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Objective Look at the Paranormal and Ghosts Research Paper

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Introduction

A hoax can be defined as a story that has been widely regarded as true yet, in reality, is completely and utterly fictitious and has no definite scientific evidence behind it. One of the most common hoaxes in modern-day popular culture has been the supposed existence of ghosts. The basis behind the assertion that ghosts are real is based on the supposed eyewitness accounts of numerous individuals that have either encountered a ghost or have felt their “ghostly presence.”

While accounts regarding ghostly encounters vary, one consensus does arise that ghosts tend to be attached to particular areas or homes. There are various stories related to seeing ghosts in an old run-down hospitals, sanatoriums (i.e., asylums) and in various residential areas. Such encounters are either positive or negative, depending on the supposed spirit in question. Negative experiences often come in the form of people feeling a sort of “dread” as they go into a place that is supposedly haunted (Jinks, 2011).

They often feel a ghostly presence beside them, a cold sweat tends to run down their back, or they see shadows move in the distance which they inexplicably connect to the presence of a spirit in their midst. On the other end of the spectrum, positive experiences with ghosts often come in the form of encountering a ghost of someone that a person knew that was alive yet had died.

These encounters either come in the form of a ghostly voice warning them about particular events, apparitions of the individual and other similar instances where they inexplicably “feel” the present of the person.

The last example that is the most common comes in the form of residences being haunted wherein objects all of the sudden move for no reason, broken glassware appears, doors open and close, noises can be heard in the dark and movements can be seen out of the corner of a person’s eye all of which are attributed to a ghost being within a residence. Such encounters are either viewed positively by the person living in the house as a playful ghost asking for attention or negatively based on that individual’s inherent level of paranoia.

When taking all these examples into consideration, one of the most frequently made assumptions is that ghosts are real and exist among the living. Such an assertion is viewed by this paper as being completely fictitious and is merely the result of a person’s imagination combined with the current popular culture belief in the paranormal.

Books such as “An introduction to the psychology of paranormal belief and experience” explain that the modern-day belief in ghosts can be considered a manifestation of people trying to create a definition for feelings and events that they either do not know how to acknowledge or refuse to do so.

For instance, in the case of people stating that certain areas such as sanatoriums, old hospitals, and graveyards are supposedly haunted, Jinx (2011) explains that the inexplicable feeling that something is “off” about a particular location that people correlate with it being haunted is actually a manifestation of a human’s inclination to be a social creature. Within this context what must be understood is that the haunted locations in question are normally abandoned and have no connection whatsoever with the outside world.

However, humans have evolved to desire the company of other individuals (Jinks, 2011). Thus, when presented with a situation wherein they are cut off from the society that they are part of in a setting that they are unfamiliar with, this creates the feeling of “wrongness” that people tend to attribute to areas that are supposedly haunted.

Jinx (2011) goes on to explain that in cases where individuals tend to see the spirits of the dead or hear their voices, what most hoax stories about such events fail to mention is that the individuals in question also tend to have unresolved psychological issues with the person that they are supposedly seeing. The result is that this can often manifest in psychological delusions which are created by the brain to help resolve the issue in question.

Since people are not as likely to confess that they are suffering deep depression over losing someone, they tend to attribute auditory and visual hallucinations as actually being real. Other instances similar to this wherein people have inexplicably seen ghosts, apparitions, etc. have been in instances where they have been inebriated (i.e., drunk) or under the influence of powerful hallucinogens.

The result of all the factors that have been mentioned so far has been the spread of the hoax that ghosts do exist when in fact they are nothing more than the product of the mind (Jinks, 2011).

Based on everything that has been mentioned so far, this paper will delve into the issue of ghosts and haunted places within the U.S. and will attempt to trace the theoretical origins of modern-day ghost stories, the basis behind their acceptance by several groups within the general public, the manner in which paranormal investigators (i.e., ghost hunters) justify the existence of ghosts and the psychological underpinnings behind the present-day belief in the existence of spirits.

The primary question that will be attempted to be answered is: what is the basis behind the present-day hoaxes involving ghosts? This paper does not discount the fact that an afterlife may or may not exist, rather, it presents the notion that ghosts do not exist, and stories from ghost hunting television shows are false and misleading.

