Hypothetical Model of Paranormal Claims

This model is formed off of characteristics of a location that creates the assumption that it must be haunted. For example, a deserted hospital has had many deaths occur within it, so it must be haunted by some of the deceased people. Hypothetically, it should be haunted.

Subjective Validation is created by several causes. These include pranks, hoaxes, and information from unreliable sources such as psychics, mediums, paranormal investigators, urban explorers and material from the internet. This, in turn, creates a clear belief bias that the location is haunted or is "paranormally active". Once these parts are been put together it creates an illusion of validity. However, this illusion is often subject to the focusing effect. This effect is the tendency to place too much importance on one aspect of an event. Often this will be the story that is the most spectacular. When confronted with alternative explanations, this is the element that you will be rebutted with. This process creates the genesis.


Key Identification Features:

  • Details of the witness accounts will vary greatly in their description. These accounts are very subjective to the bias of the observer.
  • The areas where phenomena are reported will vary greatly.
  • The back story to the myth may be fabricated. This can be identified through historical research.
  • Most of the witness experiences will be second or third-hand accounts.
  • The elements of the myth may change over time
  • New phenomenon, additional "ghosts", may be created later in the process due to rampant myth building.
  • The reported phenomenon does not repeat the behavior.

Investigation Tips

Focus on the historical investigation of the back story. Check the validity of the back story against historical accounts and search for changes to the back story.


About Hitman

Author of "Hunting the Ghost Hunters, an introspective guide to Ghost research" and co-author of "The Complete Ghost Hunter, Basic methods to Advanced Techniques". Host of Ecto Radio.

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