AROUND NJ

Ask Away: Why does New Jersey have so many ghosts?

Ask Away: Why does New Jersey have so many more ghosts than states with larger populations such as California and New York? I have over three ghosts in my house and my friend Terrance has nearly six. Meanwhile my friend Matt, who lives in California, is essentially living ghost free.

We are not, by any means, experts on the supernatural, but we have seen ten and a half episodes of Ghost Hunters International collectively and so we will give it our best shot.

The answer to your question may be incredibly technical and boring. Many seemingly supernatural encounters can be chalked up to a number of legitimate scientific explanations. New Jersey was, and still is in many ways, one of the largest manufacturing centers in the country. There is a lot more machinery and infrastructure concentrated in a much smaller space in a place like New Jersey as opposed to a place like, let’s say, California where your friend Matt lives in a seemingly supernatural-activity-free zone. I am not sure if you or your friend Terrance lives near any sort of factories that would have large fans or other sorts of machinery, because that could be a contributing factor.

Oftentimes, low frequency sound waves, or infrasound, are emitted by machines and cause many of the symptoms that people associate with supernatural encounters such as nervousness, discomfort and a sense that there is a presence in the room. Cold spots are also thought to cause similar symptoms. Magnetic fields, natural and man-made, are also associated with spooky phenomena because of the way they interact with the human brain. They are much more powerful at night and they cause hallucinations and dizziness at times. They also create the feeling that there is a presence behind you that’s mimicking your exact movements. So walk around! Make sure you don’t live near a weird abandoned factory or anything because that is most likely your problem.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way we can speculate wildly about the actual cause of this ghost disparity, or ghostdisparity for short. Our best guess is that the case lies in burial grounds, but there are issues with that theory. The exact number of burial grounds in the state is hard to calculate because they are often sacred and mysterious. However, if TV has taught us anything, it’s that burial grounds are literally everywhere — most often under recently constructed suburban homes. There are probably just as many burial grounds in California as there are here, so it is most likely not the cause. Anyway, you mentioned a specific number of ghosts in each of your houses. You also mentioned them very casually, which seems to indicate that you are not currently living in abject terror. (DISCLAIMER: Taking the time to write to us on Ask Away, while usually a great thing to do, is not recommended if you are currently living in a house with dangerous spirits.) The friendliness of these ghosts would seem to rule out that these are burial ground ghosts because those ghosts are usually pretty surly after having their final resting place disturbed.

New Jersey does have a rich history of supernatural occurrences, which you can read about on weirdnj.com. If you feel like there are most definitely more ghosts per capita here in the state, well, it may just be that New Jersey really is weirder than most other places.

What do you wonder about New Jersey and its people that you want our reporters to investigate? Ask Away