Geology and Ghosts: A Possible Link

By Jess Boatwright on September 18th, 2008

The following information is based on theory.The information contained in this segment has not been scientifically proven…… yet.

Some researchers have suggested there could be a link to paranormal activity and geology. Since no one knows truly what causes a haunting, and most hauntings are place-related, geology may be the best place to look.

Geological Faults

A fault, commonly referred to as a “fault line,” is a fracture in the local rock. It is a crack along which rock beds (referred to as strata), move.The movement along faults is caused mostly by the gradual movements of tectonic plates.Faults are an area of compressed rock, under extreme pressure, where they have moved on either side of the line. This is called a fault zone.Paranormal researchers are interested in faults mostly because of rare, anomalous phenomena called earthquake lights, and also, the Tectonic Strain Theory.

The Tectonic Strain Theory

The Tectonic Strain Theory, or TST, states that stresses within the Earth’s crust, isless than those required to produce an earthquake, may result in highly localized surface electromagnetic disturbances through Piezoelectricity ( or some other source unknown) in sub-surface rocks.Piezoelectricity is the phenomenon whereby certain crystals, notably quartz, produce an electric charge across opposite crystal faces when under pressure or strain.

It is hypothesized that electric and magnetic fields produced by the straining of rocks would be the most common near fault zones.

Quartz generally is underground within other rocks, such as granite. The quartz crystals themselves are separated from each other, by other minerals. If granite, per say, is crushed, an electric charge will build up across each individual quartz crystal. Since the crystals are orientated randomly, the electric charges do not align. They occur on opposite sides of the crystal. This tends to cancel each other out. With this, simple strain seems unlikely to produce significant electromagnetic fields above ground through Piezoelectricity.If the rocks were to actually fracture, say during an earthquake, you may have electromagnetic fields produced by seismoelectric conversion.Some earthquakes have been known to have weak, but measurable magnetic disturbances.

A scientist by the name of Friedmann Freund has suggested that electric charges could be induced to flow by applying unusual pressure to igneous rocks, turning them into semi-conductors. When temporarily turned into semi-conductors, holes (possibly charged discontinuities) can flow rapidly through the rocks, and possibly reach the surface. The charges are conducted underground by rock, but also by water.This may be the unknown mechanism behind earthquake lights. This theory is still being developed.


Magnetism is thought by many to be the main connection between geology and paranormal activity, if there is one.

Magnetism varies from place to place across earth’s surface. As well as temporary changes to the geomagnetic field, there are permanent variations caused by geology.

Essentially, where there are magnetic minerals, such as magnetite, underground, they will alter the local magnetic field.

Local geological magnetic anomalies, though they might produce interesting anomalous effects, such as deflecting compass needles, are static disturbances. The kind of magnetic fields thought to be associated with spirits, and other paranormal phenomena are varying. Geological magnetic anomalies are not strong. They are likely to be larger magnetic distortions within a building due to materials, like iron and steel.

Magnetic phenomena are associated with the phenomena of free wheeling cars (possibly running uphill). However, thisphenomena, may be an optical illusion by perspective, rather than any magnetic or gravitational activity.

Radon Gas

Radon gas is a radioactive element, produced from rocks below ground and is almost everywhere. Radon is one of the main producers of air ions. Radon is most common in areas with granite. Radon is heavier than air, and can accumulate in buildings and such because of this.Could cause any sort of hallucination. Radiation anomalies associated with hauntings are few and far between, and for evidence, not much.