Old Habits Die Hard

Paranormal Researchers have teamed up with Behavioural Psychologists to determine whether ghosts retain their prior personalities and habits.

“It’s just something we take for granted, that someone who had tendencies in life would carry them on after they died. But with any science, assumptions must be tested, so that’s what we set out to do,” said Hente Vaumer, Project Lead of Spiritual Investigations of North Carolina (SINC).

Using a mixture of techniques, such as psychological profiling, environmental analysis and sifting through historical records, the team compiled a set of characteristics to examine on a host of ghosts.

“While most investigators look at hard evidence, like photographs of apparitions or listening to EVPs, we go one step further an apply what we’ve found back to the personality of the entity we’re after. It is challenging, especially since, just like common folk, we have good days and bad days. Another time we had to throw out a whole month worth of compiled data because it turned out that we were dealing with two separate entities,” he says, “Still, it’s proving to be very insightful.”

Some of the key findings to come from the research include:

  • Most ghosts (86% of the sample collected) are not malevolent in nature.
  • Habits formed during a lifetime have a higher tendency to carry on after death.
  • Speech and behavioural habits have the highest tendency, whereas physical habits, like a limp or finger strumming, are less evident.
  • Of the entities marked as malevolent, 70% resorted to physical interaction when provoked, compared to 25% of non-malevolent.
  • Intelligence does not appear to have a correlation to the entity’s previous apparent level.
  • Criminal entities, those that have been identified by historical records as having served time for serious crime, represented 65% of the malevolent entities.

Says psychologist Rana Martina, “This is very exciting. It shows that the physical body, the chemicals and makeup, become insignificant after one dies. Without the influence of hormones and bodily constraints, the mind is free to develop on a different plane altogether. One can imagine that it would be like living in a sensory deprivation chamber, only even sensations of thirst, hunger and other desires would be quashed. So this raises a very important question: If there are no physical demands to motivate the mind, all that is left, the core motivator we can call it, must be of a pure essence.”

The team are cautious about drawing conclusions, conscious that others in the field do not appreciate their approach.

“Some say Paranormology is a quack-science. Others say the same thing about Psychology. Be that as it may, we’ve kept to scientific methodology and our papers can be scrutinised by peer review. We’re also using statistical analysis rather than pure empirical methodologies, and I think this makes all the difference.”ChesterLogoSmall

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Edgar Allan Poe’s darker secret

While the literary works of Edgar Allan Poe are macabre and mysterious, investigations into his personal life reveal an even darker side: At least two of his famous works may actually have been inspired by real and, shockingly, personal events.

“It would seem that elements of ‘The Telltale Heart’ and ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ coincide with actual unsolved police cases, one a murder, the other a disappearance, suspected foul play,” says Ryan Ng, Researcher and Literary Analyst.

The revelations come to light after Ryan tracked the historical movements of Poe and compared them against police records. What he found has convinced him that Poe is guilty of more than just stealing our imaginations.

Twenty years after The Telltale Heart was published, renovations at a seaside manor in New Jersey uncovered the corpse of an elderly man from under the floorboards. The date of death was officially determined as being twenty-two years earlier which, Ryan demonstrates, is precisely the time when Edgar was known to have ‘visited a friend’ in that area.

“The timing is almost perfect. Also, in Virginia, there was a wealthy businessman, Kieth Hitchcock, who disappeared after attending a masquerade ball. The grounds next to the ball was a construction site, known to have been visited by Poe and his friends during a holiday from University. I would be keen to see if there are any skeletons buried inside those walls,” says Ryan, “If we look at the progression from killing a cat, then old men, then wealthy businessmen, we see a very real pattern of psychopathic behaviour.”

Publishing his stories is an sign of Poe’s restrained regret, Ryan says, whereas the details placed within the story, specifically highlighting the cleverness of his crimes smacks of the egotistical mind of a genuine serial killer.

“I’m currently investigating the Pit and the Pendulum to see if there are any crimes of torture to which he might be linked.”ChesterLogoSmall