IU Southeast
Summer 2013 21
standard explanations for the noises
by ruling out radio interference or
contaminations. Formal research
findings will be presented to the class at
a later date.
The students also visited the Rhine
Research Center at Duke University,
which is the country’s preeminent
academic research facility for
According to its website, the center’s
mission is to advance the science of
parapsychology, to provide education
and resources for the public, and to
foster a community for individuals with
personal and professional interest in
supposed parapsychological or psychic
faculties or phenomena.”
The Rhine taught students how to
evaluate unexplained phenomena
without a bias and with a critical
I loved the Rhine,” said Amy Basham,
a senior psychology major from
Madison, Ind. “We learned a lot and saw
more of the scientific piece of the test.”
That science allowed Basham to
approach stops at a haunted hotel in
Savannah and at Myrtles Plantation
outside Baton Rouge, La., with a
healthy skepticism. The antebellum
plantation is reportedly home to at least
Myrtles Plantation, it felt alive,”
Basham said. “It’s hard not to believe
some things when people say they’ve
experienced it.”
What’s the answer?
Basham took the course because
she’d always been interested in the
paranormal, but she admits she also
wanted to validate her belief that the
paranormal exists.
I really tried to be flat-lined at the
beginning and keep my personal beliefs
in the background,” she said.
It was difficult, she admits, but the
scientific approach of the course helped
I wanted to
give some
to what
seemed to be
Drew Echelberger
Below left, a postcard of the reportedly haunted Waverly Hills Sanatorium. Below right, an unexplained shadow (or is it a ghost?) that IU Southeast students
captured on camera during a tour of Waverly Hills. Photo by Katie Glesing.