In December of 2013 a disturbing photo was posted to Reddit which seemed to depict a demonic figure standing over a patient on a hospital bed. The user who posted this video (who has since deleted their Reddit account) explained in the original posting, “The link provided is an picture taken from a phone. This picture was taken of a nurses viewing monitor. On the monitor, this black figure appeared standing on top of the patient who was lying in the bed. I have presented the facts as they were told to me.”
The photo was so unsettling it could have caused a staunch atheist to reevaluate their beliefs. Certainly, the photo is hard evidence that evil exists… That is, if the “thing” in the photo was actually the evil entity it appears to be . Unfortunately (or rather, fortunately), the photo is not proof of some demonic force visiting the mortal realm to claim a soul; It is a perfect example of pareidolia. Pareidolia, sometimes referred to as “Matrixing” is a psychological phenomenon which causes the viewer to see a familiar image which does not actually exist. This phenomena is similar to the photos which appear pornographic in nature until you see the full image which turns out to be some man’s gross armpit. In this instance, the image of a demonic figure is composed of the patient’s legs, a hospital bed railing, a coat and the wall in the background. Due to the fact that this photo is a bit blurry and does not accurately depict the dimensions of the room, our brains lump all the items together into the image of what most would associate with the religious description of a demon.
In this photo, where you can more clearly see the break-up of items in the room, it looses its insidious qualities. The patient appears to be reclining in the bed with their legs elevated and crossed which make up the lower part of the legs on the “demon”. The bed railing and wall behind compose what appear to be haunches and the rest of the figure is just a coat hanging off to the side. Nevertheless, this image is the thing nightmares are made of. By Feburary of 2014 the image had gone viral and still makes its rounds on social media as Halloween approaches each year. Take another look and fear not- although evil may exist, it does not exist within this photo.