If Street Lights Go Out When You Pass Them, You May Have A Very Specific Psychic Power

Is it the work of psychic powers, or just faulty wiring?

woman standing under street lights tomerto / Getty Images, Anna Subbotina via Canva

Many people claim to have psychic powers. Some could be construed as regular human senses like feeling someone staring at you, while others like telepathic communication and mind reading are met with great skepticism.

But one strange anomaly that has baffled scientists is the ability of some people to make street lights turn off as they get near them. This weird and mystifying occurrence is known as street light interference (SLI) phenomenon.


What is the street light interference phenomenon?

Street light interference is supposedly something that thousands of people around the world possess. Those who have this unique affliction are known as "SLIders."

Street light interference happens when a street light turns off as you approach on foot or in a car. Once you pass the street lamp, it switches back on and functions normally.

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Though incidents of purported street light interference go back to the 1800s, the term, also called "high voltage syndrome," was coined by a paranormal author named Hilary Evans in her 1993 book, "The SLI Effect."

Try as they might, scientists have not been able to demonstrate the effect in an experimental environment.

The phenomenon is based on accounts from people saying that they notice a street light switching off when they pass it. The incidents are reportedly involuntary and spontaneous. SLIders say they can extinguish an entire row of sodium vapor lamps sequentially by simply moving toward each one.

Some think the so-called phenomenon is caused by static electricity or another form of energy emitting from the body and having an effect on street lights. But other people attribute it to physic powers or psychokinetic abilities. Those theories are not consistent with our current knowledge.


Why do street lights turn off when I go by them?

If you are, in fact, a SLIder, your energy is interacting with the physical world around you.

This can happen with anything that uses electrical impulses such as television remote controls, toys, and radios, as explained by TikToker and medium, Diane Wargalla, in a video she shared.



People who have the ability to use their energy to affect things on a regular basis are thought to have a unique, elevated energy that facilitates these interesting happenings in their lives. Machines and devices pick up on this intense power emanating from within.


Wargalla says that when she is apprehensive about a machine, “It picks up on the apprehension and just won’t work.”

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Is 'high voltage syndrome' real?

As you might imagine, there is a lot of skepticism surrounding street light interference, especially in the absence of any studies duplicating the effect and allowing researchers to dig into why it happens.

Of course, there are a few logical reasons it might happen as well.

Lights burning out

Street lights can start to burn out and, when that happens, they begin to flicker. We have all been in a parking lot and noticed one of the lamps meant to keep you safe flickering and creating the creepy feeling that you might be in danger.


As lights near their expiration date, they start to do something called cycling where they turn on and off unpredictably.

Automated or motion-detecting lights

Then, there are security lights that turn on and off at specific times. It could be purely coincidental that you approached one at the perfect time.

Motion-detecting lights can’t be overlooked either. Like any other device, they are susceptible to malfunction and could be turning on and off at the wrong times.


Confirmation bias

Confirmation bias is when you believe something to be true and just need to prove what you already know. If you approach a street light and it flashes off, it will only confirm your deeply embedded belief that you are a SLIder.

Many things can make a street lamp turn off and on. Just because it happened as you came by doesn’t necessarily allude to the causation. Temperatures, electrical issues, and malfunction are just a few of the reasonable explanations for the SLI "phenomenon."

However, those who believe in extrasensory phenomena, like psychic abilities, may be more apt to believe that they do, in fact, have high voltage syndrome.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.