Literature Review. History of Hoax Theories within the United States

It is interesting to note that the origin of ghosts and haunted houses within the U.S. has two origins which have melded over time into the present-day iteration. The first origin of ghosts originates from the Native American population that originally inhabited the U.S. before the arrival of the Puritan colonizers.

Native American culture espoused aspects related to Naturalism (i.e., the belief that world itself was inhabited by nature spirits) and Shamanism (i.e. the belief that specific rituals can be enacted that would enable a person to contact both the spirits of nature and the spirits of their ancestors) (Blanco & Peeren, 2013).

It is the combination of these beliefs that resulted in the Native American culture at the time believing that the world as it was known then had different “layers” so to speak with spirits of the dead coexisting with the living within the same plane of existence yet somewhat unreachable given the nature of the “spirit world”.

Rites and rituals were often done to appease both the spirits of nature and the spirits of the ancestors of the Native Americans. It was thought that through such rituals, the spirits would bless them, resulting in bountiful harvests or enable them to have good fortune during a hunt.

This practice bears considerable similarity to the “druidic” or “Wiccan” naturalist ceremonies that existed within Western Europe with popular sites such as Stonehenge often being attributed as locations where naturalist ceremonies were held to appease the spirits of nature.

Regardless of the location, it can be seen that there is a common pervading belief that not only can spirits be contacted but they can have a direct impact on the “material plane.”

This is the basis behind many of the present-day rituals used to “summon or contact” the spirits of the dead wherein the basis of the practice is the belief that spirits can be contacted and can communicate with the living instead of being immaterial existences beyond human reach. Another interesting aspect of Native American folklore that has become the basis for present-day hoax theories within the U.S. is the concept of “sacred sites” and how they are intertwined with the spirit world (Blanco & Peeren, 2013).

This particular theory suggests that there are certain locations on Earth that are “closer” to the spirit world as compared to other locations. Examples of this can be seen in the Native American belief that certain mountain ranges within the U.S. or even forests held a special connection to the spirit world that enabled spirits to manifest their intentions or desires into the material realm.

Such locations could supposedly reveal some important insight into the future, resulting in a person knowing what it is they should seek out of life. It was common among various Native American cultures to send the young warriors of their tribe off into these sacred locations to have a vision quest so that they could determine what path they should take in life.

Taking such practices into consideration, the concept of certain areas being far more likely to attract spirits became a part of Native American folklore which passed into present-day American culture. For example, many present-day ghost stories involving supposedly “haunted” locations are often based on such areas being placed on top of Native American burial sites or “sacred locations.”

Since the land has been “vilified” via the creation of a modern building on top of it, this in effect made the spirits of the dead angry resulting in the place being haunted. This concept has been expounded upon in various instances to include areas where the dead congregate such as graveyards, old hospitals, and a variety of other locations (Blanco & Peeren, 2013).

The basis behind this particular theory of “haunting” is that certain areas simply are more likely to attract ghosts due to their nature. Such a theory has continued to expand to include areas where a considerable level of human suffering has occurred. Common themes seen in many present-day ghost stories often include sanatoriums (i.e., mental health clinics), hospitals, places where massacres occurred, and even locations where a murder happened.

The basis of the theory is that such sites have been witnesses to a considerable level of human suffering and misery and, as such, have become conduits by which the spirits that suffered in those locations are able to manifest their ill-will toward a world that did not treat them kindly or caused them to suffer in the first place.

Do note that such a concept is not limited to the Native American population; rather, it has manifested itself in various European and Asian regions that believe in the concept of naturalism and how the spirits of both man and nature continue to exist in a plane of existence that is adjacent to our own. Based on this perspective, it can be seen that Native American folklore has contributed significantly towards the present-day beliefs involving ghosts, haunted locations and the various rituals utilized to communicate with them (Danelek, 2010).

It can even be stated that the various rituals and séances that have been associated with contacting spirits of the dead have their origins in the rituals done by Native Americans though the processes, methods, and artifacts utilized in modern-day practices are far different to what was utilized in the past.

Based on the data that has been presented so far, it can be seen that Native American folklore involving Naturalism and Shamanism has had a great impact on the various theories behind the development of modern-day hoaxes by helping to showcase the origins behind some of the more common manifestations of ghosts and haunted locations.

In the next section, what will be examined is how Catholicism has impacted the development of the belief in ghosts and how this has influenced the various theories explaining the origins of modern-day ghost stories.

