Archive for the paranormal powers Category

Table Tipping

Posted in paranormal powers with tags , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2008 by youtubeskeptic

I decided to do a table tipping entry due to the fact that I signed up to attend a seance this weekend,which will be including table tipping. I’ve decided that it would be interesting,to say the least,to start going to local paranormal events or classes to experience them first hand.A couple months ago I attended a ghost hunting “class” which was…..well,interesting. I took a look around on and found a local paranormal “investigation” group that is having a table tipping seance to contact spirits that they are sure are present due to numerous “investigations” they had done in the location.

Table tipping is one of the ways spirits are supposed to be able to make contact with the living,and originated when the modern spiritualism movement really started to take off in the early 1850’s.A group of people either sit or stand around a table and place their hands on the table near the edge,which are to be used as a conduit for spirit energy to move the table about,tip it,or even cause the table to levitate. Proponents of the method claim that all members in the session are not moving the table with their hands and that the hands of the participants are barely touching the table making it impossible for them to move the table through regular means such as pushing. Count de Gasparin and Professor Marc Thury of Geneva,concluded after their investigation into the phenomenon,that a force they called the “ectenic force” -a spiritual energy emitted by the spiritualist medium- was responsible.

I choose this video in particular because the person posting it claimed that it was a “controlled test” of table tipping that was being conducted. I found this a little strange as it looks no different from the multitude of other table tipping videos I could have chosen from,so one wonders exactly what controls are supposedly being applied to the participants.

One of the first controlled tests to eliminate the question of weather people were moving the table with their fingers,was conducted by Michael Faraday,who was made famous by his discovery of electro magnetism. Faraday’s simple device was two boards with glass rollers between them,held together with rubber bands. The ability of the spirits to move the table disappeared when this device was used and it was showed that it was the hands of the mediums or participants moving the table. While some might rationalize that the hands must be on the table surface and not on the device for the table to tip,there is also other controls that can be applied. James Randi has conducted many tests of table tippers and applied controls such as just placing wax paper under the finger tips of participants which will simple slide along the table if a directional force is applied. This is also used in conjuncture with placing the hands away from the edges of the table and toward the middle of the table making tipping due to downward pressure impossible.One must also take into account that many table tippers have also used their feet and legs to tip or levitate tables,so having participants sit in a chair with their feet down by the back legs of the chair helps to eliminate the leg and feet factor. To no ones surprise,table tippers also lost their abilities to move or levitate tables when such controls were applied.

In the video I see a small table that one might use to eat in front of the TV,which wouldn’t exactly take a whole lot of effort to move.The legs of the table are of the type that they cross,which is far more susceptible to downward manipulation as opposed to a table where the four legs come directly down from each corner.Also the hands are not in the lightly touching finger tips,propped up position that proponents will usually claim was used. Instead,everyones hands are almost laying down flat on the table,making it much easier to push or pull the table in any particular direction.

So,one can reasonable conclude that table tipping is not a true phenomenon and that it is either purposeful trickery of a dubious medium or participant,or that it is a result of the ideomotor effect;where ones muscles move subconsciously when the movement is an expected one.All the corroborative evidence points to it;exposed as trickery directly from the start and the inability for it to occur when simple controls are applied.Still,in spite of the evidence,one can never take away the need to believe,by some,in such things.


Magnetic People

Posted in paranormal powers on May 11, 2008 by youtubeskeptic

There are a number of people around the world who claim to be magnetic.Let’s take a look at a short story of one such man:

If you read most of the comments,it seems this demonstration of his amazing ability has many people convinced,although there is much bickering about it. Some propose the old ancient Chinese stand by of “qi” as the mysterious force behind the ability. One person scoffed at the idea of it being qi with the more rational idea that it was actually magnetism generated by high iron content in the blood and controlled muscle spasms.Still,according to others,no one knows why this happens and its still a “mystery to science”.

It does seem quite convincing if you were to see this come up on your television at home-I mean,he DID pull a whole car.A search of you You Tube will result in a few different stories about people having magnetic powers.Some of these people are even so magnetic that objects not usually influenced by a magnet will be attracted to them;like glass ashtrays.

Here is another video of an entire magnetic family:

Let’s take a more skeptical view of this phenomenon of magnetic people and see what we can find just through a couple simple observations of the facts in the videos.

  1. Objects are stuck to the body and remain there through some sort of force.
  2. Objects are placed on the skin with no visible “attraction” taking place like you see with magnets.
  3. Claimants never place an object on a parallel plain to the ground,they are always on a perpendicular surface.They should at least be able to stick the lighter objects to something like their arm and hang it upside down without it falling off.
  4. Claimants tend to lean backwards slightly.This is very apparent at the end of the first video where the lean is seen to increase with the number of objects applied to the body.Why lean backward?
  5. Non magnetic objects like glass and plastic stick to the body which shows the force is not magnetic.
  6. All objects are stuck to bare skin only,never over clothing.If a magnetic field was strong enough to hold an iron to your chest with no shirt on then there should be no reason that even a small object,like a fork,should be able to stick to the body with even a thin shirt on.

Of course,the simple answer is that these people are not magnetic at all.Whats really at play here is bare skin and a little moisture.Anyone ever stick a spoon to their nose when they were kids? Same idea,different parts of the body.It accounts for all the known facts and evidence and is testable.If these people were to wear a thin shirt or even apply some powder to their skin to make it nice and dry they would find that their magnetic powers have magically disappeared. In fact,James Randi did test the man from the magnetic family video on TV and he was unable to make objects stick once a bit of powder was applied to his chest.

It’s still a neat little trick and maybe you can fool some friends and family with your amazing magnetic powers.