TOP 7 BIZARRE AFTERLIFE EXPERIMENTS
1. EVP EXPERIMENTS
EVP (electronic voice phenomena) is a mysterious event in which human-sounding voices from an unknown source are heard on recording tape, in radio station noise, and in other electronic media. Most often, EVPs have been captured on audiotape. The mysterious voices are not heard at the time of recording; it is only when the tape is played back that the voices are heard. Some skeptics say interpreting random sounds into voices in their own language would sound like random noise to a foreign speaker.
2. DEAD WEIGHT EXPERIMENT
This is not the official name of this experiment, but I thought it had a nice ring to it. In 1907 Dr. Duncan MacDougall of Haverhill, Massachusetts, placed six terminal patients on a specially designed bed built on a scale and weighed them as they took their last breath. Based on the results from the experiment, the patients lost approximately three-quarters of an ounce, equal to 21.3 grams. MacDougall also measured fifteen dogs in similar circumstances and reported the results as negative with no perceived change in weight. He took these results as confirmation that the human soul has weight and that dogs do not have souls. MacDougall’s experiments were published in The New York Times and some medical journals.
3. THE PHILLIP EXPERIMENT
The Phillip Experiment was conducted in the early 1970s by the Toronto Society of Psychical Research. The purpose of the experiment was to see if a fictitious historical character could manifest itself through the group’s efforts of concentration. They named the ghost Phillip and gave the ghost a personality and a complete background, even drawing a portrait to make him seem more real. The eight members of the group also memorized the fictional biography and studied the period in which Phillip was supposed to have lived. The séances proved nothing for many months until 1973 when Phillip began to communicate. He first came through as a solid rap on the table. In the months that followed, the group discovered that when they asked questions using one knock as “yes” and two as “no,” they could actually have an intelligent conversation with their ghost.
4. GHOST HUNTERS
Ghost Hunters is a reality television series that debuted in 2004. A team of investigators travels to locations reported to be haunted. To locate ghosts the team has experimented with Geiger counters, EMF (electromagnetic field) scanners, infrared and night vision cameras, handheld digital video cameras, digital audio recorders, and laptop computers. The ghost hunters claim to have several good recordings of strange mists, odd lights, moving objects, and shadowy figures that manifest before the camera and disappear quickly.
5. THE AFTERLIFE EXPERIMENTS
Gary Schwartz, a professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, wrote a book in 2002 called The Afterlife Experiments. In the experiments, he used mediums and sitters (someone who had had very close relationships with people now dead) to investigate whether or not there is life after death. The mediums consistently came up with specific facts and names about the sitters’ departed friends and relatives that the skeptics have been unable to explain away as fraud, cold reading, or lucky guesses. For the first sitter, the results showed the mediums ranged from 77 to 95 percent accurate. The average hit rate was 83 percent. The hit rate for the second sitter was similar to that of the first sitter. To rule out lucky guesses Schwartz set up a control group of sixty-eight students from the University of Arizona. The hit rate of the control group was just 36 percent.
6. THE REINCARNATION EXPERIMENTS
Australian psychologist Peter Ramster made a documentary in 1983 called The Reincarnation Experiments. During the experiments, he found very convincing evidence of past lives. One of the individuals featured in the film remembered a life during the French Revolution. When under trance she spoke in French without any trace of an accent, understood and answered questions put to her in French, and knew the names of streets that had changed and were only discoverable on old maps.
7. HARRY HOUDINI’S SECRET CODE EXPERIMENT
Houdini’s training in magic allowed him to expose many mediums as frauds that had successfully fooled many scientists and academics. Fearing that spiritualists would exploit his legacy by pretending to contact him after his death, Houdini left his wife a secret code. Ten words were chosen at random from a letter written by Conan Doyle that he would use to contact her from the afterlife. After Houdini’s death on October 31, 1926, a friend of Doyle, Rev. Arthur Ford, claimed to have contacted both Houdini and his deceased mother at a séance through his spirit guide. Ford stated the message received was in the prearranged code worked out by Houdini and his wife before Houdini’s death. However, most believe Ford conspired with Doyle and also talked Houdini’s wife (who was ill and self-medicating with alcohol) into conspiring to assist him in creating the impression he had contacted Houdini’s spirit.