It is quite interesting to note that the Catholic religion has had a great impact on the present-day belief in ghosts within the U.S. The basis behind this assertion can be seen in the article “Do Catholics Believe in Ghosts?” which explains that current church doctrine is rather vague regarding the origin or even the presence of ghosts.

What is present though is the general assumption that ghosts can either be malevolent spirits that cannot pass on to the next life due to unfinished business on Earth or are spirits that have come back to impart guidance or assistance to someone that they knew in life (Townsend, 2013).

When examining the views espoused by Catholicism, it can be seen that they mirror many of the present-day assumptions behind the presence of ghosts within certain locations or even the manifestation of ghosts of family members or friends within particular areas.

The current popular culture consensus behind haunted locations is that ghosts are there either to deliver a message, protect someone they care about or are resentful about something that occurred in the past while they were still alive and are manifesting their ire by haunting a location that was connected to them in some way.

The presence of such beliefs in American popular culture can be traced back to the Puritans and the colonizers that followed them into the New World (i.e., America). Many of the original settlers of the initial colonies within the U.S. were Christian and brought with them various beliefs that were connected to the Roman Catholic faith that Anglican Christianity was derived from (Ouellette, 2011).

The concept of “unfinished business” is a common theme in many of today’s beliefs regarding ghosts since it acts as a means by which to justify their presence. If someone’s spirit remains in a particular location, then there must be a good reason as to why it is there. Various ghost stories and present-day hoaxes involving ghosts utilize the concept of “resentment” as the basis behind justifying the presence of supernatural phenomena that often results in physical injury or a feeling of dread to particular people (Townsend, 2013).

For example, during instances where the presence of a ghost was supposedly connected to objects getting destroyed or people feeling a “negative vibe” when entering a location that is supposedly haunted, it was often stated that a ghost that had a feeling of resentment was haunting that location.

This belief has become pervasive enough that the concept of resentment, ill-will, torture, depravity and other similar negative connotations that are attributed to particular locations are often cited as the primary means by which a haunting is encouraged to happen. For example, there is a common belief within the U.S. that locations that have experienced a considerable level of human torture often cause them to be haunted.

Locations such as Riker’s Island, The Rock (i.e. Alcatraz Prison), the Alamo and other locations of mass human death or suffering are often stated as places that are haunted since it is assumed that the spirits of the dead that died there still have unfinished business on Earth as a direct result of their untimely demise or are resentful of the way that they had died.

It is a combination of the history of particular locations and how such history drives people away from living or developing infrastructure in such areas that these locations tend to develop the “haunted” feeling that they are known for (Ouellette, 2011).

While there are instances where malevolent spirits are said to exist, there are also times where “good” ghosts have been noted as well. These often came in cases where people state that they heard a voice telling them to be careful just before an accident or that they felt some sort of entity turn them away from a particular location at just the right moment to prevent an accident.

Other instances come in the form of a supposed physical manifestation of a dead person who seemingly appears right out of thin air and is trying to deliver a message. All such instances are explained under Catholic doctrine as the spirits of the dead being allowed by God to contact the living to deliver a message of hope or to prevent a particular catastrophe from occurring. Within the modern-day context of ghost sightings and spirits, beneficial spirits are less popular than their malevolent counterparts.

It is often the case that when it comes to ghost stories, haunted houses, or other similar phenomena, people hear more about the bad rather than the good. This disparity between the types of ghost stories that are heard is a good indicator that most if not all ghost stories are inherently part of popular culture and are “enhanced” based on the reaction that the storyteller is trying to get out of the audience.

What must be understood is that when it comes to various stories, it is usually those that have negative or adverse aspects to them that garner the most attention.

This can be seen in present-day news programs wherein there are more negative news stories being featured (i.e., murders, robberies, etc.) than there are special interest pieces that focus on the good of humanity. The primary reason behind this is simply because people find stories that are violent, terrible and otherwise gruesome to simply be more interesting or memorable rather than their counterparts which focus on the good, the honorable and the great (Khan, 2009).

The disparity in present-day stories involving haunted houses, ghosts, and a variety of similar instances shows that the stories tend to focus on creating an “interest factor” rather than a factual representation. Such a predilection shows that ghost stories are intertwined with popular culture to the extent that they are popularized for their shock value without them necessarily being true.

