Psychological and Electromagnetic Aspects of Haunts

Article excerpt

We gratefully acknowledge support or these investigations from the Institut fur Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene, Freiburg, Germany. We extend thanks to Michael Persinger for providing crucial source material and to Michaeleen Maher for helpful suggestions in presenting the data.

ABSTRACT: Twelve sites were investigated where unexplained footsteps, apparitions, electrical disturbances, strange behavior by pets, and other haunt phenomena had been reported. Recordings were made of the local geomagnetic fields (GMFs), electromagnetic fields (EMFs), and ion densities. On the basis of previous studies it was predicted that the sites would exhibit anomalous EMFs or GMFs. Ten of the sites showed such anomalies. At three sites there were intense, transient EMF increases. At one of these the anomaly was attended by a drop in temperature and an apparitional sighting by one of the investigators. At one site an intense and constant EMF overlapped with an intense local GMF. The remaining eight sites showed normal EMFs, except in proximity to electric installations. Six sites exceeded the norm for GMFs by 200 milligauss (mG) or more. Four of the sites showed intense EMFs as well as intense GMFs. At two sites the EMFs and GMFs were normal. Ion densities above 2,000 [cm.sup.3] were detected at seven sites. At two of these there were extreme positive ion densities in occupied areas of the home; in two others, the extreme positive counts were limited to unoccupied cellars. Positive ions are associated with negative affect. Photographic anomalies were obtained at three of the haunts with standard 35mm cameras, digital cameras, infrared video cameras, or some combination of these.

Most of the haunt phenomena could be accounted for in terms of the physical energies recorded at the sites. Apparitions, which were reported in all cases except 1, may be elicited when magnetic fields are applied to the right temporal lobe. The same is true for the sense of "presence," sleep paralysis and attendant fear, and for unexplained episodes of depression and aggression. Tactile sensations described by a member of 1 of the families may result from piloerection, electrostatic fields, or direct electric stimulation of the brain. …