We go out usually at night into old buildings, some of which are in almost derelict conditions. They can be dirty, unclean and unkept. One of the common things you encounter on an investigation is not just the scary concept of spiders ……. But the cobwebs they are behind. Cobwebs sometimes can be mistaken for something else.
There are many videos online which circulate which shows footage from a CCTV in night vision mode and suddenly you see what looks like a tall apparition walk by. If I am being honest, it was during the first episode of the reboot of Ghost Hunters that inspired this article because this is exactly what they dealt with. Footage that went viral of an ‘apparition’ walking out of a doorway in a highschool was the talking point of the episode. Upon inspection of the school, they noticed cobwebs all around the CCTVs. After some recreation, they found that the apparition was not something paranormal, it was the very tiny cobweb blowing back and forward from a draft.
Most CCTV work on motion detection – especially in places like a high school. I should know because I work in one and part of my job is to review camera footage. If we need to review footage, we don’t want to have to look at hours of static or nothing, so motion detecting cameras are often used. Sadly sometimes the wind blowing a leaf in a tree for example would set it off. A cobweb blowing in front of the camera would also set it off.
Here is another scenario to think of. You are walking around in the dark and you are perhaps filming with a converted camera. Often the room is completely pitch black and all you can see in front of you is what is on the camera screen. You walk into a room and maybe there is a cobweb in the doorframe. It is not something you can even see with the naked eye because it is dark. It may show up on your camera screen as a floating shadow. It is something you probably wouldn’t see until you get home and review the footage, so you aren’t able to go back to ‘debunk’. Maybe you can get back but not for another few days and the cobweb could potentially be gone by then. It is always a good idea to do a walk around with the lights on before an investigation which many people do anyway. We don’t generally look for cobwebs though. While it isn’t our job to do the cleaning, if you do see any obvious cobwebs in doorways etc just remove it so you are removing the possibility of it being something else.
It is also important to point as well that there were other things happening at the school, not just this random footage. From people feeling watched and lights mysteriously turning on and off, while this video was not what it seemed, there was enough reports of other things happening to warrent an investigation. This is why it is always important to look at the entire picture, not just one piece of evidence.
Often on an investigation, people feel like they are walking through cobwebs. I have felt it before myself on an investigation and my first instinct is to look for cobwebs. I usually can’t find them. Is that because though when you walk through a cobweb, you have dislodged and moved it so when you look to see what you walked through, it is actually gone. While some cobwebs will stick to your hands or your clothes, other may fall to floor. Many people have said that they feel the feeling of walking through cobwebs could be an indication that a spirit is nearby. While this could be the case, I like to look at things in context. If you are walking and you feel cobwebs randomly and nothing else is going on, you have probably likely run into a rogue web. If there are other things happening at the time, if you can’t locate a web anywhere, it could be interesting. Psychics believe that the ability to feel cobwebs may mean you have Clairsentience - the gift of feeling. Is just one person feeling it or are several?
Cobwebs are pretty hard to spot in the dark. If you are in an obvious dirty place, why not investigate with the lights on? If you feel that you really need to do it in the dark for your own reasons, the moment you feel something like a cobweb, turn the lights on. Is it on your clothes? Is it on the floor? Try as much as possible to debunk on the spot to remove that element of doubt.
Cobwebs are something we will encounter all the time and there isn’t really anything we can do about it apart from being aware. It may seem weird going through with a feather duster and getting some of the more obvious webs and quite frankly isn’t your job, but that is going to be one of the only ways to eliminate a cobweb gate crashing your investigation. When you do remove a cobweb or even more so you find you walk into one, please make sure there were no spiders in it. Some can be dangerous and very honestly, a spider is so much more terrifying than anything paranormal!
Have you debunked some footage, a photo or an experience where a cobweb was the culprit?
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