Methodology

This study will utilize a qualitative method of analysis under which document analysis will be the primary means by which information will be gathered and examined by the researcher. The book “Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation” states that

“……..qualitative research is a type of exploratory research than tries to examine and explain particular aspects of a scenario through an in-depth method of examination. It is normally applied to instances which attempt to explain human behavior and the varying factors that influence and govern such behaviors into forming what they are at present. ” (Merriam, 2009).

From this context, it can be seen that qualitative analysis is an effective means of analyzing the various nuances behind the views regarding ghost stories and how they have developed as a direct result of human behavior.

Data Collection

The primary method of data collection that will be utilized in this research paper will consist of document analysis. The reason why document-based methods of analysis was chosen as a means of researching the topic is due to the fact that it is far easier to do as compared to other types of data collection (i.e., surveys, interviews, narrative reviews, etc.) and can yield a high amount of data that can be immediately implemented within the study.

The reason behind its effectiveness within the context of examining various hoaxes is because this method of analysis primarily concerns itself with an examination of various academic texts to conclude the type of topic that is currently being examined. Within this paper, this will consist of various academic sources on hoaxes, ghosts, and the belief in spirits.

Data Analysis

Data analysis for this paper primarily consisted of examining and comparing various academic sources that focused on the issue of hoaxes, ghosts, and the psychological underpinnings of the belief in spirits. The analysis was straightforward in that the research was examined, notes were taken, and information separated into various categories that either supported the initial assumptions of this study or refuted it. All the needed information was combined into a cohesive whole and became the basis behind the findings of this study.

The validity of the Chosen Process

Since nearly all the data that has been utilized in this study comes from academic sources that have undergone peer review, it can be stated that the study has high validity. This is one of the advantages of utilizing document analysis over other methods since the fact that the materials have already passed through the inspection of other researchers within the same field means that most of the data that is evident within the study is valid and can be cited as fact.

Findings

Ghost Hunters and the Tracking of Ghosts

Ghost stories are made popular by ghost hunting television shows and, as a result, have entered into a popular consensus among members of the general population. Although ghost hunters in such shows use complicated scientific equipment in their ghost hunting missions, they are unable to explain how these equipment capture ghosts. For instance, ghost hunters cannot explain the connection between ghosts and Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) detectors or infrared lighting.

With the alleged increase in sightings of ghosts, the debate on the actual existence of ghosts has significantly increased. Skeptics of the existence of ghosts argue that people who claim to have seen or felt the presence of ghosts have funny sensations due to exposure to electromagnetic fields. Believers of ghosts normally rely on unexplained photographs or videos to show the presence of ghosts. Some of the presented photographs are so realistic that they baffle even the most skeptical non-believers of ghost stories.

However, it should be noted that when placed under the lens of scientific inquiry, many of the instruments and evidence that are presented by paranormal experts tend to fall short of actual scientific validity. When placed in a controlled setting to examine the presence of ghosts, many of the tools and pieces of evidence that supposedly point towards the paranormal are lacking in their capacity to show that they work.

The mere fact that the tools utilized by paranormal experts fail to live up to the proper scientific standards of examination (i.e., being replicable and feasible) shows that a vast majority of evidence that is attributed to the paranormal may, in fact, be nothing more than fiction (Danelek, 2010).

Understanding the Belief in the Information Provided by “Experts” in Ghosts

In the previous section, it was shown that there is little in the way of sufficient scientific validity behind the “instruments” and methods of analysis utilized by modern-day ghost hunters in their justification behind the presence of paranormal entities (i.e., ghosts) within locations that are supposedly haunted. In this section, what will be delved into is why, despite the lack of evidence provided, people still believe in the presence of ghosts through the accounts of various “paranormal experts” and ghost hunters (Jinks, 2011).

First and foremost, the belief in the information provided by “experts” in paranormal activity originates from their use of ethos in justifying the validity of the information they provide to the general public regarding the existence of ghosts. In essence, ethos refers to the way a paranormal expert is portrayed in an argument. From a certain perspective, it can be stated that the use of ethos involves the presentation of an “image” to people that they are attempting to persuade (Jinks, 2011).

Within the context of validating the existence of ghosts, the “image” utilized by paranormal investigators refers to their “character” in that they are attempting to persuade the general public of the validity of their data based on their inherent character (i.e., as an individual that has devoted their life to tracking down ghosts).

