|Spectre inspector makes record books |
A parapsychologist has made it into the record books for staging the biggest ghost hunt ever.
A catalogue of spooky encounters was reported in the experiment which was recognised as the "most systematic scientific study into haunted locations" by the Guinness Book of World Records.
The hunt, conducted at subterranean vaults in Edinburgh by Dr Richard Wiseman, of Hertfordshire University, involved 250 people and an array of hi-tech equipment.
But despite a number of creepy tales from volunteers, no definite proof of the supernatural was found during the experiment in April last year.
Some 125 male and 125 female volunteers, aged between 16 to 80, took turns to stand in parts of the reputedly haunted 18th century underground chambers for about 20 minutes during the experiment.
Dr Wiseman also used a magnetometer, thermal imager, air temperature and movement sensors and a light meter, as well as photographic and video cameras to pick up any spooky activity.
The study took place between April 4 and 17 at vaults beneath South Bridge and in Edinburgh Castle. Volunteers for the study were recruited through the Edinburgh International Science Festival.
Welcoming the recognition of his record achievement Dr Wiseman - who does not believe in ghosts - said the spirit hunt had been "fascinating".
The academic, who has been investigating paranormal phenomena for 10 years, said: "The vaults and the castle were ideal for the study because they have a reputation for being haunted and recording people's reactions was truly fascinating.
"Some people reported hearing heavy breathing and some saw ghostly lights while a woman said she saw a strange figure walking about. But none of the stories convinced me ghosts exist. I first got into this subject because I used to be a magician and I saw how easily people could be tricked."
Story filed: 17:15 Tuesday 19th March 2002
I remember a programme about this on British TV a while back and I think it was filmed at the beginning of the testing. Wiseman has debunked many other paranormal things.