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Session 2 of WizIQ Course on "Introduction to Scientific Study of Psychic Phenomena"
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Session 2 of WizIQ Course on "Introduction to Scientific Study of Psychic Phenomena"


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  • 1. Ghosts, Poltergeists and HauntingsResearchNancy L. Zingrone, PhDwww.theazire.orgThe AZIRE Learning Center in Second LifeSLURL: Rhine Research Center in Second Life:SLURL:
  • 2. Tips for this Class …O Don‟t forget to check your device settingsas soon as the class starts. Icons at thetop right of the frame give you the optionto get back in there and check.O If I disappear, I‟ve had a crash and will belogging on as fast as possible on anothercomputer in my house. THANKS FORYOUR PATIENCE!
  • 3. Plan of the course:O Today: Introduction to the Scientific Studyof Psychic PhenomenaO April 25th, 3pm Eastern: Ghosts,Poltergeists and Hauntings ResearchO May 2nd, 3pm Eastern: Studying the Out ofBody and Near-Death ExperiencesO May 9th, 3pm Eastern: ReincarnationResearch in Scientific Parapsychology
  • 4. What is a ghost? ….
  • 5. What is a haunting? ….
  • 6. What is a poltergeist? ….
  • 7. Ghosts and Hauntings:O Ghost: a sense of presence that may ormay not include auditory, tactile or visualeffectsO Haunting: a recurrent experience that maybe reported by many observers over manyyears and that may or may not include anapparition and is place-centeredO Apparition: a visual representation of aperson or persons, who may or may notbe deceased at the time they appearO Poltergeist: a recurrent, but of usually briefduration, that seems to be person-centered
  • 8. Ghost & Hauntings ResearchO Systematic compilationO Systematic researchO Data gathering methods:O Bibliographic researchO Case collectionO Field investigations
  • 9. BowserBrown Ladyof Rayhnam HallThe guest of honor
  • 10. Systematic compilationO Samuel Hibbert‟s (1824/1825). Sketches of thephilosophy of apparitions, or an attempt to tracesuch illusions to their physical causes. Edinburgh:Oliver & Boyd.O Sir Walter Scott (1843). The existence of evilspirits proved; and their agency, particularly inrelation to the human race, explained. London:Jackson & Walford.O Catherine Crowe (1848). Night-Side of Nature: OnGhosts and Ghost-Seers. New York: Redfield
  • 11. Sources may beO Local legends withor without otherevidenceO Personal testimonywith or without otherevidenceO SingularO Collective at themomentO Seemingly collectiveO RecurrentO Different witnessesO VeridicalO InexplicableExperiences may be
  • 12. Systematic researchO Joseph Glanville (1668) SaducismusTriumphantus Full and Plain EvidenceConcerning Witches and Apparitions.London: James CollierO Census of Hallucinations, Proceedings ofthe Society for Psychical Research,Volume 10, 1894
  • 13. Case CollectionsO Literary orbibliographicalresearchO Calls for casesO Public callsO NetworkedsolicitationO Embedded in otherresearch such assurveysO SingularO Collective at themomentO Seemingly collectiveO RecurrentO Different witnessesO VeridicalO InexplicableExperiences may be
  • 14. Field InvestigationsO On-site investigations of areas reputed tobe hauntedO HistoricalO PhotographicO Case CollectionsO Spawned huge industry of local ghosts booksO May or may not use technology other thanstill or video cameras
  • 15. The SPR ModelO Separate interviews with witnessesO Historical information at a deeper levelO Floor plansO Attempts to communicateO Emphasis on:O Independent corroborationO Of testimonyO Of historical detailO Of events
  • 16. Morton, R.C. (1892)Report of a haunted house.O Rosina Clara Despard (1863-1930)O Moved into St. Anne‟s, then GardenReach, in 1882 with her family, she was 19O From 1882 to 1884, she encountered theghostO In 1886 while taking her preliminaryscientific examination for medical school,she met Frederic Myers, was encouragedto write up her investigation
  • 17. Field investigation todayO Ghost huntersO Teams of amateursO Teams with some trainingO Websites with case reportsO Websites with case “stories”O Scientific literatureO Detailed case reportsO Alternate explanations: field effects,infrasound, suggestionO Experiments
  • 18. Poltergeist ResearchO Case compilationsO Field investigationO Psychological investigation / interventionwith so-called “focus person” or “agents”
  • 19. Poltergeists …O Reports from antiquity / from every cultureO Frequent focus on adolescent in home as“focus person” or “agent”O Important to rule out fraudO Important to make careful observations ofevents, position of all individuals whenevents occur
  • 20. Poltergeists …O Noisy spirits,targeting anindividualO Short durationO FrequentlydangerousO Cease naturally,through moving,changes in familysituationO Psychokineticoutburst of the„focus person‟O Short durationO FrequentlydangerousO Ceases naturally orwhen “stressors” onthe focus personare lessened orremoved
  • 21. Tony Cornell(1924-2010)Retrieved from
  • 22. Carrying on the SPR tradition with a twist …O Healthy skepticism but openness to experienceO Detailed observationsO Development of technologyO Corroboration:O Witness testimonyO Independent evidenceO Consciousness of alternative explanationsO Willingness to help experiencersO Detailed reports
  • 23. O 30+ eventsO No “focus person”identifiedconclusivelyO All breakageconfined to goodspurchased from aspecific estate saleThe Antique ShopSpuk
  • 24. Bill Roll(1926-2012)Retrieved from pflyceum.orgRetrieved from
  • 25. The Miami PoltergeistO More than 200incidents ofmovement/breakage of objectsO Measurement oftrajectory/conditionO Julio Vasquezidentified as focalperson
  • 26. The Take Away MessageO Educating yourself on field investigation requiresO Good resourcesO BooksO VideosO Apprenticeships, internships, and coursesO Conducting credible field investigations requiresO Attention to detailO Good case data retention methodsO Good analysis of the dataO Contributing to the scientific understanding of the phenomenarequiresO Willingness to share dataO PublicationsO Contributions to serious social media networks/groups
  • 27. 1998, University ofTexas Press1992, Prism Press1984, Prometheus Press1848, T.C. NewbyCovers retrieved from
  • 28. 1979, Routledge,Kegan, Paul1982, Heinemann1963, University Books2002, John MurrayCovers retrieved from
  • 29. Names to search for onYouTube, Google & Amazon:O Tony CornellO Loyd AuerbachO Stacy HornO William G. Roll
  • 30. Using the Courseware page:
  • 31. Using the Course Feed:
  • 32. Assignment:O Tell your own ghost story in the CourseFeed discussionO Give a link to a favorite YouTube video onghosts and hauntingsO Write a paragraph about your favoritemovie, TV show or video on ghosts,hauntings and poltergeistsO Ask questions & comment!
  • 33. Thanks for your Attention!See you next week!email: nancy@theazire.orgwww.theazire.orgThe AZIRE Learning Center in Second LifeSLURL: Rhine Research Center in Second Life:SLURL: