Saturday, 29 October 2016


As a ghost story of sorts for the season, we take a look at the interesting if not inattentive trials of one parapsychologist in the 1960s who tried to induce psychical experiences by dressing up as a moaning, menacing apparition in various locations, including a cemetery and the (captive) audience of an adult film cinema.
Of the dozens the passed by or saw the spirit manifest itself in the theatre, disappointingly hardly any registered his presence, with just one or two recalling something that didn’t quite fit—an errant polar bear or an error with the projector perhaps—and one individual purposefully avoiding a man in a sheet. I always found it rather incredulous that not everyone screening the same clip noticed the walk on role of the gorilla (on a unicycle, with pom-poms or what have you) as cited, but never thought seeing that and not calling it out was anywhere near household pets detecting ghosts or the pre-tremors of an earthquake (given I owe that I miss a lot of other obvious, glaring things), and I’m sure that going without acknowledgement after all that effort must have been frustrating. Perhaps that’s why the scary clowns of today have gotten so aggressively hammy. The conclusions of this study held that an experimental, simulated haunting could not elicit the psychic contagion of a genuine one, which sounds pretty reasonable to me.