They’re called SLIders – the term used to refer to those who regularly experience a phenomenon known as Street Light Interference (SLI).  This anomaly has recently gained mainstream attention across the internet, spurring scientists to study its cause and possible effects.  Have you ever been walking underneath or near a street-light and have it suddenly buzz and click off?  If so, you may be a SLIder.

“It’s really creepy if you ask me,” One witness, a student from Illinois said under the condition of anonymity, “It all started about two years ago when I was walking home across campus and the streetlight above me suddenly buzzed off making everything around me suddenly very dark.  It was really late at night and I moved to the next street light fast, but as soon as I ran underneath it, the thing went out.  This happened again when I ran to the next light and I was getting really scared.  Luckily as I continued on the lights came on again as though nothing had happened.  Still, it happens to me occasionally when I’m walking home and I dunno if it’s because I’m psychic or what.”

Those who experience Street Light phenomena often report it as everything from terrifying to spiritual to even funny.  The same witness from Illinois offers his testimony, “Yeah actually once when it happened it was kind of funny.  My friend and I were trying to figure out something for a project we were both working on while walking home from night classes.  All of the sudden he yells out ‘I got it!’ as we’re walking underneath a darkened street lamp.  As soon as he said that the light went on and we both burst out laughing.  It was just too much!”

So what is the cause of SLI?  One theory is that the SLIders are giving off psychokinetic energy (PKE) which interferes with the internal mechanisms of street lights.  One expert, Hilary Evans, reports that the most obvious explanation of burning out bulbs and “sodium amber bulb” variation must be addressed first for the occurrence to gain credibility.  Allen Klostermeyer stated in 1990 that amber bulbs, one type of bulb commonly used in street lamps, when they reach the end of their life expectancy will go off and on several times in a night before finally burning out permanently.  Evans replies by saying that the amber bulbs in question account for only a fraction of the street lamps who exhibit SLI around certain individuals.

In addition, often SLIders will report a “cascade” effect where the nearest street lamp goes off, then the next one, then the next, and so on.  Entire rows of street lamps have been extinguished in this fashion, so some SLIders report.  Of course the “Christmas Tree” effect is often cited as the most obvious answer to this conundrum, but unlike a row of Christmas tree lights, with one burned out bulb leading to more burnouts, these will wait a second or two between lights.  

Is there anything to the SLIder phenomenon?  So far, all tests to attempt to reproduce the SLIder effect in a lab have failed, but no one suggests that SLIders can influence electrical apparatus around them at will.  It seems likely that if this is a truly paranormal phenomena there are more unknown factors involved than are currently being tested in a lab.  Or perhaps the SLIders are just trying to keep us in the dark.