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2019, Vol. 83, No. 2, 193-208

Editor-in-Chief Etzel Cardeña, Ph.D.
© Rhine Research Center


Dubaj, V., & Mowbray, T. (2019). Magnetospheric and Lunar Interactions with Reported Sensory Hallucinations: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Parapsychology, 82, 193-208.

Magnetospheric and Lunar Interactions with Reported Sensory Hallucinations: An Exploratory Study

Vladimir Dubaj

Swinburne University

Tony Mowbray

Monash University

Abstract. Geomagnetic activity (GMA) and the lunar cycle have previously been postulated to facilitate hallucinatory experiences that are subsequently interpreted as haunting activity. However, findings from previous studies investigating possible connections are limited by relatively small sample sizes, broad temporal resolution, or artificial laboratory settings. To address these limitations, an exploratory analysis was conducted on 26 years of witness statements comprising 723 unique reports of apparent haunting activity, obtained from management at Port Arthur Historic Penal Colony, Tasmania, Australia. We compared frequency of reports with moon phase, the solar cycle, and monthly, daily, and hourly measures of GMA (using the Ap index). Report distribution was significantly correlated both with annual variation in GMA and solar cycle sunspot frequency. Intraday distributions revealed that reports were more likely to occur during times below mean daily GMA. Furthermore, significantly higher frequency of reports occurred during the two-day period around the new and full moon. The findings suggest that sensory hallucinations, experienced as haunt activity occur preferentially during specific periods outside of maximal GMA; during either relatively quiet periods or perhaps during periods with magnetic variations more suited to interaction with biological processes. The observed lunar effect is likely psychogenic in nature due to sensory feedback.

Keywords: Magnetosphere; Moon; Geomagnetic; Ghosts; Haunting

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