A contributor to the JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation) forum, a premier site for skeptical discussion, has posted a superb video detailing why the ghost hunter flashlight communication method appears to work. Turns out it is not paranormal at all. Just science.
This is SO good. It’s what TESTING is all about. (Ghost hunters have no idea how to do that.). It should be shown in a classroom.
Well done, Verklagekasper, from Germany!
Some ghost hunters use a flashlight to communicate with ghosts. Typically, the performing ghost hunter turns the flashlight’s head to a position where the lamp easily goes on or off by the slightest touch. Then the ghost hunter puts it on a table or on the ground and starts asking questions. Eventually, the flashlight seems to respond by going on or off. The questioning goes on, and the flashlight keeps going on and off without any noticable force affecting it. The ghost hunters claim that the flashlight is operated by a spirit.
But there is a physical explanation for the flashlight repeatedly going on and off by itself. This video presents experiments with the Mini Maglite 2-Cell AA (Xenon), which happens to be the model used in the TV-Show “Ghost Hunters” that made the trick popular. Experimental results and considerations of contact physics reveal that the trick is actually caused by a heat cycle.
Source: YouTube and the JREF Forum:
Video is 21 minutes.