Technology

Can Science Create Ghosts?

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Forty percent of Americans claim to believe in ghosts. Some believe that reputedly "haunted" places are simply sites with strong electromagnetic activity. So, in 2006, scientists attempted to manufacture a haunted room in London.

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I Ain't Afraid Of Summonin' No Ghosts

They rigged the room to release electromagnetic pulses and infrasound waves, which are often credited with generating creepy vibes. After spending an hour in the specially rigged room, nearly three-quarters of the participants said they experienced more than three unusual feelings. Six percent felt nothing. Several felt sexually aroused, which unfortunately triggers our memories of the bizarre Dan Aykroyd dream sequence from "Ghostbusters."

So that proves it. Electromagnetism and infrasound waves create ghosts, right? Not so fast. Volunteers who went into the room were more likely to report strange reactions if they already believed in the paranormal. What's more, people tend to think about what's suggested to them. If you're asked to keep track of any odd feelings, you're more likely to zero in on a slight sensation you might otherwise ignore.

There's also the matter that all of the various signals the team emitted only covered a small part of the room. But people reported feeling the spooky feelings no matter where the volunteers stood within the room. Seems like we don't have to worry about Zuul or Gozer anytime soon.

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