In the case of the ethos being presented by paranormal investigators, this takes the form of them attempting to convince the general public of the validity of their field of expertise based on the image that they are portraying to them, namely, as “experts” that have a great deal of experience and knowledge involving ghosts, haunted locations, the paranormal and other similar phenomena as well as the fact that they have supposedly encountered such phenomena in their line of work and have witnessed its various effects.

It is based on them “supposedly” encountering ghosts and being knowledgeable about them that creates the sense that what they are investigating is a real phenomenon instead of a something that is merely being fabricated (Jinks, 2011).

The problem with this particular method of validating the supposed existence of ghosts via a projected image is a cause for concern is because basing it on a paranormal expert’s knowledge and experience alone is insufficient to justify the presence of ghosts. The main problem with this method of justification is that it is far too self-serving for the ghost hunters in question.

For example, a paranormal investigator may argue for the validity of their current practice and the existence of ghosts based on their knowledge of the paranormal yet this attempt at persuading the general public is seemingly self-serving since the opposite may be true (i.e., that ghosts do not exist) and that they are merely falsifying data and are hiding behind a veil of supposed “expertise” in order to hide the truth (Jinks, 2011).

When examining the various motivations behind the ethos of paranormal experts regarding the presence of ghosts, the examination revealed that the supposed existence of ghosts benefits paranormal experts more so than the general public. To further clarify this particular assertion, it is important to determine what would happen if ghosts were proven to exist. Such evidence would validate the conduct and expertise of paranormal experts and would result in a considerable level of popularity.

On the other hand, if conclusive proof were to show that ghosts do not exist, then not only would the work of paranormal experts be shown to be nothing more than a hoax, they would also lose their means of livelihood.

From this perspective, it can be seen that present-day paranormal experts have a vested interest in ensuring that people continue to believe in ghosts since their current careers and livelihoods rest on the fact that people believe in the paranormal so that they can sell their merchandise, television shows, etc. (Jinks, 2011).

As such, it can be interpreted that the ethos utilized by paranormal investigators is self-serving towards the investigators since it justifies their “expertise” under the context of ghosts existing yet in the end is more beneficial to them than to general public. Going further into the issue of ethos and how it is used by paranormal investigators to justify their current line of work and in turn the existence of ghosts; what must be understood is that ethos itself is “artificial”, this means that it is created/made with an intended purpose in mind.

From a certain perspective, ethos can be compared to a type of surface image that is generated by a particular person or organization which in reality may have an entirely fictional relationship to what is true.

For instance, in the case of the so-called “expertise” of paranormal investigators regarding ghosts, they may say that they are experts when it comes to tracking and identifying ghosts in various haunted locations but if they are merely doing it for fame and money and are merely making up what they are doing, then there is a considerable disparity between their so-called “expertise” and what is actually true.

The main issue with trying to tryve the ethos of the paranormal investigators is due to the concept of probation diabolica (i.e., the devil’s proof). Under this legal analogy, there is the responsibility of proving an impossible proof, for instance, it can be stated that just because ghosts are not seen does not mean they do not exist. The same statement is utilized to justify the presence of God wherein just because he is not seen, heard, or felt does not mean he does not exist.

Tangible proof regarding the absolute nonexistence of ghosts has not been created since there is no procedure that has been examined by relevant scientific authorities that can be utilized to prove their existence or nonexistence. Such a method of logical reasoning is often utilized by paranormal investigators to justify the supposed necessity of their work and how ghosts do exist yet present-day methods of actually “seeing” them are still lacking.

Based on this, it can be seen that the method in which a particular idea is “packaged for consumption to the general public” changes the perception of the intended audience towards accepting the idea that is being presented or the validity of the statements given by the paranormal investigators. It is within this context that the concept of ghosts existing is seemingly erroneous given the fact that the “experts” that track them have a vested interest in ensuring that they do exist despite all other evidence proving that they do not.

Understanding the Psychological Underpinnings of the Belief in Ghosts

In order to better understand why hoaxes related to ghost continue to exist despite the absence of relevant scientific data that proves their existence, it is important to examine the psychological underpinnings behind the belief in ghosts in order to create a more accurate representation as to how the belief continues to spread among members of the general population.

Based on the work of Jinx (2011), it can be seen that the concept of irrational exuberance is at work when it comes to the current popular culture belief in ghosts. Irrational exuberance is a term that is ascribed to individuals who base their actions on the behavior of other people. It is irrational in the sense that they act or believe in certain concepts without properly identifying all the possible ramifications of such activities or without determining whether such actions have a basis on fact.

