An investigation into the alleged haunting of Hampton Court Palace: Psychological variables and magnetic fields

R Wiseman, C Watt, E Greening, P. Stevens, C O'Kefffe

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    18 Citations (Scopus)
    137 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Hampton Court Palace is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in England, with both staff and visitors reporting unusual phenomena in many areas of the building. This investigation aimed to discover the extent to which these reports were related to 3 variables: belief in ghosts, suggestion, and magnetic fields. Participants (N = 678) completed questionnaires measuring belief in ghosts, previously experienced unusual phenomena and whether they attributed these phenomena to ghosts. Believers reported significantly more unusual phenomena than disbelievers and were significantly more likely to attribute the phenomena to ghosts. Participants then walked around an allegedly haunted area of die Palace and reported unusual phenomena they experienced. Believers reported sinificantly more anomalous experiences than disbelievers and were significantly more likely to attribute these to a ghost. Prior to visiting the locations, half of the participants were told that the area was associated with a recent increase in unusual phenomena, whereas the other half were told the opposite. In line with previous work, the number of unusual experiences reported by participants showed a significant interaction between belief in ghosts-and these suggestions. Results indicated a possible relationship between the locations in which participants reported their experiences and local magnetic fields.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)387-408
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Parapsychology
    Volume66
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2002

    Keywords

    • TEMPORAL-LOBE SIGNS
    • ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHIC VALIDATION
    • PARANORMAL EXPERIENCES
    • GEOPHYSICAL VARIABLES
    • GEOMAGNETIC-ACTIVITY
    • INDUCTION
    • DELUSIONS
    • BEHAVIOR
    • EPISODES

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