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Ghost Story: Low Frequency Illusions Created By Standing Waves?
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Before working at Coventry University in Coventry, UK, I designed anesthetic machines in a lab that was two garages end to end.

The lab was long and thin, rather like a railway carriage. There was no hint of the strange events that would unfold.

As I arrived one morning, I reached for the door handle and came face to face with the cleaning lady who was in a state of distress. She told me she had just been crept up on by something, which she took to be a ghost.

Aided by a healthy dose of skepticism, I decided to take a look. The thing was described as gray, very tall and less than attractive. But when I entered the lab, there was nothing to be seen.

I checked to confirm there were no leaking anesthetic gases. We were extremely careful with the anaesthetic agents. Everything checked out. The cleaning lady returned, and we did what anyone would expect of the British in a crisis…had a cup of tea.

Over the following weeks, we experienced weird events. For example, my boss would talk to me as if I was standing next to him, when I was on the other end of the room.

In addition, we were unusually depressed and suffered headaches. The room could be oppressively hot in the summer, but this was different and unpleasant.

Sitting at the desk late one night, I had an intense feeling that someone was watching me. There were windows at each end of the lab, so it was possible. I investigated but there was no one around.

Back at the desk, the feelings got stronger, and I began to notice something moving by my shoulder. Immediately the hackles stood up on the back of my neck and a cold chill ran through me.

There was clearly something else in the room. The door was in front of me, so no one could have entered without my knowing. Whatever it was came from behind me and glided silently to my side.

I was partly aware that my attempts to give this gray mass form were influencing what I saw, but I was absolutely terrified of what was happening.

Time Seemed To Slow…
I considered a range of options, mainly centered on escape. In the end, with the gray mass established between the door and myself, I decided to confront it.

But when I turned to look at the apparition, it retreated and faded away. With skepticism still marginally intact, I decided I was working too hard and went home.

The following day, I discovered what I believed to have been the cause of the apparition. I was entering a fencing competition and had come in early to fit my favorite handle to a foil blade. When I put the blade into the vise, the free end began to move on its own.

As I wondered what might happen next, it dawned on me that this vibration required energy, and therefore, something a little less supernatural might be involved.

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