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Bathroom Light Cycling


One night about three years ago, I woke up to find myself alone in my bedroom with the master bathroom's light very slowly cycling on and off. This had never happened before. My husband had stayed up late to read in the living room so as not to disturb my sleeping.

I went into the bathroom and tried to shut off the light, but it didn't respond. The light switch is a dimmer switch of the type that doesn't have a moveable switch, but instead responds by touch. If you touch the bar, it will either turn the light on or off, depending on what it did last. In other words, if the light is off and you touch the switch quickly once, it turns the light on. The brightness of the light when it turns on is where it was when you last used the light. To dim the light, you have to keep your finger on the bar instead of quickly removing it when you tap it. The amount of time you touch corresponds to light brightness. One other feature of this switch: if you slide your finger along the bar while touching it, the speed at which the light changes intensity increases. Faster sliding gives a faster intensity change. You can't slow the dimming speed to a rate slower than what it is when you just keep your finger still on the switch. The rate at which the light was cycling when I woke up was about three times slower than this, a speed impossible to achieve manually.

Since I couldn't affect the light by touching it, no matter how I tried to move my finger along the bar or tap the bar, I thought maybe we were having some power problems, so I went out of the bedroom to investigate. The first thing I noticed when I opened the bedroom door was a steady faint light coming from the living room. No oscillating lights out there. So I thought I'd get my husband to come and check the bathroom light out. As I got to the living room, I saw that he had fallen asleep on the couch while reading. I noticed also that I could see the light from the bedroom bathroom pouring down the hall and it seemed much brighter than I thought it should.

I tried to wake up my husband but he was really groggy and difficult to get through to. The light was definitely brighter when on the bright cycle, so now I was starting to get worried that the light fixtures were going to get too hot and that the house was going to catch on fire. The lights were still dimming up and down in intensity, but it was faster than when it woke me up. I could feel myself start to panic a bit. I was starting to get forceful with my husband to wake him and the lights started to oscillate faster and faster, which started me panicking more. I finally got my husband to his feet, and the lights were cycling on and off so quickly and brightly that it was literally like a strobe light. It was hurting my eyes and making a clicking sound quite loudly every time the light went bright. It was going through the full cycle at least once every half second.

Just when my husband was upright and aware of what was going on and we took ONE step towards the bedroom, the light just stopped and it was dark. We went into the bathroom and the light switch and lights were working fine. None of the bulbs were damaged either. I haven't had any issues with that switch since that one time. The strangest thing to me was how the rate and brightness seemed to correlate to my level of panic.

I'm usually not afraid of the dark, and in fact prefer total darkness when I sleep, but this situation unnerved me and I had to sleep the rest of the night with my bedside lamp on.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, DandK, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

DandK (11 stories) (344 posts)
7 years ago (2017-08-02)
Lotus29, I'd be interested to read what the paranormal investigator said. It makes me wonder how much of what we experience or observe is generated by our own energy.
Lotus29 (2 stories) (12 posts)
7 years ago (2017-07-26)
DandK - fear does tend to escalate things I find. I would be very unnerved as well. Quite an interesting account. I had an interesting conversation with someone who investigates paranormal activity, and she talked about emotional states and energy. I find it quite fascinating.
DandK (11 stories) (344 posts)
8 years ago (2016-05-14)
Tweed, actually yes. My husband said he heard it clicking. I personally didn't notice because I was too shocked by what I saw. When he told me that he heard it clicking, I thought maybe it was the lightbulb or something, because when it happened in the bathroom I heard clicking when the light intensity was high and the bathroom light switch doesn't have a clicking type switch. However, in this case, it may have been the lamp switch. I'll ask my husband when he wakes up what the clicking sounded like to him.
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
8 years ago (2016-05-14)
That is odd. πŸ˜• Could you guys hear any switch/button being pressed? Or any sound like someone was physically touching the lamp?
DandK (11 stories) (344 posts)
8 years ago (2016-05-13)
Tweed, yeah I checked on the bulb seating and socket this morning and all was good. We checked out of the room this morning. The four days we were there we used that light whenever we were in the room, and it worked normally every other time. Strange.

My husband just reminded me that when I first looked and saw something was wrong with that light it was just very, very dimly lit and when I noticed, that was when it started turning on and off.
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
8 years ago (2016-05-13)
DandK, there are many accounts on here about strange goings on in hotels. I wouldn't be surprised if this was just some prankster ghost who does this regularly.
As a side note, gawd almighty I hate florescent bulbs. I have exactly none in my home, no white bulbs either, can't stand them. Horrible light they give off. Why the heck would they stick one in a lamp is beyond me.😐
But with all that said, those swirly fluro bulbs are extremely popular with pretty much everyone, and no one ever says they do this. Maybe the bulb wasn't in the socket properly? Or the lamp not plugged correctly? That's another angle to consider.
DandK (11 stories) (344 posts)
8 years ago (2016-05-12)
So, I had another similar experience to this light cycling today.

