Are Ghosts Real? Guy Lyon Playfair’s Thirty-Year Investigation Yields Insights

Industry: Science

Noted parapsychology investigator and author Guy Lyon Playfair discusses poltergeists, after-death communication and the telepathy of twins.

California, United States (PRUnderground) June 7th, 2011

Join Skeptiko guest host Steve Volk for an interview with Guy Lyon Playfair. During the interview Mr. Playfair summarizes what he’s learned about the poltergeist phenomena:

Steve Volk: What’s your best guess, at this stage, after all these years, on what poltergeists, or ghosts, are.

Guy Playfair: The short answer is that there are two possibilities. Either they are some kind of discarnate entity – which I certainly don’t rule out – or else they are an entirely unknown force that emanates from the human mind. How it works we simply don’t know. We can only observe its effects. I think there’s quite strong evidence that it’s some kind of so-called spirit or discarnate entity, kind of drifting blobs of exo-intelligence, if you like. But that is an extremely controversial opinion and not many people share it.

Steve Volk: I do find it interesting that in some cases skeptics have started putting forth more complicated and I would say more interesting theories than the usual, the mind plays tricks, wishful thinking, creaking floorboards, leaky pipes kind of explanations.

Guy Playfair: Yes, there’s another possible line of inquiry. Poltergeist outbreaks have got certain features in common with Tourette’s syndrome, where you get these sorts of jerks and muscular spasms and things and also very strange vocal sounds. A poltergeist looks rather like an extension of some super-Tourette’s where not only the muscles twitch but furniture starts twitching as well. But that’s not my idea. That was actually Michael Persinger and William Roll, who is a very experienced researcher. I think it’s an interesting line to follow up.

The Skeptiko interview with Guy Lyon Playfair (audio and transcript) is available at:

About Skeptiko: is the first scientifically oriented Podcast exploring new research in controversial areas of science such as telepathy, psi, parapsychology, near-death-experience, psychic detectives, medium communication, reincarnation, and after-life encounters. Each episode features open, honest debate on new scientific discoveries. The show includes interviews with top research scientists and their critics.



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