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If He Builds It, Will They Come?

Ghost researcher Richard Wiseman plans to build a "haunted house" in the English countryside. It won't be haunted until it has ghosts, of course, but he thinks if he builds it the right way?with many rooms and staircases, creaking floors and lots of drafts?ghosts will soon take up residence there.

Alfred Lee writes in The Straits Times that Wiseman, a famous ghost hunter in the U.K., hopes to build the world's first scientifically created haunted house. It will have temperature changes from room to room, cold spots, odd electromagnetic fields, eerie lighting, flickering candles and low-frequency infrasound vibrations. All of these things have been suggested as scientific explanations for ghost sightings. Some rooms will be dark, while others will be well lit. There will be strange noises, subtle movements of air and visual effects. He will set up infrared recorders, thermal-imaging equipment, sensors, regular cameras and camcorders to record everything that happens in every room. Wiseman says, "If the cameras caught an image of a ghost, I would die a happy man."

The house will be open at night, since that's the best time to see ghosts. Visitors will fill in questionnaires asking if they experienced mood changes, tingling in their spines, eerie sensations, sudden body chills, goose pimples and?most importantly?did they see any ghosts? Wiseman says, "We want to see if man-made factors can create unusual sensations in people. Can spooky conditions make people see ghostly figures? Will visitors have haunted feelings?"

He's an unusual kind of ghost hunter?he's a skeptic. "?I do not believe in ghosts," he says. "I will not believe they exist until I see one myself. It is much better to have an unbeliever as a ghost hunter. Otherwise, he would be seeing them everywhere."

Is it ghosts or?something else?

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