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(Dear mods, please remove this if it's deemed unsuitable for this board.)

Basically, I'm currently living in a different time zone than my parents and I just received a phone call from my mother, who claimed that both herself and my dad witnessed a/some furniture moving on their own over the distance of a few metres.

I don't believe in the supernatural, although there's always this voice in my head that says, "what if you're wrong?" That's why I'm posting this here to get your opinion on the possible non-supernatural causes for furniture moving on their own.

Anyway, the details:

  • It's 3am at her side of the planet when my mother called me. She woke up for a wee and she decided to call me and tell me about the supposed supernatural incident.

  • When I asked her for details, e.g., which piece of furniture moved, she said she forgot. She didn't even tell me when it happened, time and date.

  • Apparently, both my dad and herself saw the furniture move on its own from the living room to just outside another room and stopped on its own. That room has statues of the deities my mum prays to (she's religious and very superstitious), so she was convinced that that was the reason why the 'ghosts' didn't manage to move the furniture into the room (a forces of good vs forces of evil thing).

  • Assuming that she didn't just have a very vivid dream, I could only think of vibrations as the cause for the furniture moving, but at the same time, for something so heavy to move such a distance, wouldn't the vibrations need to be earthquake-tier? I've checked online and there are no reports of earthquakes/tremors where my parents live.

I would like to call my dad to ask for more details, but he's most probably still asleep. If he did witness what my mum described, there's a 100% chance that he's also gonna attribute it to ghosts.

I'm gonna admit, I'm quite spooked by what I heard from my mum.

Does anyone have any non-supernatural explanations for the supposed haunting of my parents' house?


UPDATE Called my dad and he confirmed that no such thing happened. I guess my mum just had a very vivid dream and attributed everything to ghosts. Poor thing XD

(Dear mods, please remove this if it's deemed unsuitable for this board.) Basically, I'm currently living in a different time zone than my parents and I just received a phone call from my mother, who claimed that both herself and my dad witnessed a/some furniture moving on their own over the distance of a few metres. I don't believe in the supernatural, although there's always this voice in my head that says, "what if you're wrong?" That's why I'm posting this here to get your opinion on the possible non-supernatural causes for furniture moving on their own. Anyway, the details: - It's 3am at her side of the planet when my mother called me. She woke up for a wee and she decided to call me and tell me about the supposed supernatural incident. - When I asked her for details, e.g., which piece of furniture moved, she said she forgot. She didn't even tell me when it happened, time and date. - Apparently, both my dad and herself saw the furniture move on its own from the living room to just outside another room and stopped on its own. That room has statues of the deities my mum prays to (she's religious and very superstitious), so she was convinced that that was the reason why the 'ghosts' didn't manage to move the furniture into the room (a forces of good vs forces of evil thing). - Assuming that she didn't just have a very vivid dream, I could only think of vibrations as the cause for the furniture moving, but at the same time, for something so heavy to move such a distance, wouldn't the vibrations need to be earthquake-tier? I've checked online and there are no reports of earthquakes/tremors where my parents live. I would like to call my dad to ask for more details, but he's most probably still asleep. If he did witness what my mum described, there's a 100% chance that he's also gonna attribute it to ghosts. I'm gonna admit, I'm quite spooked by what I heard from my mum. Does anyone have any non-supernatural explanations for the supposed haunting of my parents' house? ---------- **UPDATE** Called my dad and he confirmed that no such thing happened. I guess my mum just had a very vivid dream and attributed everything to ghosts. Poor thing XD

19 comments

I would have your parents check and make sure that their carbon monoxide detectors are working.

If they don't have carbon monoxide detectors, get some ASAP.

Yep, I was going to suggest this. Gas leak.

I called my dad and he said nothing happened. My mum most probably had a very vivid dream.

That said, if it wasn't a dream, how is it related to a gas leak?

Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause auditory and visual hallucinations. It can also cause confusion, chest pain, and a severe feeling of sadness or dread, among many other physical symptoms. There are stories of people who have survived carbon monoxide poisoning who thought their houses were being haunted because they thought the symptoms were really being caused by ghosts.

