Research Item – http://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/
The physical environment affects every individual differently, however past research suggests that certain individuals exhibit a greater susceptibility to environmental factors than the general population (Jawer, 2006). According to Jawer (2006) these environmentally sensitive individuals are also significantly more likely to report paranormal experiences than non-sensitives. The current study set out to test the hypothesis that environmentally sensitive individuals will report more past paranormal experiences as well as more haunt-type experiences in a natural setting. The study also looked at whether subtle differences in electromagnetic fields (EMFs) led to an increase in reported haunt-type experiences among sensitives. Methods: Participants (N=251) completed a questionnaire which categorized them as either environmentally sensitive or non-sensitive and were then led on a guided tour of an allegedly haunted location where they reported any unusual phenomena that they experienced. EMF readings were taken of the rooms visited on the tour and based on those readings the rooms were either designated as ‘High EMF’ rooms or ‘Low EMF’ rooms. Results: Sensitives reported significantly more past paranormal experiences and haunt-type experiences in a natural setting. Overall there were significantly more haunt-type experiences in ‘High EMF’ rooms than ‘Low EMF’ rooms suggesting an association between increased EMFs and reports of haunt-type experiences. Further analysis showed that sensitives reported significantly more haunt-type experiences in ‘High EMF’ rooms than ‘Low EMF’ rooms; however there was no significant difference in reported experiences between rooms among non-sensitives which suggests that sensitives could be picking up on subtle EMF differences leading to an increase in reports of haunt-type experiences.