Jinx (2011) explains that such activity is similar to the case of mob mentality wherein people tend to go along with certain actions based on the current situation or social inclination towards a particular train of thought. In layman’s terms, this means that people tend to go along with particular actions or specific methods of thought based on how it is generally accepted by the group that they are in during that particular period.

One example of a generally accepted hoax that had no basis on factual data can be seen in the 14th till 17th century, wherein it was generally accepted that having women onboard a ship was bad luck. Supposedly, having a woman on a ship resulted in a vessel experiencing rough weather or encountering an assortment of different problems while at sea (Blanco & Peeren, 2013).

While at present such an idea can be thought of as ludicrous or even insane, yet in the past, it was generally thought of as fact despite the lack of scientific evidence to prove a sufficient correlation between having a woman onboard a ship and the supposed “horrendous bad luck” that was supposed to follow.

At present, a similar type of hoax (i.e., the belief in ghosts) is currently popular among members of the general public even though there is no scientific evidence to prove that they exist (Khan, 2009). One way of understanding why the hoax of ghosts continues to persist can be seen in how people interpreted natural phenomena in the past and how they correlated it with the actions of divine beings. One of the most popular types of myths at present is ancient Greek mythology involving the Olympian Gods and Goddesses.

A popular notion that existed in Ancient Greece was that particular weather patterns were the result of the actions of the Gods. For instance, if there was thunder and lightning in the sky while it was raining, it was often assumed that it was due to the actions of Zeus. High tide and low tide as well as smooth sailing or rough weather at sea was often attributed to the actions of Poseidon while bountiful harvests and spring were connoted to be due to the Goddesses Hera and Persephone.

Since the ancient Greeks lacked a sufficient understanding of how natural phenomena occurred, they attributed it to a set of beings that did not exist. When examining the process of attribution and comparing it to the present-day manner in which ghost stories are created and subsequently promoted, it can be seen that there is a considerable level of similarity between the two.

People tend to associate inexplicable acts or feelings to the presence of ghosts when in reality such a correlation could be entirely false with ghosts not existing with a perfectly logical and above all natural explanation behind certain events or sightings.

As explained at the beginning of this paper, ghost sightings and haunted locations tend to be psychological and are often the result of the mind playing tricks on an individual’s perception of the world around them (Ouellette, 2011). When ghost sightings are placed under the lens of scientific inquiry, it is often the case that they are debunked or attributed to a particular individual experiencing an adverse mental condition (i.e. depression, drunkenness, etc.).

When taking all these factors into consideration, it can be seen that there is a considerable psychological underpinning behind present-day ghost sightings (Blanco & Peeren, 2013).

As such, when combining all the factors that have been mentioned, a clearer picture emerges regarding how hoaxes involving ghost originally manifest, how they are subsequently promoted by “paranormal experts” and the resulting repetition of the entire process as the information that is promoted gives rise to even more instances where people believe that they have encountered a ghost as a direct result of the current social understanding that interprets their experience as a ghostly encounter instead of either a perfectly natural phenomena or a psychological reaction.

Conclusion

Based on all the data that has been presented in this paper, it can be stated that ghosts do not exist, and stories from ghost hunting television shows are false and misleading. It is more likely to believe that ghosts are the direct result of human psychology and fictional accounts than to think that a supernatural entity has nothing better to do than haunt a specific location for years. The implication of the result of this study is that all of the various “experts” in paranormal activity are nothing more than frauds.

Reference List

Blanco, M. P., & Peeren, E. (2013). The Spectralities Reader: Ghosts and Haunting in Contemporary Cultural Theory. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Danelek, J. A. (2010). The case for ghosts: An objective look at the paranormal. Woodbury, Minn: Llewellyn Publications.

Jinks, T. (2011). An introduction to the psychology of paranormal belief and experience. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Publishers.

Khan, U. (2009). Nationwide ghost debunking exercise launched by professor. The Telegraph, p. 1A.

Merriam, S. (2009) Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation. New York: John Wiley & Sons

Ouellette, J. (2011). Blithe spirits: science ain’t afraid of no ghosts. Scientific American, p. 1A.

Townsend, T. (2013). Paranormal activity: do Catholics believe in ghosts? U.S. Catholic. 78 (10): 12 – 17.

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