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2019 Vol. 83(1) 25-46

Etzel Cardeña, Ph.D.
Parapsychology Press


Houran, J., Laythe, B., O’Keeffe, C., Dagnall, N.,
Drinkwater, K., and Lange, R. (2019). Quantifying the Phenomenology of  Ghostly Episodes: Part I - Need for a Standard Operationalization. Journal of Parapsychology, 83, 25-46.


Quantifying the Phenomenology of Ghostly Episodes:
Part I - Need for a Standard Operationalization5

James Houran, Brian Laythe, Ciaran O’Keeffe, Neil Dagnall,
Kenneth Drinkwater, and Rense Lange

Instituto Politécnico de Gestão e Tecnologia, Ivy Tech Community College, Buckinghamshire New University, and Manchester Metropolitan University

We review conceptualizations and measurements of base (or core)  experiences commonly attributed to haunts and poltergeists (i.e.,  “ghostly episodes”). Case analyses, surveys, controlled experiments, and  field studies have attempted to gauge anomalous experiences in this  domain, albeit with methods that do not cumulatively build on earlier  research. Although most approaches agree, to an extent, on the base  experiences or events that witnesses report, the literature lacks a  standard operationalization that can be used to test the factor  structure of these occurrences or allow meaningful comparisons of  findings across studies. Towards filling this gap, we identified 28 base  experiences that include subjective (or psychological) experiences,  more typical of haunts, and objective (or physical) manifestations, more  common to poltergeist-like disturbances. This qualitatively-vetted list  is proposed as the foundation for new measurement approaches, research  designs, and analytical methods aimed to advance model-building and  theory-formation.


ghost, haunt, phenomenology, poltergeist, psychometrics

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