The most comprehensive scientific investigation into the existence of ghosts ever attempted is taking place in Edinburgh, Scotland. Over the next two weeks, 10 researchers, aided by more than 200 members of the public, will try to record the presence of various types of spirit beings.

They will be using sophisticated equipment to investigate areas such as the dungeons of Edinburgh Castle and the vaults underneath South Bridge. Edinburg was chosen because of its high concentration of paranormal sightings.

The investigation is being led by Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at Hertfordshire University, who says, ?I am not a great believer in spirit hypotheses but we have equipment which is more sensitive than what has been used before. The difference is that we will be logging all the information and the good thing is that the public can also join in,? he said.

The team will have a thermal imager, geomagnetic sensors, temperature probes and night vision equipment. The results will be announced at the Edinburgh Science Festival.

Wiseman?s last investigation examined claims that Catherine Howard, Henry VIII?s fifth wife, who was beheaded, was still walking around Hampton Court Palace.

He has no doubt that there are people who have real experiences with ghosts. Some may be due to suggestion, such as being in a place where deaths have occurred, while some people may have a special sensitivity to the presence of spiritual beings. ?We think we are on to something in terms of understanding why people have these experiences?something that we did not know before,? Wiseman says.

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