A Poltergeist?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Zen Butler, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    It's reaching my 2 year anniversary of moving into my building flat, nearing a chipper(noisy) 83 years old. I've noticed a strange occurrence that I'm unable to explain. Every two weeks or so, all the light bulbs in the flat become unscrewed. Now not simultaneously, but each bulb in a revolving two week sequence. This includes; closets, the antique fixtures built into the sides of the wall, bathroom, kitchen, art room, hallways etc.
    I've asked each of the tenants in the other 3 flats if this has happened to them. Cue up the X-Files theme, because instead of answers, they went hard at work on their theories. Nearly caused me to aggravate my hiatal hernia holding in the laughter.

    Look at these:

    "You know a police officer was killed in that exact flat......."

    "You know, I've always thought there was something strange going on...."

    and my favorite

    "Airport vibration"

    The Long Beach Airport is 6 miles north of here. They don't even fly in this direction.

    Okay, so I'm no Mike Hammer. I've reached a dead-end. Any possible logical explanation on how this could happen?

    Did the gentleman in #1, nail it with his response?
    "Yo man, you trippin'?"
     
  2. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    I can't think of any logical explanations at this moment, but I like the response from the gentleman in #1. [​IMG]
     
  3. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

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    I suspected it might be thermal cycling causing the light bulb to move (loosen) over time. I did a search and did come up with the following explanation. At least its better than a poltergeist so I'd go with it.

    Re: Why do lightbulbs become loose all on their own
    Date: Sat May 20 22:36:10 2000
    Posted By: Dwayne Rosenburgh, Senior Electronic Engineer
    Area of science: Engineering
    ID: 958258099.Eg Message:


    Matthew,

    This question has entered my mind too. The conclusion that I have reached is
    that when the light is on, the heat causes the metal at the base of the bulb
    (or the metal in the socket) to expand. This expansion, along with contraction
    when the buld is turned off and begins to cool, causes a very small movement.
    The movement may be greater if there are any vibrations present. After some
    time, the additive effects of all of the small movements is enough so that the
    bulb has turned sufficiently to break contact with the conductor at the bottom
    of the socket. I have noticed that this is most likely to effect light bulbs
    that are in a ceiling fixture; table lamps appear to be less effected.
     
  4. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    i have a light bulb in a ceiling fixture that gets turned on and off regularly and it never comes even a little bit loose.

    CJ
     
  5. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Is there anything common about these fixtures? Are you speaking strictly of built in fixtures, or does it happen to lamps also? Do the lights get similar usage? If they are all the same style fixture, or at least made out of the same material, and they get similar usage, then it could be thermal expansion. Try putting a flourescent bulb in one and see what happens to it.
     
  6. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    I assume it is down hanging fixtures and they are of the old variety? If so then these have a tendency to do exactly what Dwayne Rosenburgh described above, it happened regularly at my old house in the city years ago, it even happened with sideways mounted sockets....changed out the old fixtures for new and the problem was gone.

    ...if not then who you gonna call?
     
  7. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Lots of big trucks rumbling by on the nearby city streets.
     
  8. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    You should lightly tape the outside of the bulb to the outside of the socket so that it's possible for it to move if someone unscrews it but not possible due to something like vibration. Report back to us in two weeks.

    ~T
     
  9. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Your brothers playing with your sanity.
     
  10. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    "You moved the headstones but you didn't move the bodies!"

    [​IMG] Sorry, had to say it.

    I've got a father, and a brother who are both funeral directors, and my family has had an extensive history of living in building occupied by corpses most of the time. I have come to 2 conclusions:

    1. If they do exist, poltergeists, ghosts, haunts, spooks, vengeful spirits, wights, wraiths, specters, boogey-men, and all other disembodied, formerly living entities do not seem to like funeral homes, as they are never haunted, even though they logically should be.

    2. If you came back from the dead, whould you spend eternity doing piddly-shit like unscrewing lightbulbs? I wouldn't. I would posses clergy-members, drink the blood of inocents, and throw rocks at people. A ghost that unscrews lightbulbs is really so pathetic and sad that you really cannot be "scared" and still have an ounce of self respect.
     
  11. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Well this makes sense. Logically shouldn't they haunt the place they died in? Or by the Beetlejuice theory they'd haunt their own home regardless of where they died. But I guess there's always the ones that want their bodies back that you might encounter, and I'm thinking those might be dangerous. [​IMG]
     
  12. Mark Shannon

    Mark Shannon Screenwriter

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    I think Zen is just going crazy *Edit* crazier.

    But seriously, about that thermal cycling theory; that has never happened to me. The only time I have to replace a light bulb is when it blows. And now that shoudn't be for a while seeing as I'm replacing most of my bulbs with those new energy efficient ones.
     
  13. BrettB

    BrettB Producer

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    Interesting. Just yesterday I went to remove the bulb in my 4 yr. old oven, assuming it was burnt out. Turned out it hadn't burnt out but had simply come unscrewed.

    Of course this doesn't change the fact that Zen is doomed. [​IMG]
     
  14. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Thank you for your responses guys.

    I like the thermal theory.

    Malcolm does bring up a good point. I do live on a very busy street with many large trucks passing by 24 hours a day. It's the last major street before the coast. Heading west towards the docks, brings them within feet from my building.

    As someone mentioned, being an old building, all fixtures are built into the walls. I have no need for external lamps.


    Mark, this is not a secret. Although, I do prefer self-aware neurotic and is a bit more of an accurate diagnosis.
     
  15. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Brett, I popped an eardrum, when I turned on the broiler to cook for the carnivore horde. A Bic lighter had fell into the oven. I was inches from this as I flipped these chunks of animal. A loud pop, from the oven portion, as the lighter exploded. I still am hearing similar to the Saving Private Ryan opening sequence. If it doesn't get better by tomorrow, or if brain starts bleeding, I just may go see a doctor.

    It is amazing at how loud that was. Very careless of me.
     
  16. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Zen...
    [​IMG]

    A) If bulbs still come loose = A Poltergeist.

    B) If bulbs no longer come loose = Thermal cycling theory.


    Good luck when it comes time to actually change a burned out bulb though. [​IMG]
     
  17. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Not only the thermal thing, but I have a vision thing of my own (not necessarily trippin', bro'). My vision thing suggests a movement thing. People moving around upstairs. Maybe the light fixtures are being jostled a bit.

    The light bulbs in my water closet come loose every two or three weeks. My upstairs neighbors are noisy people who reherse plays in their living room as well as compose music on an electronic keyboard that gives my home theater a run for its decibel money; these people don't walk so much as they stomp around.

    So that's my vision thing. Meanwhile, I need to go away and do some nuance.
     
  18. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Man, I am the upstairs. These four units are large square footage flats above businesses. We are the groovy vibration.

    Ron, I must constantly remind technicians here, that super glue(bonder) is an unacceptable chemical. I've seen dash and trim parts ruined as result of using this garbage. It's about a large of a red flag as a technician asking if I have a Crescent wrench he can borrow. [​IMG]
     
  19. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Jack, this could be due to the bass response in your water closet. Next time, instead of the usual read, bring an SPL meter. [​IMG]
     
  20. BrettB

    BrettB Producer

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    I don't think we really want to know the situation on the ground in Jack's water closet. [​IMG]
     

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