A little ghost story

When I watch a video purporting to be of a ghost I think of this (there are lots of these videos on the Web). Some years ago, my wife-to-be and I were living in an apartment, one day I made some tea and set it on our coffee table to steep. The tea pot was a very nice clear glass tea pot and the coffee table had a glass top. It’s a nice coffee table that we still have although we are looking for a new one; it’s long because it sits in front of our sofa and spans it from one end to the other, so it’s proving difficult to find a replacement.

As I was sitting waiting for the tea to steep, I was shocked when the tea pot began to slowly move towards me. It looked surprisingly like someone, or something, was pushing it, since the motion was not completely smooth as it stuttered slightly across the surface of the coffee table. I just froze and watched it move toward me. There was no discernible sound, just the steady movement of the teapot. This so alarmed me that I don’t think I said anything to my wife-to-be.

After thinking carefully about this, and doing a number of experiments, this is what I decided. The tea pot was a little wet and when placed on the glass table top made an air tight seal. The air between the pot and glass table top heated up, because the tea was hot, and began to lift up the whole pot. At first, I thought this was just completely impossible since a full teapot is fairly heavy but the amount of air trapped between the teapot and glass tabletop was small and the area of the bottom of the pot fairly large. I got my level and checked the table and it did have a very slight slope in the right direction. It was this that made me think I was on to something although the slope was completely unnoticeable without the level. I did a number of experiments and found that the tea had to have been just made so the water was hot and the bottom of the teapot had to be slightly wet. There were a number of variables so it didn’t have the same result every time but it worked most of the time.

I was watching a video of a child who appears to talk to someone not in the room and then something on the table tray moved. This certainly isn’t exactly the same as my moving teapot but it’s possible to put something down in such a way that it is unbalanced and small vibrations can make it appear that the item seems to move by itself when it’s sliding to a new stable location. Small movements of items, apparently without good reason, can be frightening but can also have a reasonable explanation. In this particular case the video presenter concluded that the child was talking to a spirit that couldn’t be seen on the video and the item on the tray moved because the ghost moved it.