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Matrixing & Audio Pareidoilia

Image by Simone Secci
Image by Simone Secci

Matrixing:  When the brain wants (and generally will) find recognisable patterns in random images.  It's usually human faces, or humanoid figures. In trees, in food, in clouds, in tea-leaves. Even in inanimate objects we 'see' faces.  How many times have we been presented with a 'ghost photo', and urged to see something, anything in it?! Many times. Often I don't bother to leave a comment on these examples, as the owner of said photos are usually so adamant that the shadow caused by the tree IS a 'ghost' , that whatever you say you'll be shot down. However there are genuine photos out there, so it always pays to keep an open mind.

Pareidolia Quiz: Do You See Faces In These Objects? (

Audio Paraedoilia:  This is basically the same as matrixing but the audio version. The brain hears a sound and wants to convert it into a human voice. It's in our nature. 

I try very hard not to fall into either of these traps, although it can be difficult, as I'm sure everyone in this field agrees.  However I take every precaution with my audio captures to ensure that the recordings I have and the EVPs I have on my records, are genuine.   It's also worth pointing out that not all captures are human, indeed, I've been lucky enough to have recorded music, animals, a coin spin, chains, and what sounds like an old fashioned typewriter clacking away! A treasure-trove of EVP examples.


I took this photograph in the old entrance of HMP Shepton Mallet in March 2021. I'd never noticed before but the flaking paint in the little room beyond the door seems to resemble a lady, head down to hips. There is nothing there of course, but it goes to show just how we perceive random patterns and turn them into what we want to!

© Ann Morris 2021

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