Could it be air bubbles in the water within the radiator?That would create a knocking... or perhaps the heat was just turned up a notch causing the metal of the pipes and rad to start expanding which again would cause knocking.The trouble is, it's easy to see one thing (a reportedly haunted site,) and start ascribing every knock, ping, draft, and the lot to something paranormal in nature... when perhaps, it isn't.
In my example above, I pointed out people were reporting seeing a ghost, not hearing one... so again, like the bad food mixed with a cold being mistaken for flu, it might be easy for an investigator to assume that since this is a reputedly haunted location that this noise *must* be related to the whatever is happening there in a "paranormal" sense... and it very well may have nothing to do with it at all.
As another example, we've had many people do historical backgrounds on a place they feel is (or might be) haunted. In many cases, a cemetery or burial ground of some sort pops up nearby and it's not unusual for people to use a little bit of popular (albeit incorrect) folklore that "ghosts" and "ossuaries" must go hand in hand. (To be honest, they don't. When looking through the data of reports and even through books and journals of "true ghost stories", cemeteries are actually not all that statistically likely as places to find ghosts.) For the person that is armed only with a sense of Hollywood and folklore, the inevitable connection seems to say, "Cemetery nearby = Ghosts in my home"... when this is most likely not true at all. Also, it's not unusual to find these "convicted of being obviously a part of the hauntings" burial grounds are hundreds of yards (if not miles) away from the site in question. This seemingly misinformation isn't because of any sort of ignorance or some sort of attempt to "pull one over" on anyone... it's usually just human nature... wanting to find a "cause" for something seemingly inexplicable by any means "known". Who knows, there could be something to this and it does bear looking into... but again, make certain that you feel there is strong enough evidence to connect them outside of a weak possibility spurred on by legend and myth.
This is actually a subject I covered a long time ago in the infamous "final orb" article I wrote. One of the
things I cautioned people about is that just because one element might have a "natural" rather than "supernatural" explanation, it does not discount the entire reports and site. I gave the example that taking images that contain "orbs", (which most people now accept are most likely dust and other airborne particles caught between the lens of the camera and the flash,) may not be "picture perfect" proof of the paranormal... but because this one "thing" is questionable only means that this one thing should be questioned... not everything else. I pointed out that if one is in a haunted location, and a cat leaps into the frame of a photo being taken, does it mean the cat is now somehow a ghost?
The same is true when inverted...
If we accept that the cat is *not* a ghost, and just a cat, does it mean everything else on that one site is
The answer is, of course not.
The one standard that we hope everyone looking into the paranormal properly should maintain is to look into everything on a "case by case" basis... this includes each individual report of phenomena and anything "found" while investigating.
It is easy, for investigators, witnesses, and even enthusiasts to be caught up in a moment and assume that suddenly mundane noises, shadows, and the like have a higher significance then they otherwise might... and it's important (if you are investigating,) to look at these things with a clinical eye and establish all possibilities and then what the probabilities are in terms of causation for all things. Is that noise really a "ghost"? Was it simply something like creaking floorboards? What about that shadow? Was it a trick of the light? Did you look into it further than simply recording it or noting it and then proclaiming it to be something "otherworldly"?
Realistically, even if you did find a "natural" cause for something at a site with a reputation, it doesn't mean everything is a hoax or wrong... and being honest, truthful, and diligent in your efforts only enhances everyone's understanding of things in this field.
So, remember... There's no harm in stopping, looking into things, and finding out if indeed, everything you've reported is genuinely anomalous... or has a perfectly natural answer.
Matthew James Didier - January 2010