My husband and I are traveling right now, staying at a hotel in Washington. This is our third day here. Last night I heard a voice in the room and saw a flash of light. I ignored it because it's a hotel room and that could've been anything. However, this morning we had the bedside light on as usual and when we were about to go out for a while, I shut that light off. We continued to get ready to go, gathering up the stuff we wanted to take with us. Suddenly the bedside light was turning on, then off, cycling on and off. My husband had his back to the light and I told him to turn around and look. He was turning too slowly for my excitement, and I started to feel my heart rate increase and at the same time, the light started to cycle faster! My husband saw it cycling, then walked towards the light and it shut off before he reached the light. When he reached the light, he pushed on the power switch and the light turned on normally, then turned off normally.

This is one of those bedside lamps with the push button at the lamp base that pushes between on and off. The light is one of those spiral looking compact florescent bulbs.

Also, my husband and I were a bit cranky with each other for about an hour after we left the room. Not sure if it's related to the flash of light I saw in the middle of the night.
DandK (11 stories) (344 posts)
8 years ago (2016-02-25)
Hi Mack, Thanks for reading my story and for your nice compliments! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

It's hard for me to remember the time it occurred, but a good guess would be that it was probably about 1 am. My husband is not normally a heavy sleeper like that. He'll usually wake up if I get up, even when I think he's sleeping heavily. To be unable to wake him up is very unusual. It is almost like he was drained or in a very deep state of unconsciousness (if that makes sense). And, now that you and Daz mention it, it is a distinct possibility that his energy was being drained and used to flash the lights. When I remember him getting up and taking that step, I remember his eyes were still closed like he was upright but still asleep. His eyes opened up as he took the first step. When I asked him about this event the other day, he couldn't remember any of it.

I've been thinking about the panic and light flashing correlation a bit more. Since I was awoken by the flashing lights, it's probably a good indication that I didn't initiate the lights. So perhaps whatever was driving the light flashing was responding to the energy of my panic. I'm oscillating on my opinion on this one!

Thanks again for reading and for your insights!

Macknorton (5 stories) (646 posts)
8 years ago (2016-02-25)
Hi DandK, thanks for sharing this experience. I really enjoyed this as you write so well, you transported me to the scene and I could vividly 'see' it happening 😊

Are you able to clarify a couple of things that may shed some clues?

What time did this occur?

Is your husband usually a very deep sleeper? Personally if my wife was trying to wake me suddenly in an agitated state, I'd be bolt upright and wide awake in case there was danger.

The angle I'm on is that was he, as Daz has alluded, somehow either stupefied by something, or was his "energy"
Or "power" being harnessed by an entity? It may have simply been a coincidence that as soon as your husband was "awake and aware of things", he light stopped playing up.

The other possibility that came to me was that your husband was about to suffer a medical event and the lights were a warning? I wondered because he was so difficult to awaken? Just throwing these out there...

Or, the most likely possibility, is that a mischievous, childish, entity decided to annoy you with the light, you know the usual thing; get some attentionπŸ˜†. It could have been harnessing your powerful emotions of fear, and as your husband eventually awoke and your fear dissipated, it lost interest.

Conversely, it could also be coincidence that as the light flashed faster you got more panicked, rather than your panic causing the increase?

Anyway, intriguing stuff! I really enjoyed your recount, as I said you write very vividly which makes the experience so much more real.


DandK (11 stories) (344 posts)
8 years ago (2016-02-24)
Daz, Thanks for the link about how vision works. I have to make a side comment about one thing I just learned while reading it... The brainstem site called the superior colliculus. I have often noted that I couldn't focus well on scenery when my husband was driving because it seemed to blur together. My husband can easily spot something out in a field along the road, whereas I'd need to be still and look at it in order to see it. Just driving by, I am not capable of focusing - it looks blurry to me. I wonder if this is due to the differences in our superior colliculus since it is responsible for creating the segments of individual images that it can process into one continuous 'movie'. Without the help of that site in the brain stem the 'movie' we create would be blurry. It makes good sense to me now.

But back on track... This information on how the brain processing visual information has really put a lot of things into focus for me (no pun intended here either!) First, I never knew that babies saw things differently than we do as adults, just based on how their primary visual cortex is organized (or disorganized/fuzzy as the case may be for babies). Our cells actually go through and start to 'kill' other connections in the brain (they called it 'pruning' in the article) in order to make it more organized. It is this pruning that eventually allow us to see the fine detail.

