March 30, 2017

One third of Americans believe in ghosts, and one fifth have had a personal encounter. We go to a haunted house with some paranormal investigators and things get spooky. But, scientists aren’t scared – they have a range of explanations for why so many people encounter ghosts. We speak to Dr. Katie Mack, Baland Jalal, Dr. Shane Rogers, and Prof. Chris French and find out what ghosts are all about.

This episode has been produced by Ben Kuebrich, Diane Wu, Heather Rogers and Shruti Ravindran me. Senior Producer Kaitlyn Sawrey. Our editor is Annie-Rose Strasser. Production assistance: Audrey Quinn. Fact Checking by Michelle Harris. Sound engineering, music production and original scoring by Bobby Lord. Thanks to Dr. Ciaran O’Keeffe, Dr Neil Dagnall, Dr. Giulio Rognini, Raymond Swyers, Dr. Joseph Baker, Prof. Kwai Man Luk, Prof. Kin Seng Chiang, Prof. Tapan Sarkar, Prof. Maxim Gitlits, The Zukerman family, Joseph Lavelle Wilson as well as Jorge Just, Devon Taylor …and thanks to Haley Shaw for the spooooky violins in the Science Vs theme.

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Selected References:
Baland Jalal’s Sleep Paralysis Hallucination Hypothesis
Review of Folklore Surrounding Sleep Paralysis
World Health Organization’s Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould
Chris French’s Haunted Room Experiment


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Please pass on to anyone you think would be willing to talk to #sciencevs (great podcast) about experiences as female scientists who have experienced sexual harassment/discrimination/eye-rolling gender bias.
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