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Lights On

The strange case of the bathroom lights

On the early morning of October 16th 2019 at around 4:00am I woke up in my bedroom at home to find that the light in the bathroom was on. It was not supposed to be on since, as far as I could remember, I had turned it off before going to sleep earlier that night. I never leave it on. My initial thoughts, as I lied in bed looking over my shoulder, was that perhaps someone had gotten into my house and had turned on the light. But the light switch was in my bedroom, and my bedroom door was closed (and locked). In addition, the alarm in my house was on, so it would have gone off if someone had broken into my house. So I quickly ruled out that possibility.

The next thought that came to my mind was that perhaps I had gotten up earlier that night, had gone to the bathroom and had forgotten to turn off the light when I came back to bed. I had no recollection of going to the bathroom earlier that night, so I doubted that. Might I have been sleep walking?

I got up and walked over to the light switch. When I got there, to my surprise, I saw that the switch was in the off position. So I ruled out sleep walking and forgetting to turn off the light earlier that night. Clearly there was something else going on.

I looked into the bathroom from where I was standing, and saw that, not only was the light on the ceiling in the bathroom on, but the light inside the mirror right above the sink in the bathroom was also on. So both lights present in the bathroom were on. The mirror in my bathroom has a small built-in sensor on the lower right corner and the way you turn on the light in the mirror is by waving your hand in front of the sensor. The light turns off by doing the same thing again. So for that light to have come on, someone would have had to trigger the sensor in that way. Simply plugging in the mirror in the power socket in the bathroom has no effect on the light inside.

Still trying to process in my mind what was going on, I reached for the switch in my bedroom to turn off the light on the ceiling in the bathroom. It was in the off position as mentioned above, so I flicked it to the on position and then back to the off position 3 to 4 times, back and forth, with no effect on the ceiling light in the bathroom. I thought to myself that perhaps there could be something wrong with the switch, which caused the light on the ceiling to turn on and stay on. But that didn’t explain why the light in the mirror above the sink was also on, which would have had to be turned on through the built-in sensor. The switch in my bedroom controlling the ceiling light in the bathroom is not connected to the mirror.

Since I had no idea what was going on I started to think about what I could do to turn off the light on the ceiling in the bathroom so I could go back to bed. I thought of getting a ladder so I could unscrew the lightbulb from the fixture on the ceiling. But before doing that, I decided to try the light switch one more time. I flicked it to the on position, and then back to the off position, and to my surprise, this time the light on the ceiling did go off. The light in the mirror above the sink was still on however. So I walked into the bathroom, briefly stared at myself in the mirror, and then waved my hand in front of the sensor and the light in the mirror turned off.

I walked out of the bathroom back into my bedroom to the light switch, and checked again if it worked. I flicked it to the on position and the light on the ceiling in the bathroom turned on. I flicked the switch to the off position and the light turned off. The switch appeared to work again.

Still puzzled by what I had experienced, I went back to bed, and saw that it was 4:06am. The whole experience probably took around 4-5 minutes so that’s why I estimated above that it must have been around 4:00am when I woke up to find the lights on.

This is the first time I ever experienced an issue with the lights in my bathroom and after that day, at least so far, I haven’t experienced any issues with those lights again. If it was really a problem with the lights or the switches I would expect the issue to repeat itself. So far this hasn’t happened.

In the past I have had other experiences like lights briefly flickering at the exact moment when I walk into a room in my house, or a door lock mysteriously unlocking itself at the right time, but not anything as blatant as the above experience.

So what went on? As far as I can tell something caused both lights in my bathroom to turn on by themselves, even while for one of them the switch was off, and for the other the sensor needed to be triggered. And when I think about it, I have to conclude that it was kind of cleverly done. If just the light on the ceiling had turned on by itself, and then turned back off after I repeatedly tried turning it off using the switch in my bedroom, then I might have thought that it was an issue with the light switch. But the light in the mirror above the sink also having turned on by itself makes it difficult to do that. In addition, if it was some kind of electrical problem in my house, I would not have expected the ceiling light to be affected since the switch for it was in the off position and the electrical circuit was open. That electrical problem would also somehow have to cause the light in the mirror to want to turn on and stay on by itself. In addition, the issue appeared long enough for me to do some basic troubleshooting to try to assess what was going on before it went away again. This so that I could rule out certain possibilities to understand that there was something more specific behind this.

I’m leaning towards this being another sign of some kind, perhaps of presence. But why on that day at that moment? The date this happened on is actually the birthday of one of my grandmothers who passed away 21 years ago.

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