Ghosts & Apparitions


Until its destruction by fire in 1939, Borley Rectory, a Victorian building in Essex in southern England, was the focus of persistent claims of poltergeist and haunting phenomena. 

Examines the arguments for viewing apparitions either as telepathic hallucinations or as objective entities. 


'Ghost hunting’ is a popular term for the investigation of claims of site-based paranormal phenomena, such as ghosts and poltergeists. 

The question ‘Why do ghosts wear clothes’ is sometimes posed as a skeptical retort to reports of ghosts and apparitions. In fact, ghosts do usually appear fully clad, and some of the issues this raises are briefly considered here. 

Describes the scientific research into reports of ghosts and apparitions, covering different types of phenomena, their characteristics, research methods and theories of causation.

Seventeenth century clergyman (1636-1680) and member of the Royal Society, one of the first intellectuals to take a scientific interest in paranormal claims.

Edmund Gurney (1847-1888) was a founder member of the Society for Psychical Research, noted for his research on hypnotism, telepathy and apparitions.  

Infrasound (audio frequencies below normal human hearing) has been investigated as a possible cause of paranormal-seeming effects.

Attempts have often been made to catch paranormal events on film and video. As proof of their occurrence, such images are usually vulnerable to claims of misinterpretation, poor practice or fraud. 

Case Studies

An abbey in southern England reputed to be haunted.