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Is your House Haunted?

Ghost?PSI looks into why haunted houses are so commonplace despite ghosts being fairly rare.    

You are short of breath, you feel pressure, faint, in pain. But how do you know you’re having a heart attack? You might have seen the symptoms on TV or film, or seen them first hand in someone who is later diagnosed by a doctor, or perhaps written on a website written be medical professionals? Either way, scientists have proven that certain symptoms denote a heart attack, they even have machinery to test it, it’s all common knowledge so we’d know if it were happening to us.    

Surely the same goes with the symptoms of a haunted house? Your keys go missing and end up somewhere else, you’ve felt a chill, and you’ve heard some unusual noises. You’ve seen on TV and film that these are the symptoms of a haunted house, you might know someone who has experienced these symptoms and a ‘specialist’ using machinery has told them their house is haunted. You might have even read about the symptoms online, written by a ‘specialist’.    

So what’s the problem? Well, heart-attacks are common enough that depictions on TV and film are based on reality. But TV and film are just as likely to have made up the symptoms of a haunted house, it’s what fiction does. Heart problems can be established through medical apparatus, but no ‘equipment’ can test for a haunting. Medical professionals know what a heart attack, but rationalism does not tell us what a haunting is.    

Apparitions might denote a haunting – that’s a debate for another day – but surprisingly few ‘haunted houses’ have produced an apparition.  In the absence of an image of a dead person, what makes us so sure we have a haunted house?  

 It all boils down to our beliefs and experiences. The media has instilled in our brains that certain non-ghostly activities mean we have a ghost. If we believe it and we expect it to be true, then it seems to become true. Once we feel we live in a ‘haunted house’ context, we look for even more cues that we’d have previously ignored or ‘tuned out’.    So what should you do if you’re in this position? It’s best to read all the rationalist explanations out there – and there are many compelling arguments. If you live anywhere in the UK you can seek out rationalist organisations like ASSAP.  

But unless you want your case to get worse don’t seek out those ‘investigators’ who claim to be evidence-focussed and scientific, but a simple look around their website shows they are driven by pseudo-scientific and unethical nonsense.    

There are no medical doctor equivalents in the paranormal world. For your own sanity, don’t get sucked in!