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Misperceptions
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rynner
Location: Still above sea level
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PostPosted: 07-06-2005 09:05    Post subject: Misperceptions Reply with quote

A thread for stories where you thought you experienced something weird or ghostly or odd, but then realised it was after all something mundane that you had temporarily misperceived. (Such stories often crop up in passing on other threads, but there seems to be no thread dedicated to them - if there is, I'm sure the Mods will do the necessary!)

I'll start the ball rolling with this little one (literally):

Running a bath the other day, I was startled to see a tiny pink worm wiggling about in the tub.
Where had it come from? How could it live in such hot water? I was able to discount the idea that it had come from my body (Eeeww! Shocked ), as I hadn't got into the bath yet!

But closer examination revealed it to be a small red carpet fibre (probably from the bath mat) which was tumbling in the turbulent water, giving the impression that it was alive and wiggling.

Drat! I thought I'd discovered a new extremophile!
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escargot1Offline
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PostPosted: 07-06-2005 09:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

My big dog once sat whimpering on the stairs all night. I was sure that this was a supernatural portent, you know, like a doggy banshee phenomenon...
....till he chucked up a load of tree-bark in the morning, having been chewing a stick all the previous afternoon. Rolling Eyes

Our next-door neighbour once asked me who the men were who'd been running up and down my stairs and round my house shouting while I'd been at work. I lived alone at the time. Shocked

Turns out that he'd had finally had a hearing aid fitted and couldn't distinguish where the sounds were coming from - probably the TV or across the road. Laughing

Scariest was when we started noticing a really foul stench in the house. Demonic possession! Poltergeist! Amityville!
No, I'd started feeding the dogs on high-fat butcher scraps, which played havoc with their digestion. Confused

We did have a 'things that aren't Fortean but still weird' thread but perhaps that's gone now.
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drbastardOffline
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PostPosted: 07-06-2005 12:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couple of months back stripping wallpaper in the back bedroom with my wife, was deep in concentration with my tool (like you do) when suddenly it felt like she sharply prodded me twice in my rear waist, (exactly like someone might do if they were creeping up on you and playfully trying to make you jump). It was mildly painful and tickled, and I reflexively snapped around to irritably tell her off for being silly-but to my horror she was way over the other side of the room completely minding her own business!

I was left reeling, and very spooked out for a few minutes. Eventually realised that it must have been a case of a rather strong, isolated muscle twitch/tetanus. I had the day before been to the gym & started some new lower back exercises. Never had anything like that before though, was a really strange feeling-it felt exactly like a prod. Sadly not a mischievous ghost though IMO, perhaps more like my aging muscles beginning to protest!

Rolling Eyes
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escargot1Offline
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PostPosted: 07-06-2005 13:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reminds me of the time when I was repeatedly prodded in the back of the head on a long walk home late on a winter's night. Half a dozen times I spun round to confront my tormentor, to find nobody there. A long bendy twig had of course fallen into my coat hood. Rolling Eyes
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mejane1Offline
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PostPosted: 07-06-2005 14:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Walking to work, taking my usual route, I was surprised, nay astounded, to see a largish derelict 2-storey building that I'd never seen before.

I was even more surprised when I mentioned this oddity to Mother and she said that it was an old factory which had been there for decades and that she had herself worked there in the late 1950's.

I've walked that path hundreds of times over the years, so why had I never noticed this building before? All I had ever seen was a grove of large fir trees... I think you all know the punch line Very Happy

Jane.
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rjmrjmrjmOffline
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PostPosted: 07-06-2005 15:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, i'm quite dense... what punchline?
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LeaferneOffline
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PostPosted: 07-06-2005 15:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

The trees had been cut down?

Was once over at a friend's house one evening...both the friend and her house were minefields of Fortean weirdness so to speak. Suddenly I heard a persistent rattling sound and nearly launched myself into her lap. (It was the boarder putting his keys in the door) Earlier that evening the toilet had flushed on its own so I was in a bit of a mood wrt such things.
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JamesWhiteheadOffline
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PostPosted: 07-06-2005 21:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two misperceptions come to mind, both of them viewed from the windows at night.

One was the sparkly ghost-thing at the end of the road. It glittered like a shower of electric sparks, random but never moving far from the corner. In the cold light of day, it was one of those feral cassette tapes which someone had draped over a fence.

At the back of house, I saw refuse being hungrily devoured by swarms of rats. I could see their long snouts and tails; I could see them climbing over each other to gain the tastiest morsels. I almost saw them multiplying as I watched. In the grey light of dawn, the whole unsavoury pantomime proved to be a misinterpretation of the ragged top of a black bin-liner blown by gusts of air. Confused
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Tyger_LilyOffline
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PostPosted: 07-06-2005 21:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is more of an aural misperception but the first track on the Julian Cope album Saint Julian is Trampoline and there's a guitar effect which always sounded like my sister calling my brother's name!

