This unexplained phenomenon gets its name from the prisoners that have reported it in the past. Prisoners who are put in solitary confinement, with zero light, report seeing a “light show” of sorts, appearing out of the darkness. While most find it difficult to describe its form, some have reported the “cinema” lights forming human figures.
There are very few theories regarding the origin of this light, but the most accepted theories are psychological. Scientists hold the theory that it is the result of phosphenes, being an entoptic phenomenon of light being seen without light entering the eyes, and the psychological effects of extreme lack of light.
A scientist by the name of Oster once hypothesized in Scientific American that this phenomenon may be the cause of some “ghost” sightings. Showing that an individual spending a long amount of time in the dark, could be affected by Prisoner’s Cinema and see a human form.
Some people have suggested a connection between these strange lights and neolithic cave paintings. Such as this passage from Images from the underworld by Andrea J. Stone:
Another interesting study based on ethnographic models is Sundstrom’s (1990:289-292) view of one style of southern Black Hills rock art, the Pecked Abstract style as “phosphene art.” Phosphenes are phantom images seen under certain stressful conditions, mainly from light deprivation or during a hallucinatory state. …Sundstrom invokes the South American analogy based on a presumption of shamanic ritual practices…
While this particular phenomenon is still lacking a reliable first-hand account, we at Professor Elliot will be waiting to hear about it.