Paranormal activity: Man hears ‘voice’ from ‘haunted mirror’
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Thousands of people around the globe claim to have the ability to turn off streetlights simply by walking by. This bizarre phenomenon, officially dubbed Street Light Interference Syndrome or SLI, has been widely discussed on internet forums and social media sites for decades. Could it be a glitch in the Matrix? Or perhaps a case of psychic interference with the power grid?
People who claim to have this ability call themselves SLIders and are on the hunt for answers.
According to reports published online, SLI typically manifests when people approach on foot or by car a streetlight only to see it go off and then turn on again once they pass it.
One Reddit user, for example, shared his experiences with the website’s r/Paranormal community.
The person said: “I saw a post about a man whose daughter causes home lights to go out.
Have the streetlights ever gone off when you walked past? (Image: GETTY)
The unusual phenomenon is being reported worldwide (Image: GETTY)
“I have had similar occurrences with street lamps my whole life. Not constantly, just enough to notice.”
Another Reddit user said last year that streetlights have been going off when driving by for the last eight to nine years, adding: “It happens everywhere I go.”
A similar account shared in 2014 reads: “As someone who walks and bikes a lot especially at night, it seems like it happens too often to be coincidence or just dumb luck.
“I almost never seen individual lamps turn off from a distance, at least not nearly as often as I see hem flicker out as I pass just beneath them.”
Identical stories can be found on numerous online forums with people being adamant their experiences are true.
So what exactly is going on here?
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Although some studies have been carried out on the SLIder phenomenon, the results have so far been inconclusive.
According to some, this might simply be a case of confirmation bias.
Confirmation bias is a psychological phenomenon in which people subconsciously pick out certain events or facts to confirm their narrative while ignoring the most obvious conclusions.
In this particular case, it would imply people focus on the individual times streetlights did go off when they walked by – but subconsciously ignore the hundreds or thousands of streetlights that did not.
Do you believe in paranormal and extraterrestrial phenomena (Image: EXPRESS)
The phenomenon is most likely a case of confirmation bias (Image: GETTY)
In a similar way to SLI, many people claim TVs and video game consoles turn off when they walk by or that other electronic devices die as soon as they get their hands on them.
The confirmation bias theory was supported by Professor Richard Wiseman at the University of Hertfordshire, who said in 2008 it is likely a matter of observer bias.
He said: “Streetlamps are going on and off all the time because they are faulty or because their timers aren’t set properly.
“People only have to walk under a couple of lamps going off to think that they might be the cause.”
Another plausible theory suggests streetlights will flicker on and off because of the chemical processes going on inside the lamps.
Streetlights can flicker or “cycle” due to the changing vapours inside or ageing electrodes.
Streetlights that utilise motion or light sensors may also glitch from time to time, giving people the impression they are somehow responsible.
Whatever the case may be, SLI is almost certainly not a paranormal phenomenon.