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The Dr. John Hall story: a case study in putative “Haunted People Syndrome”

O'Keeffe, C and Houran, J and Houran, DJ and Dagnall, N and Drinkwater, K and Sheridan, L and Laythe, B (2019) The Dr. John Hall story: a case study in putative “Haunted People Syndrome”. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 22 (9). pp. 910-929. ISSN 1367-4676

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Abstract

© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Research suggests a “Haunted People Syndrome (HP-S)” defined by recurrent and systematic perceptions of anomalous subjective and objective anomalies. Such signs or symptoms are traditionally attributed to “spirits and the supernatural,” but these themes are hypothesised to morph to “surveillance and stalking” in reports of “group-(or gang) stalking,” We tested this premise with a quali-quantitative exercise that mapped group-stalking experiences from a published first-hand account to a Rasch measure of haunt-type anomalies. This comparison found significant agreement in the specific “signs or symptoms” of both phenomena. Meta-patterns likewise showed clear conceptual similarities between the phenomenology of haunts and group-stalking. Findings are consistent with the idea that both anomalous episodes involve the same, or similar, attentional or perceptual processes and thereby support the viability of the HP-S construct.

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