The paranormal

Prof Wiseman’s research into alleged paranormal phenomena examines a range of topics, including testing psychics, investigating haunted locations, and belief in the paranormal.

Testing psychics: This work involves investigating people claiming a range of paranormal abilities, including mediums, astrologers, healers and animal communicators. Much of this research is described in Prof Wiseman’s book Deception and Self-deception: Investigating Psychics. To date, none of the tests have revealed convincing evidence for psychic ability.

Links

BBC Online article describing Prof Wiseman's studies into mediumship

Guardian Unlimited article on mediumship and science


Parapsychology:
Although Prof Wiseman doesn't think that the results of laboratory-based parapsychology studies provide convincing evidence of psychic ability, he does believe that they do justify further work in this area. For this reason he has carried out various projects assessing extrasensory perception, including work examining the ganzfeld procedure and remote viewing.

Links

Science News article on Prof Wiseman's ESP meta-analysis

BBC Online article on the laugh of the first Mind Machine

 

Hauntings and ghosts: Prof Wiseman has examined why people report unusual experiences in allegedly haunted locations.

He brought together a team of scientists to investigate Hampton Court Palace. This was the first time that scientists had been allowed inside a Royal palace to examine allegedly paranormal phenomena. The study involved over 600 members of the public walking through certain areas of the Palace and noting down their location whenever they experienced any unusual phenomena. At night, a wide range of monitoring equipment were placed in these locations.

People consistently experienced unusual sensations in certain locations and that some of these experiences were caused by natural phenomena, such as subtle draughts and changes in air temperature.

Prof Wiseman also conducted an investigation into a set of underground vaults in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival. Results revealed tha participants consistently reported unusual sensations in the vaults that had a reputation for being haunted, and that there were correlations between these experiences and certain environmental attributes, such as air movement and the visual appearance of the vaults.

Links

BBC Online article describing Prof Wiseman's article on hauntings published in the British Journal of Psychology

Times article on magnetism and unusual experiences.

Guardian article on infrasound and unusual experiences.

Tandy V. & Lawrence, T,. (1998). The ghost in the machine. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 62, 851, 360-364. download

Tandy, V. (2000), "Something in the Cellar", Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 64, 129-140. download

McCue, P.A. (2002). Theories of Hauntings: A Critical overview. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 66, 1-21. download

Our thanks to the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research for permission to distribute articles from their journals.