What’s the deal with gas mask scene in the movie Insidious?

For those that haven’t seen Insidious yet, there is a scene in the movie were the medium uses a World War II gas mask during a seance. We have been receiving some emails from our readers if this a new or old technique, or just Hollywood trying to frighten us more in our seats? Well I am afraid that we have not heard or seen this technique before, whoever there many mediums do employ and use certain forms of sensory deprivation such as Ganzfield to heighten psychic phenomena. For those not aware of the Ganzfield Experiment it is quite easy to perform.

A ganzfeld experiment (from the German for “entire field”) is a technique used in the field of parapsychology to test individuals for extrasensory perception (ESP). It uses homogeneous and unpatterned sensory stimulation to produce an effect similar to sensory deprivation. The deprivation of patterned sensory input is said to be conducive to inwardly generated impressions. The technique was devised by Wolfgang Metzger in the 1930s as part of his investigation into the gestalt theory.

During most Ganzfield experiments the subject is seated down, headphones are placed on the subject playing whitenoise, eyes taped shut, and a red light is used to further drawn out an possible light the subject might see.  The subject is allowed to speak out anything that they experience to onlookers, much like what occcured in Insidious. So while the World War II to mask isn’t totally fake it does have some practical use, as it does block out external stimuli, which could  heighten ones ESP.

 

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