|02-15-2008, 02:19 PM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2001
'Electricity Woman with amazing powers'
'Electricity Woman with amazing powers' causes lights to flicker when she gets stressed
The ability to control electricity with your mind may seem the stuff of science fiction.
But one woman claims such a power is part of her everyday reality.
Debbie Wolf says she is one of Britain's growing number of "sliders" - people who believe their presence interferes with household appliances, radios and light bulbs.
She claims she can turn street lamps off, send digital clocks haywire and even defrost her freezer.
But 38-year-old Miss Wolf admits that she has no control over her power.
"It happens when I'm stressed or if I'm chewing something over in my mind, but not if I'm annoyed," she said.
"It has never been full on whammy all day, but it happens frequently, such as when I'm excited."
Miss Wolf says she once blew a series of street lamps while riding by on a motorbike.
And she uses a wind-up alarm clock because her reaction on waking up in the morning "scrambles" digital ones.
Her supposed ability, dubbed Street Light Interference syndrome - or SLI - by experts, has earned her international fame.
In Japan, she has been likened to heroines from cult Manga comic strips.
She has also been compared to characters from the BBC2 show Heroes - in which ordinary people develop superhero abilities.
Miss Wolf, from Telscombe Cliffs, near Brighton, said: "The light has been faulty outside all the homes I have lived in and I'm always draining the batteries in remote controls.
"I often come back home to find a pool of water on the floor because the fridge-freezer has defrosted."
For a woman who believes she interferes with electrical equipment, however, Miss Wolf has chosen a risky job.
But her work as a pathology support officer at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton has never been affected, she said.
Hilary Evans, who writes about the paranormal and who coined the term "sliders", said Miss Wolf brings about unusually strong effects.
"What happened to Debbie has happened to a great many other people, though her experience was more dramatic than most," he said.
Sceptics, however, dismiss SLI as wishful thinking and coincidence.
It is yet to be demonstrated in a contolled laboratory experiment, they argue.
Professor Richard Wiseman, who studies paranormal phenomena at the University of Hertfordshire, suspects SLI is caused by "observer bias".
He said: "Street lamps are going on and off all the time because they are faulty or because their timers aren't set properly.
"People only have to walk under a couple of lamps going off to think that they might be the cause."
Yesterday, the Mail put Miss Wolf 's power to the test.
Sitting in the hospital canteen, she was given a torch, a mobile phone and a radio on which to use her electrical influence - but none responded to her interference.
The lights in the canteen, the battery-powered clock on the wall and the electric tills also continued to operate normally.
But Miss Wolf explained that she has to be in the right mood for her powers to work.
"I have to be completely lost in my thoughts - usually thinking deeply about something that is troubling me."