Tuesday, August 2, 2011
In fact, in all my research, no one I've found can say with any confidence where the name comes from. However, its a moot point, as what is important is the actual process itself! Singapore Theory is an investigation technique that many investigators have probably implemented to some degree, whether or not they consciously knew it was a labeled theory. For those who aren't familiar with this theory, however, Singapore Theory is simply a process by which a time period or situation is recreated in hopes that it will stimulate a paranormal manifestation. For example, if there are reports of a ghost from the 1920s, investigators may recreate a familiar and comfortable environment for that entity.
Singapore Theory can be fairly simple...or it can become quite complex. Playing period music, wearing period dress, and the use of trigger objects from a certain time period (or even interest) can all be considered an implementation of Singapore Theory. More complex implementation may involve the total recreation of a site, using period correct furnishings, music, etc. Or...as we've seen on the show Ghost Lab, a complete recreation of the traumatic event that is believed to have CAUSED the haunting, such as a murder.
When hearing the term Singapore Theory, what comes to mind for me personally is Civil War ghosts. As a reenactor and as a tour guide for Haunted and Historic Guyandotte Tours, my team has gotten a chance to investigate a fair number of Civil War era sites, and talk to multiple reenactors and owners of Civil War era homes who have had their OWN experiences. We often hear the same type of stories over and over again...in our own area of Guyandotte, which once served as a Union recruitment camp, many of the owners of historic buildings claim that paranormal activity in their homes increases exponentially on the anniversary of the raid on Guyandotte (which is commemorated with Guyandotte Civil War Days, early in November).
Other reenactors have run-ins while camping in full period attire with entities of soldiers and other Civil War era personages. Sometimes these entities seem oblivious to what is going on around them, while many other times these entities will interact with the reenactor. We've had reports of soldiers being given orders by ethereal generals, to finding a "sleeping" specter waiting in their tent for them. These sightings are so frequent that many reenactment handbooks even offer information on them!
Many investigators believe that the type of activity that is stirred up by Singapore Theory is of a residual nature, which makes sense. In order for a residual haunting to manifest, conditions must be just right...just what those conditions are, is something that is still being studied and debated among researchers. By recreating an environment that mimics that of which was present when the "haunting" originated COULD be enough to set those conditions in motion and make it ideal for a manifestation.
However, as I've alluded to in the Civil War stories...I personally believe that Singapore Theory is just as relevant, if not MORE so, in the case of intelligent hauntings. An intelligent haunting, capable of free will and being consciously aware, could possibly decide to manifest in conditions where it feels the most comfortable. To someone that may feel frightened as the world they knew changes around them, and unfamiliar people intrude on "their" territory, having evoked a feeling of familiarity is ideal. Unfortunately, through our own research, we haven't been able to say with certainty that any evidence captured or experiences were a direct result of our Singapore Theory efforts.
Of course, most of this is all conjecture. We'll continue our experimentation and documentation, and would LOVE to hear from anyone out there who has had success implementing this technique! Please submit your own experiences and thoughts with Singapore Theory, and happy haunting!
Photo above property of Melissa Stanley