Around this time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in the spookiness of the season. You may have watched one too many horror films and now those maintenance tasks in the dark basement feel creepy when they usually seem routine. Maybe you’re seeing shadows out of the corner of your eye or hearing a voice call your name when no one’s around. Could your building actually be haunted, or are you just experiencing the side effects of incomplete work orders?
Here are a few frightening things that might be happening in your building and how they could possibly be explained.
1. Cold spots and sudden Changes in temperature
Ghosts are often said to be accompanied by unexplained shifts in temperature or pockets of cold air. Paranormal investigators frequently use digital thermometers to track temperature changes within a building as evidence of a haunting. However, these temperature fluctuations could also be a sign that you need to perform some repairs on your HVAC system. Using a facility management software like AkitaBox could help you set up a preventative maintenance schedule so that when you feel a cold spot, you’ll know whether you need to break out your tools or burn some sage.
2. Spikes in electromagnetic field (EMF) readings
If you’ve ever watched a ghost hunting show, you may have noticed one of the most common pieces of equipment they use to detect paranormal entities are electromagnetic field (EMF) meters. An EMF is a field that surrounds an electrically charged object. Many hypothesize that when we die, the energy from our bodies gets converted into electromagnetic energy, so the presence of a ghost can be detected by an EMF spike. If you’ve noticed a high EMF reading in your building, it could be a ghost, but it could also be faulty wiring. You may want to call in your local electrician before you call in your local medium.
3. Lights flickering on and off
One of the most common signs of a paranormal presence that we often see in horror films is lights flickering on and off. Because some believe spirits can manipulate electricity and energy, a flickering light could be a sign that a ghost is trying to communicate with you. However, it may be more likely that you have some defective bulbs that need replacing. Before you invest in a night vision camera hoping to see ghosts wandering your halls, make sure you replace your light bulbs and ensure they’re screwed in tightly.
4. Doors slamming shut
It’s happened to all of us - you’re alone in a building when you hear the dreaded, distant sound of a door slamming shut. It’s easy to jump to conclusions, assume your building is haunted and flee the scene while you still can – but not so fast! Are you sure your facility doesn’t have any leaky windows that could be causing strong drafts of air that push doors shut on their own? Other reasons for unexplained air flow can come from air systems from other rooms that escape under doors or through hallways. You may want to check before you start panicking.
5. Unexplained Smells
Many people believe that a powerful sign of a ghostly presence is a familiar, but out-of-place scent – maybe the smell of cigarette smoke where no one has been smoking or the smell of perfume after everyone has left the building. It can be very disconcerting to recognize a scent that makes no sense in context, but could it actually be coming from outside of your building? Make sure your ventilation system is functioning properly and that your air filters are regularly replaced, as air, particles and scents from the outside world could be making their way in. If you’ve found that the ventilation isn’t to blame, inspect your facility for mold, as dark, warm areas can often be the culprit.
6. Seeing unexplained shadows and apparitions
Nothing is creepier than thinking you’re alone when out of the corner of your eye, you see a shadow move. It can be nerve-wracking to check to see if what you thought you saw is really there. However, are you sure it was a ghost, or was it just your dust-covered colleague after performing 5 hours worth of maintenance on a boiler in the basement crawling into the break room for a much-needed glass of water? It might be worth considering before you hastily create a work order demanding that someone else take care of the spirit who’s haunting the mech room.
7. Hearing voices or someone calling your name
Do you ever hear someone calling your name, only to turn around and realize no one is there? Paranormal investigators record these voices using digital voice recorders and refer to them as electronic voice phenomena, or EVPs. It’s certainly possible that a spirit is trying to get your attention. But wait… is that a spirit, or is it your boss demanding that you stop looking for ghosts and get back to work? You may want to check.
We hope this blog post has eased your mind this Halloween when it comes to creepy happenings in your facility or that it at least gave you a laugh. Be sure to check out our resources on how to create a preventive maintenance plan for your facility.
What’s the spookiest thing that’s ever happened in one of your buildings? Comment below!