This makes me question all of the things I've read about children seeing things that we typically don't see as adults. Their neural connections in the primary visual cortex haven't been completely pruned yet. Perhaps that is what allows them to see things in another existence (or plane, or dimension) that we lose the ability to perceive as we age.

Perhaps that is also a physiological reason that some people are mediums and can see spirits? If our bodies prune our visual cortex connections, what other connections are getting pruned? Is there a possible connection that allows mental communication that we lose through pruning?

I think this is an interesting direction that I'm going to go down for a bit and see where it leads me.

As far as my husband's energy potentially causing the light flickering, I think it's a possibility. Either his or mine. It did correlate with my panic. I did feel calmer, relieved, when he finally got up - and then the lights stopped. This is where I'm leaning right now.

Daz, Thanks again for the great insight and the link. I am really enjoying the journey that you are taking me on with all of these new ideas (new to me, that is)!
DandK (11 stories) (344 posts)
8 years ago (2016-02-24)
Miracles, At the time I was thinking the same thing about a power surge. My mind was totally going to practical explanations up to the point I went back to bed and everything hit me as being very strange. Once in a while, I try to get that light switch to act up by touching it to make the lights go on and off repeatedly, or I'll hold my finger on it or slide it around, and I haven't been able to get it to be strange at all.

However, after reading a statement by zzsgranny the other day (from a post she made many years ago) about poltergeist activity potentially being the energy of a person that is under stress or duress, I have been wondering if it was me that was causing the lights to do this. It changed frequency in direct correlation with my panic. The more stressed I got, the faster the lights flickered and the brighter they got. I don't understand any of this or how it could happen, but if it does happen, I'm leaning more towards that being the cause.

Thank you for reading my story!

DandK (11 stories) (344 posts)
8 years ago (2016-02-24)
Hi BloodEman, thank you for reading my story. I'm glad you found it interesting.

In answer to your question about why I concluded this experience was paranormal, there are a couple of things in particular that make me think that. First, the light had never had a problem before, and hasn't since, out of a total of eleven years of owning the home. Second, the way the light frequency correlated with my anxiety, switching on/off faster as I got more frantic. Third, the way it completely stopped when my husband finally got up and took a step toward the room. Those things combined make it very unlikely. I don't have a reason for why it happened, only that it wasn't normal.

Your other question about whether there were any signs, I'm assuming means any signs of something leading up to this? If so, then no, I had no indication of anything strange happening in the house at this point. This took me by complete surprise.

Neither my husband nor I felt anything paranormal at the time. Even with the lights flashing so fast, I only felt frantic. Nothing that gave me any strange feeling. My husband has never stated that anything has ever made him feel something paranormal. I felt a bit scared afterwards though when the strangeness of the whole thing hit me.

I hope that covers your questions. Thanks again for reading.

aussiedaz (19 stories) (1565 posts)
8 years ago (2016-02-24)
Dandk, there may be a logical explanation, but in saying that, the fact it stopped immediately as your husband woke up is quite interesting... When you get a chance to check out Robert Lanza theory on biocentrism, one principle that he states, of which is scientific fact may lend to a clue to your account. It is fact, that everything we see, light and configuration we basically pull together with in the cerebral cortex of our brain. Here's a link and there are plenty of them... Http://

Ok, so what is out there in the universe? Pure energy and consciousness, scientist refer to it as the higgs field, reality takes shape with in the walls of our brain, hard to get your head around pardon the pun, but absolutely fact... Your husband and you are basically in close proximity, he is asleep, your are awake and energy in between... It is quite plausible, your husbands energy was unknowingly interfering with the light for what ever reason and you was picking up on the interference patterns via the flickering. Perhaps he wanted you to wake him up? Let's face it, who would want to sleep all night on a couch, lol... Or maybe someone else was interfering with the light too? Also possible... Never the less interesting and thank you for sharing it.

Regards Daz
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4999 posts) mod
8 years ago (2016-02-24)
DandK - at first I was thinking possible power surge, but that doesn't appear to be the case. I guess it could always have been a fluke thing with the switch acting up, but weird regardless.

I am of absolutely no help but found this experience intriguing 😊
BloodEman (2 stories) (59 posts)
8 years ago (2016-02-24)
Hello DandK,

Your story is very interesting and spooky. I have read your other stories.

I don't know what was happening and I've never expirienced any paranormal activity. So I don't think I am a guy who is capable of giving good advices.

But I like your story. I have heard some paranormal expiriences related to lights and also shadows...

May I ask you a question?
Why did you conclude this expirience as paranormal?
Were there any signs?
Did you feel something strange or did your husband feel anything paranormal?

Please respond... 😊 I would like to know your answers...



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