Why do we assume?

As a teacher, occasionally I will have those days where nothing seems to go right. Some days I set out to inspire and end up coming home feeling like I spent the day pulling entire classes to the park in a wagon… all of them packed in like sardines, excited for the fun to come, but too apathetic to pitch in to help get the group there. (I apparently use this metaphor frequently because my last group of eighth grade students left me at the end of the year with a little red wagon, autographed by every one of them. Those days make it all worth it.) There have been a few times where on those wagon-pulling days I’ve decided to relieve my frustration while breaking the tension of the class at the same time… with a sudden drawn out scream. If you want the full effect, imagine Pee Wee Herman when someone said the secret word. Yes. I’m classy. But it usually works. We all laugh and move on in a much lighter (hopefully) atmosphere. 

The wagon story has nothing to do with this post, but remember that scream and get ready to picture it. 


I recently got caught up on what seemed like an endless amount of paranormal shows on the DVR. Episode after episode, I continued to see and hear investigators determine a location was haunted by the ghost of a “little girl”, because they captured an EVP with a higher pitched voice. Of course, it couldn’t be the voice of a little boy, even though little boys and girls voices often share the same higher pitch until puberty. With your eyes closed you might not always know. I hope that little boy wasn’t insulted. I guess they’ve also never heard my voice. I’m mistaken for a “ma’am” in the drive thru frequently and spend my days singing soprano and alto with middle schoolers. And what makes investigators believe that the timbre of the voice they’re picking up is what that spirit’s voice sounded like in life, anyway? What if vibrations come through an octave higher (or lower) as it pushes through the veil? Clearly, spirit voices lose a significant amount of clarity, consonants, and sometimes syllables when attempting communication, so what makes us so sure the pitch determines gender or age? Why do we assume?

In another episode they visit a building that holds centuries worth of memories and emotional stories, but because a rather famous person visited there twice, of course that must be the ghost that resides there. “Elvis! Is that you? Will you autograph my EMF meter?” Wouldn’t they be embarrassed to know that the voice they captured was actually of a fan who died just that week and simply followed them into the building, hoping to have their big moment. After all, no one can see them anymore and they’re pretty frustrated with being ignored. They just KNOW that Zak will hear them.

Okay my last gripe. I’m almost afraid to bring this one up again. “Look! There went a shadow! Go grab Father Dowling. We’re doing an exorcism.” Because a spirit or entity presents itself today as a shadow (on a night where you no doubt begged for some sort of manifestation or communication), it doesn’t make it an evil or demonic entity. Even if it’s quick to get away from you. Even if it’s an unusually short shadow. What makes you think you know? There’s probably a good chance that the shadow was not even paranormal at all, so leave the crucifix in the car. Anyway, it’s just Uncle Charlie, and a shadow is all he could muster today, thank you.  


AHHHHHHHHH! These things make me scream and jump up and down on the couch with my hands on my head. Were they edited to look this way? Surely they wouldn’t assume… would they?

Why do we assume? AHHHHHHH!

Ah well. At least I feel better now.


Related Posts: 


How to Evaluate the Authenticity of an Observer’s Supernatural Encounter (Big Séance)




I Still Watch Ghost Hunters… So What? (Big Séance)



About Patrick Keller

Patrick Keller is an educator, blogger, and the host of the Big Séance Podcast, which is a place for paranerds to have an open discussion on all things paranormal, but specifically topics like ghosts and hauntings, paranormal research, spirit communication, psychics and mediums, and life after death. He’s the founder of the now inactive Missouri Spirit Seekers and has spent a lot of time experimenting with spirit communication tools and techniques, such as EVP. Patrick also has a passion for spending hours at a time in cemeteries and loves cemetery photography. Visit BigSeance.com! View all posts by Patrick Keller

13 responses to “Why do we assume?

  • Renae Rude - The Paranormalist

    You’ve nailed some of my pet peeves. Don’t forget, too, the tendancy to be unnecessarily rude and confrontational when attempting to provoke ghostly responses … that’s worse than any other bad habit on the paranormal shows, I think.

  • Kirsten

    I’m a teacher, too, at Los Angeles Pierce College. I have many days like yours, where all I am doing is dragging them along. This whole week has been like that! But you don’t always know the difference that you’ve made until later, when they stop by and thank you for everything you did for them. Then, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

    • Patrick

      I know exactly what you mean, Kirsten. Actually, I’ve had a really great first week and I’ve seen some inspiring things. It is probably a little to early to do a cartwheel, but in a time when after 11 years I’m still not sure I know what I want to be when I grow up, feeling great at school is very welcome! 🙂

  • Gary Leigh

    Sounds along the same like as when I shout (all to often) What is wrong with you people!

    By the way, my guide said something very interesting about hearing spirits from the astral levels, but I am undecided about it myself. Be interested on other people’s views (especially yours) if you don’t mind.

    • Patrick

      Can you elaborate?

      • Gary Leigh

        I’ll post the section here then.

        Buzzing in the ears.

        Some empaths complain about buzzing in their ears. What is what all about?


        Assuming that we’re not referring to Tinnitus, which is a ringing in the ear, and affects many people, they may be hearing spirits trying to communicate with them.

        The problem is that it doesn’t work too well. Unless the spirit is perfectly attuned to the 3D level of vibration you are at, you will have difficulty hearing the message.

        This could be likened to inhaling helium, where the sound of voice comes out at a higher speed, due to the way sound waves travel through the gas, making it higher and sound more comical.

        When a spirit attempts to speak in your ear, they are coming from a much higher vibrational level, and what you will pick up is a weird distortion that almost sounds like buzzing or a voice being played backwards at the wrong speed.

        Unless you can adjust your hearing, which, while not impossible, is rather difficult, it is unlikely you will pick up what is being said, and you will just hear an annoying noise.
        It’s better if the entity just communicates telepathically, as language generally is not a barrier to understanding thoughts.

        If you keep on hearing someone trying to talk to you, send a thought that you can’t understand them and to stop communicating in this matter. They may seek out another method of communication.

  • Randall Keller

    What a great post. Sorry I got to it so late!

  • Maria Laing

    I am always happy to read your posts! Your focus on assumptions is well taken. I hope you have a great school year. Lucky kids to have you!!

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