Haunted House Experiment Outline
A Short Preface
Personally, I’ve always been skeptical of the paranormal. I will always look for another explanation to why a phenomenon occurs, rather than believe the unbelievable. One day, I wondered if hauntings could be explained as just a mental phenomenon. Therefore, I came up with this experiment that would give a little insight into whether prior beliefs and the placebo effect affect whether or not someone believes a location is truly haunted.
Unfortunately, I lack the money or any other resources to go through with the experiment. Therefore, this remains just an outline. Who knows, I may go through with it one day, if I get lucky enough, but I doubt that will ever happen. I thought I’d post it because it’s something interesting that I’ve always wanted to do, and maybe it’ll inspire someone else to go through with a similar experiment.
If, for some reason, you’d like to undertake this experiment (I’m going to doubt it) and have the goodwill to ask first, then include your e-mail in the comments, and I’ll get to you. Also, I’m pretty sure the outline for the experiment is poorly formatted, but I haven’t done a lab in a few years, so cut some slack.
The Haunted House Experiment
Outlined by Kevin Graham
To get a statistical idea of how being told a house is haunted would affect a nightly stay of a guest.
The Sample & Needed Resources
- 100 people; randomly selected from applicants
- 4 houses; two deemed haunted by “experts”, and two deemed not haunted
- 3 paranormal experts to assess and confirm locations
To begin, the paranormal experts would assess the houses, to confirm whether they are haunted. As well, they would need to confirm that the non-haunted houses are just that. The two haunted houses and two non-haunted houses will then be used by the guests over a 25-night period.
Secondly, the sample of one hundred people would be separated in four groups. Two of the groups will spend a night in a haunted house (A and B), and the remaining two groups would spend a night in one of the non-haunted houses (C and D). Group A will be told that the house they’re spending the night in is, in fact, haunted. Group B will not be told that the house is haunted. Group C will be told that the house they are spending the night in is haunted. Group D will remain the control group, as the average residents in an average home.
During their stay, they will be given a notepad, and be told to make observations. After the night is over, they will be given a survey to determine how comfortable their night was based on some variables (such as sleep quality, security), as well as questions to determine whether they had experienced any odd activity. They will then be asked to give a short summary of the night, and the attendant will then ask, after they have handed the survey in, whether the occupant believed the house is haunted.
The main obstacle is price. To rent out four different homes for twenty-five nights would be expensive. To compensate, the sample size could be lowered, but for consistency, it is not recommended that any less than sixty participate. As well, people would expect to be compensated for involvement. While the compensation would not have to be large, it would still be part of a budget.
The second obstacle would be to find the two haunted houses. While in a relatively large city, you may find houses that have been storied as haunted, it is less likely that there will be agreement on whether the haunting is real. A possible solution would to be create an “artificial haunt”, by adding small mechanisms to create creaks in the wall or floor, but this is more likely to skew the results.
As of now, this is only an outline, and therefore, the experiment has not been undertaken. The hope is that the data will be consistent to create a clear statement, and give insight into whether perception creates the paranormal in certain occasions.