By Gary Robusto, Tri-City NYPS Founder & Head Investigator
"Please turn the flashlight on," “Only turn the light on for yes answers,” "Can you turn the light back off for us?" These are the sayings some of us use while conducting what’s known as a flashlight session to try and communicate with anything supposedly ghostly around us. Is this form of communication acceptable in the paranormal community? Is it possible evidence that we are having a live-time paranormal experience? Why do we bother to use it?
For those who read this and don't know or really understand how the flashlight test/theory works, let me get you the 411 on it. Here we go. Youtake a MagLite flashlight that has a "twist" top lens that you turn the light on and off this way. We usually use the smaller ones that can fit in your pocket and that are easy to carry, and no, color doesn't matter so feel free to get your pinks and purples, ladies. What we do is lightly twist the lens until it's barely ready to go on. What I mean by this, is we have manipulated the light enough that it's still turned off, but if you just barely touch it, the light will turn on. You set it on a sturdy surface, make any minor adjustments so the light doesn't roll away on you and you are ready to go. Make the intent known for what the light is supposed to turn on for, an example would be, "Please only turn on for yes answers," and then start your question asking session. We cool? Good, now we know how to do this test. The theory behind this is that ghosts can complete the circuit connection with their own energy in the flashlight to turn it on and off to answer our questions. Pretty simple.
Ok, now time for the reality of this from a researcher’s point of view. If we are going by the theory of “intelligent ghosts”, meaning that they can see, hear and understand everything we are doing and saying to them, then this should be very simple for them to do. Based on this theory, spirits are made of energy and all we are asking them to do is use their energy to turn the light on and off. If we are going by Einstein’s theory that energy can NOT be destroyed and remains constant even after a living thing has passed away, then this theory could make sense. So wouldn't turning a simple light on be pretty easy next to bigger activity like door slamming, object moving and disappearing and garbage can tossing? The theory that spirits are made of energy would then make the flashlight theory possible and may work, but is it “evidence”?
As researchers here at Tri-City NYPS, we are working on different experiments with theories to try to find things implausible or find something to be plausible. I don't like to use the words “prove” or “disprove” because really I don't think we can prove anything or really disprove anything. We can find out what works better or doesn't seem to work to help further the field for people to take us serious and not just see us as entertainers and parlor trick performers. We have been using this technique with the MagLite flashlights for a long time now, over a year I would say. We have used this test in historic places, new buildings and homes, scary basements and even in the bathroom, inside & outside, on dry land & out over the water. We have tried it all over. We have collected data and created charts on each session we have done and how the test worked. Those charts will be up on our site very soon for you all to see and study for yourselves so stay tuned to find out if the experiments yielded anything worthwhile in seeing this theory put to the scientific method.