Everytime I played the sodding album I'd open my bedroom door and tell him that he was being called, to which he'd either not be in or look at me blankly and then tell me to shut up!
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Jerry_BOffline
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PostPosted: 08-06-2005 09:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many moons ago, I was staying at my then girlfriend's flat one summer evening when a huge beetle came flying in through the window. It buzzed around the room ina clumsy confused way and then veered into one wall and fell to the ground. We had a look at it and saw that it had damaged one of it's wings and couldn't fly any more. It was such a large scarab-like beetle that we were convinced it was some rare exotic species, perhaps even some sort of African variety that had escaped from someone's collection. So we placed it carefully in a bowl - my girlfriend even put some salad leaves for it as 'food' (even tho' we didn't have a clue what beetles ate). After about half an hour, there was a beeping sound coming from the direction of the beetle. It would give a sharp beep every 5 seconds or so, or so it seemed. This made it seem even more weird, and we wondered how it made such a sound. So this beeping went on regularly for the whole night, and neither of us got any sleep.

Anyway, the next morning her flatmate come home and said 'Are you two deaf? The smoke alarm's battery is running low. Didn't you hear it beeping? And why have you got a dead stag beetle and some salad leaves in a bowl...?'
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elffriendOffline
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PostPosted: 08-06-2005 09:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once spent hours lying terrified in my bed as there was a white glowing enitity sat at the bottom of it. I lay under my duvet sweating and too scared to come out. Eventually I plucked up the courage to turn on my bedside light and saw..........................my washing hanging on my clothes drier Rolling Eyes
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YithianOffline
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PostPosted: 08-06-2005 09:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

I turned around in my back garden several years back (at about dusk) and got hit in the face with an empty black bin-liner blowing on the wind.

For a second or two i was convinced i was under attack by a giant bat or something.

I don't think i made terribly manly noises. Embarassed
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mossy_slothOffline
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PostPosted: 08-06-2005 11:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elffriend wrote:
I once spent hours lying terrified in my bed as there was a white glowing enitity sat at the bottom of it. I lay under my duvet sweating and too scared to come out. Eventually I plucked up the courage to turn on my bedside light and saw..........................my washing hanging on my clothes drier Rolling Eyes


ha ha this happened to me last night...except I thought it was a spectre of Michael Jackson... but it was just my partner's black coat and some white shirts draped on the clotheshanger...
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 08-06-2005 15:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

Twenty-five years ago I came to the county where I still live... for the first weeks I lived in a refitted bus with bunks, refirgerator, shower, etc. parked on a tract on the foothill slopes of the Northern Rio Grande Valley. Its a huge, broad glacial valley-- you can see a very long way across it to the west. There are several volcanic mountains including Ute, which is said to be the largest freestanding peak in North America, and San Antonio...

One August evening as full darkness fell I was looking across the valley between Ute and Antonio and saw lights in the sky on the far side-- a file of perhaps ten or fifteen lights with one bright one at the head and three or four outliers. The file would stand still for a while and then move very slowly north for a very short distance; the outliers didn't appear to move except for one which moved pretty constantly in ovals. Something about the whole thing had a kind of eerie familiarity even though I'd never seen anything like it in my life...

I watched it for about half an hour, when the file started moving maybe twice as fast as before, and steadly, while the moving outlier stopped still. The sense of familiarity became irritating-- I could almost resolve what I was seeing into a comprehensible image, but not quite. Then for some reason I was inspired to bend over and look at it "upside down."

It was instantly, obviously, a railroad train.

When they say many UFOs are actually inversion layers, I believe 'em. There's a cement plant served by rail over in the direction I was looking, and a big bucket loader with a bright light on it which fills hopper cars... and three or four yard lights... and the hopper cars have their own lighting; I've seen the yard close up since. When the train moved out of the yard, it distinguished itself as a separate component, and I relised that I should recognise it-- it was appearing upside down is all.
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CoffeeJediOffline
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PostPosted: 08-06-2005 16:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

a few years ago i was in my first apartment. after living with my parents my entire life, i had a hard time sleeping if i knew that my roommate was away and i was "alone" at night.

i was awoken one night to a loud ripping or tearing sound, i awoke with a start and saw several glowing bands of light undulating wildly at the foot of my bed. in my half-asleep state i first thought "ghosts" then "aliens". terrified, i screamed and turned on the light beside my bed

it was my mirror, a cheap thin mirror that hung on my closet door with adhesive. it was hot that night and the foam tape had loosened, the ripping sound was it tearing off the door. the "light" was a result of the top of the mirror bending and warping back and forth as the bottom had caught itself on some objects; and reflecting the street lights from outside. it took me a loooong time to get back to sleep that night
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