Static Electricity and Its Paranormal Connection

This article gives a brief introduction to the nature of static electricity. Every paranormal investigator should have at least a basic knowledge of this kind of electricity since its effects are felt from time to time at places where witnesses report paranormal activities. They should understand its nature, although the occurrence of an electric field doesn’t necessarily indicate a paranormal activity.

Static electricity defined

Electricity is the flow or presence of electrically charged particles. There’s current electricity if the particles are moving. There’s static electricity if they’re stationary. These particles can have positive or negative charge depending on type. Static electricity emanates from the surface of an electrically charge object. An electric charge basically produces an electric field that can have an effect on the surrounding environment.

The electric charge spreads out on the whole surface of the object if the object conducts electricity. There will be no charge buildup if the conductor is earthed. But electric charge will accumulate on the object’s surface if the object insulates electricity insulator. The charge stays where it’s created. In other words, electric charge and the electric field produced differ from point to point across the object.

Sources of static electricity

Static electricity is commonly caused by a swap of electrons between surfaces of objects. Taking two object surfaces into close contact with ach other, and then separating the surfaces cause molecular attraction. Here, some electrons move from one surface to the other. The effect is greater if you rub the surfaces together. Many object surfaces, especially if they’re electric insulators, can produce static electricity easily.

Where it is found

You can find static electricity virtually everywhere, and almost all the time. Usually, however, you can’t notice them without using sensitive instruments. Static electricity builds up less as the relative humidity goes beyond 60%. This is due to moisture formation on objects, which effectively neutralize any electric charge there.  

Effects of static electric field

One of the most familiar effects is that stinging spark we get when we touch a door knob. Here’s something to be excited about: Stationary electricity can move certain objects. But don’t get too excited. While static electricity can slightly move an electrically charged tissue paper, it can’t move anything heavier, such as a cup or a vase.

The paranormal connection

Many paranormal investigators claim that ghosts can make static electric field changes. But it seems that science doesn’t lend support to such claim.  Even anecdotal evidence is hard to track down. Of course, this doesn’t mean that there could no connection between static electricity and the paranormal.

Michael Bentine, former Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena President, claimed he always smelled ozone (usually generated when there’s electrical sparking) during his seances. Whether this smell was connected to static electricity is not known.

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