The paranormal is pretty creepy, that’s a given. But sometimes, the non-paranormal explanations of things are pretty creepy, too. The human brain is capable of some really unexpected stuff, and some of the most common encounters people have with the paranormal also have biological explanations, too.
- Sleep paralysis: Often said to be the work of evil spirits or demons, sleep paralysis is actually caused by the brain falling asleep before the body. The brain then enters REM sleep - the sleep where dreams are found - when the body is still conscious, causing the images from the dreams to be displayed as hallucinations. There is no explanation, however, as to why instances of sleep paralysis are nearly always horrific.
- Deja vu: While rumoured to be the work of a glitch or time jump, deja vu can also be caused by a person getting a brief glimpse of something before the brain has had a chance to construct a full conscious picture. This image or experience then becomes a trigger, causing the person to be flooded with feelings of overwhelming familiarity when faced with a situation only slightly similar. Sometimes, the person won’t even notice the trigger, making them believe they have familiar memories of a place they’ve never been to before.
- Doppelgänger: Not much is known for sure about this phenomena, where a person literally sees a double of themselves, but in the paranormal world, it’s said to be an omen of ill health or death. However, in psychiatry, there is the term heautoscopy, which is used to describe the experience of seeing your own body from a distance. It can also occur as a symptom of epilepsy or schizophrenia.
There is still a lot of debate, considering no two people’s experiences with these things will be the same, and sometimes other factors come into play (a person with deja vu knowing things they simply couldn’t know, for example), but sometimes, creepy experiences are literally all down to your brain. That’s pretty intimidating.