Cold spots and the paranormal

24th June 2018. Reading Time: 5 minutes General, Paranormal Investigation, Stuff paranormal investigators need to know. 3337 page views. 1 comments.

One of the common theories amongst paranormal investigators is that cold spots could mean something paranormal is occurring or is about to happen.  What natural explanations can cause us to feel these cold spots and what is the best way to measure them? Do you believe a cold spot means there is a spirit around or is it something else?

One of the common theories amongst paranormal investigators is that cold spots could mean paranormal is occurring or is about to happen. What natural explanations can cause us to feel these cold spots and what is the best way to measure them?  

A paranormal investigator's theory into cold spots

In theory, we believe that a spirit or a ghost is made up of energy. In order to manifest or appear, they must pull in energy from the environment. Because the energy within the environment is made up of heat, them manipulating that means that the area they are drawing the energy from becomes cold. People claim when they feel they have been touched, it feels cold. An unexplained cold spot in the middle of an otherwise warmish room where there is no source of the draft is interpreted to be a spirit trying to appear. We carry around data loggers, Mel meters, and temperature guns in an effort to record these drops in temperature. We are not looking for a drop of only 1 degree. We like to see a variation of at least 10 degrees for it to grab our attention.

If it is not paranormal, what could it be?

What becomes confusing however is when we are physically feeling that an area of a room is significantly colder than the rest, and our equipment doesn’t seem to show that the temperature is different. So why do we feel so much colder than what it is? This of course is assuming there is not a draft coming in from a window, fireplace, or heating vent which should always be eliminated as the first plan of attack. The same goes if you ask something to come forward and touch you. You are anticipating it and your brain could be making you feel that it is happening through the power of suggestion. Other explanations include:

  • Heat rises and when it cools it settles back to the floor. This means if there is an airflow moving through the room, it can cause certain spots to feel colder than others. You don’t need to be standing next to the window to feel the draft.
  • It is also worth remembering that there are certain health conditions that can make a person feel cold when everyone else feels normal. If someone says they are cold and the rest of the room is not, it is quite possible they just feel the cold a little more than the rest.
  • A cold spot could be radiating from a cold surface or object nearby. Say you are in a building that has a big steel table. Something like a morgue perhaps. People may feel cold air above or directly around this table without touching the actual table. They may think that something is trying to manifest on the table. In reality, the object is radiating a cold pocket of air. When you stand in front of or next to a cold object, your body actually loses heat toward this object.
  • In areas where there is low humidity, moisture evaporates from your skin which can cause you to feel cold. Alternatively, when you are warm, moving air will feel cold to you. The air removes the heat from your skin making you feel cold.

How should I be measuring Cold Spots

Laser IR temperature guns and thermal imaging cameras are two of the most popular ways to measure temperature. The problem with both of these is that they read the temperature of an object or surface, they don’t measure the air itself.
When you are using a temp gun, for example, you are most likely hitting a wall or the floor because it needs a point to read. It will not read the cold pocket of air you are feeling in the middle of the room.

The same can apply to a thermal imaging camera. It reads the heat signature of the objects and surfaces around it. Not the air itself. It will most likely not show you if there is a pocket of air that is cold, just a cold object or surface.

Data logging is probably the best way to measure this with any sort of accuracy. If you were able to set up a grid of loggers it would more accurately show you where a cold spot is. It would also show you if the air was moving or still. We underestimate the power of data logging. Taking readings of the atmospheric conditions is really the only way to actually determine if there is a cold pocket of air. A mel meter can do the job in this instance as well as you are not reading a surface, it is the air surrounding the antenna. If I was to see a cold spot on a thermal camera and also have the same picked up by a data logger or mel meter, I must say I would be interested. I have in the past picked up a 30-degree drop in temperature from a data logger over the span of 10 seconds. Unfortunately, I could not replicate it and there is, of course, the chance being that it was a cheap data logger from overseas that it may have malfunctioned. Especially since the other loggers in the room detected no change. We must concede that equipment can malfunction - in particular when a battery is low. This is why using multiple devices is essential as the possibility of them all malfunctioning at the same time is little to none.

One of the things I like to talk about a lot is the word 'context'.  If you randomly walk into a room and feel a cold spot with not much else going on, is it paranormal?  If you have all sorts of other things happening or a series of events leading up to and after a cold spot, it becomes all the more interesting.  I always like to look at things as a whole instead of each individual thing.  Once you can eliminate all the things like draft etc and you have a recorded temperature drop as well as other events, you potentially have some pretty interesting on your hands!

If you do manage to record an anomaly, how do you then interpret this cold spot? Is it just a cold pocket of air, or is it a spirit trying to. make itself known? Would love to hear your thoughts

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  • Kenda Elise 5 years ago

    The cold is real. I'm one of those who's been grabbed a few times ~ The most prominent felt like a huge icy hand (I didn't move because I knew exactly what it was)... Felt it sink into my muscle, straight to the bone; Took over 10 secs to dissipate (needless to say, I was elated); Another memorable occasion: In our local mall, browsing in a Turkish import store when I feel a solid, ICY, "spider-webby" feeling hand grasp the crook of my arm ~ No one's in the shop but my husband and myself, I record there and then; It's a female with a foreign accent. A couple of weeks later, news breaks ~ One of the men working in the establishment is arrested and charged with accosting women in the shop's storeroom. When I feel a cold spot, I don't jump to conclusions, try to determine any possible physical cause... In the face of no rational explanation, I find them very interesting