Fun with push lights – experimenting with trigger objects

I must admit that I have been a little disillusioned at times during my research. I go online and all I read and see are stories of teams making claims of full-bodied apparitions, as well as continual, and without a doubt, conversation, and interaction with the deceased.
In my 45 or so years of doing my extensive boots-on-the-ground field research, i.e actually spending time out there in locations sitting, observing, recording, and being in the moment in the hopes of being in the right place at the right time to experience the ”real deal” activity, I can still only count the number of experiences I could not find any possible rational and plausible explanation for, on the one hand. (With spare fingers too)
I have found myself becoming more sceptical (and possibly even more cynical) with every passing year. The more I learn the more I know and the more I know equals my level of scepticism and ability to debunk and dismiss trivial things more quickly.
Sometimes however, a moment arises that really gives my scepticism a good shake and has me scratching to find a rational answer. If I’m honest, sometimes I prefer to not find an explanation. sometimes the mystery is far more appealing, and I just really do not want the moment taken away with some mundane logical explanation. However, I am a realist and try to call things as they are. Sometimes you just have to. Delusion is something that has never sat with me, so I try to accept things as they are. If something is not paranormal, great.
Cool effect and an intriguing experience at the time; but if it ends up being something naturally occurring that I had not thought of at the time, so be it.
One of the more intriguing scenarios we have been encountering the last couple of years during the team’s investigations is what appears to be interactions with some of our trigger objects.
More specifically, a few push/pop lights we’ve been utilising of late. I found these and a few similar types online. I often buy cheap items via eBay that I think might prove useful as trigger objects while out at locations. Cheap experimentation without spending a lot of money. Why spend big bucks on ”unknowns”, I say?
The lights are very basic. There is not much to them at all. They take 2 AAA batteries and are made to stick to the inside of small sheds or household cupboards, as a quick and easy lighting solution. To turn on just push the top down. easy.
It all started during a return visit to Massey Homestead, a stunning 1853 historic building set in extensive gardens on Massey Road, Mangere East here in Auckland. It was for some years the home of William Ferguson Massey, who was Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1912 to 1925.
The team has been returning for follow-up investigative sessions since 2014 and in the seven or so years of sitting, observing, and documenting we’ve only had a small few incidents worthy of a passing mention. Mainly from the more sensitive, easily spooked previous team members misinterpreting the naturally occurring sounds of building structures, as well as falling into a common trap of being hyper-vigilant in new surroundings.
During 2019, I started adding the cheap pop lights into the mix of potential trigger items we would scatter around the building in the hopes of having something set off that we could then investigate and maybe debunk or further aid us in our work. 2020 at Massey Homestead would be a session that finally gave us some unexpected action with one of these simple little lights. We put one up on a shelf in one of the Meeting Rooms alongside a bunch of other meters, detectors, and atmospheric monitoring sensors. We had been asking the usual generic ghost-hunting questions, forever hopeful of receiving a response or reply in return. ”Is anyone here that would like to come speak with us?”
The questions were asked and met with that all-familiar silence.
Until we directed the questioning a little more. Asking whoever might be there to touch the items on the shelf in response to our questions. This might at the very least give us a sign that there might be someone around that can hear us.
This was the moment a single light flicked on; then off.
Now to set things straight, these lights are made to only turn on when the top is pushed down. The ”push” makes the connection, and the light clicks on. To turn it off, it must be pushed a second time.
The session at Massey that night lasted an hour before the light ceased its apparent activity and nothing more happened for the rest of that night.
So far, the two locations giving us some solid and compelling pop-light interactions sessions have been Massey Homestead and the Lake House Art Centre. We will continue to use the lights within our research until we can someday better understand them and what is happening there.
Outside of a couple of very random and not-so-convincing activations, the lights remained inactive during most of our following investigations at other locations.
In the few sessions when the lights were being activated with apparent precision and right on cue, the sessions were quite staggering for me personally.
Even with my sceptical mind, I found myself speechless and without any explanations that would fit what was happening right in from of me. We would have multiple cameras positioned around the room to capture the activity. many a time I would be lying on the floor on my belly holding my camera as close as I could get to record as much of the moment as possible before it stopped.
A few times, our EMF and temperature meters would register fluctuations when the lights were being activated. During a session at the Lake House Art Centre in Takapuna, Aimee seemingly played a game of Dominoes with the alleged resident ghost girl, ”Patty”….and lost!
All the while me and guest investigator Vicki Wedd from Napier Paranormal Society filmed the entire thing. Again, I was lying on my belly trying to hold my camera steady in both hands at close range trying to not miss a single second of the action. The sudden interaction caught us all off guard, so I had to act fast with the camera set-up to capture it. Nothing worse than a missed opportunity in this field!
For that same session, Vicki, and Aimee both held a different brand/model pop light each while we asked questions and filmed the entire session on multiple cameras. During the conversation, the pop lights alternated between the ladies’ hands-on requests. We would ask for ”Patty” to ”go touch Vicki….. and now go touch Aimee”. They would also at times both activate at the same time, in synchronicity. Worthy of note is that there was a good four-meter distance between the two ladies at the time.
Another detail worth adding was that when these activations were occurring, we were also hearing light shuffling noises in a locked office to the left of where I was sitting. Definite sounds of movement.
We have our own, loose theories surrounding the lights, that it was heating and cooling that might be causing the off-and-on action. Much like that used in the old ”torch trick” used by ghost tour operators to give the illusion a spirit is communicating via a torch. This is done simply by loosening the end of the torch so that the two tiny metal connectors come into contact with each other. When the flashlight is turned on, the bulb generates heat, and the reflector starts to get hot. As it gets hotter and hotter, it starts to expand, getting bigger and bigger. During a communication session, you unscrew the top of the light just enough so that the light goes off.
Now, because the light is off, the reflector starts to cool down and contract until it pushes one tiny piece of metal into contact with the other tiny piece of metal, and hey presto, the light bulb turns on. With the light back on, the reflector gets hot again and starts to expand as before until it pulls the metal pieces apart again. Again, the light goes off. The reflector contracts again and the trick can carry on as long as you want it to.
Being cheaply built lights, maybe they’re using a similar process, and the triggering, seemingly on cue to questioning, is really just a weird and wildly convenient coincidence. I’m quite doubtful on that one myself as it all feels a bit too directed and pinpoint accurate for my sceptical leanings.
We’ve also considered the idea that maybe our infrared cameras and I.R lights usually directed at the light to film the moment, might be somehow setting them off.
Interestingly, after some online searching, we’ve found there are similar lights on the market that come with a remote control. These lights come in sets of about six, change colors, and can be programmed for pattern sequences for use at parties. However, our lights are just a straight white and come with no remote control, basic and sold to just stick on a surface and push to active when needed.
To do some experimentation we purchased a set of the remote lights to see if the remote would activate the lights we have been using. Interestingly, YES it did. A remote was able to be used to turn the lights on and off. Very interesting and good to know.
Now, we just need to figure out how our lights are being triggered, without the use of a remote control! The one major factor hindering us from connecting those important dots – we aren’t using a remote.
Have to say these experiments have had me perplexed and intrigued from day one, but I’m loving the experience. Things are occurring and as investigators, it is our duty to find out the hows and whys. It’s a great learning process and totally fascinating, to be honest!
Stay tuned for further developments as the mystery of the flashing pop lights continues!

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