[–] m0RT_1 5 points Edited

Agree with the other explanations here.
I live in an area with lots of wildlife, it is amazing how many weird mysteries can be solved around the place with a simple trail camera. Animals, brief weather events, funny sequences of physical events, etc

Another tack - if they believe it was a ghost, then what? Does a good ghost get to stay, and the bad ghost is told to go away?

I've never understood the fear of ghosts - the living are the ones that kill & harm others. I would be like whatever ghost, just don't leave the furniture where i'll trip over it.

Mystery solved -- Called my dad, and he confirmed that no such thing happened. My mum probably had a very vivid dream.

Re: ghosts vs the living, I've told my mum the same thing over the years. She'd caution me about ghosts if she knew that I were gonna visit a more secluded area, and I'd be like, "uh. I'm more worried about rapists or bad people in general..." So I don't know. Perhaps it's the stories that she/we grew up with -- ghosts were almost always presented as bad and would harm us unprompted or when 'disrespected'.

Wait for the confirmation from your dad. I think this could have just been a vivid dream of hers.

I just called my dad. Turns out that the mysterious moving furniture didn't happen. She probably just had a very vivid dream. -_-

I guess. I'll call him tomorrow and see what he says. I hope he doesn't confirm what my mum said.

I can think of a couple of reasons for things to 'move on their own'.

  • high humidity or other reasons for the floor to become wet. Add to that a fan or other force acting on a lightweight object like a folding chair and once the friction is overcome, the chair could easily slide.

  • the effect of an unseen object falling on the furniture and pushing it. This might especially be true with some long object that was gradually sliding down a wall and exerting force on a piece of furniture. The object that caused the movement could also be something like a door that was swinging open.

So, something making the floor slick, like dampness, humidity, powder, etc. An unseen force like a fan, slowly falling object or opening door. The unseen force could even be a creature like a cat, dog, or rodent. All the animal has to do is move one object and a cascade of events could result from that action.

Also, houses are not immune to effects from barometric pressure and as mentioned by others, low vibrations created from traffic or construction equipment.

Plenty of reasons aside from paranormal for things to move.

In my mum's case it's most probably just a vivid dream. I've called my dad and he said no such thing happened.

Nevertheless, thanks for the list! :)

[–] DiamondFalls 1 points Edited

Could be start of a sinkhole forming.

Edited to add:

I read an article some time ago that humans can sense small low-frequency vibrations which then are translated into fear by the psyche and explained as ghosts, monsters etc. It is a survival mechanism, because such vibrations usually mean that a cave is about to collapse.

They should check the foundations and structures of the house, if possible.

Oh that sounds like a very interesting article. Any chance that you could share the link?

Anyway, I called my dad and he confirmed that nothing happened. My mum probably had a very vivid dream -_-

It was easier to find than I thought! https://www.theguardian.com/science/2003/oct/16/science.farout archive: http://web.archive.org/web/20190417175648/https://www.theguardian.com/science/2003/oct/16/science.farout

I must have seen it on preddit or something, because in my memory it was longer and with more personal accounts of seeing ghosts and theories about caves collapsing - probably people's comments on it. But it's definitely this article as it starts exactly as I remember it.

[–] Len 3 points Edited

I agree with your thoughts on vibrations...and depending on the house, it may not need to be earthquake tier. I had issues with my dryer (it's front loading), where if the load is unbalanced (lots of heavy wet towels), it can get the house vibrating pretty good...so depending on proximity and type of furniture, it might be possible?

Also, I've felt my house shake before (had to look it up since I was convinced it was an earthquake), only to figure out that it was heavy machinery that a neighbor was operating nearby.

Do they have anyone else living with them (or access to the house) that would play a prank on them (attach something to the furniture to make it move)?

Another option would be an optical illusion/shadows. Did she move the furniture back at 3 am or was it still out of place when she woke up in the morning and had to move it back?

Keep us updated! Pretty certain it's not ghosts though. :)

Sorry that the update is very anti-climactic but also expected: Called my dad - nothing happened. Mum probably had a very vivid dream... -_-