now, I am not saying the mediums and magicians who caused such phenomena were necessarily cheating, but it is becoming clear that some people are natural charismatics and able to easily enchant a small group of people. Magic seems to go under another name today.
But can this explain actual bodily reactions to such phenomena? In the previous chapter I showed how easily and natural it is to hallucinate. Yet a hallucination is more than just something seen. A strong hallucination can affect all the senses, so it can also be heard, smelt and felt.
The last point is vital. If something that isn’t really there can be felt, will it have a physical bodily reaction? Some experiments in hypnosis are showing that suggestion can cause reactions on the skin, and few are unaware of the ability of dreams to cause the body to react.
Magic, it seems, may not be as unexplained as we think, and as we will see next, such information could be vital for understanding that most frightening of phenomena – the poltergeist.
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