The Haunt Coding Project (HCP)

THINGS VOLUNTEERS SHOULD KNOW UPFRONT

All of the data collected with the help of our volunteers go towards the publication of research articles or books and becomes the formal property of ISRAE, with appropriate credit to everyone who donates time and effort. Volunteers are expected to behave professionally and may quit volunteering at any time for any reason. That’s why it’s a volunteer position.

HCP Rationale:

If you think about it, haunting enthusiasts really don’t have a legitimate method for classifying various kinds and types of haunting experiences. However, there are strange grimoires and religious books out there that provide descriptions of fantastical entities. We’ve read most of these, but they are based on belief systems, and not any “hold it in your hand” type of science.  Investigators need a concrete way of classifying different types of hauntings, based on observable phenomena and context other than someone’s belief system (although that is important too).

We aim to change that. The HCP or “Monster Manual” is a long term coding project where volunteers find purportedly legitimate haunting accounts and code them by multiple environmental (location, the general environment, witnesses, daytime/nighttime….etc.)  and demographic variables (, age, gender, religion…etc..).  From there we will use the Survey of Strange Events (SSE) to code the phenomena experienced.

The SSE is currently the mathematically strongest measure for assessing haunting phenomena available. It examines subjective (positive feelings, negative feelings) and objective (objects moving, fires starting) phenomena (called symptoms). Further, for each symptom, we have a powerful opportunity to mathematically test different types of haunting accounts to examine provable similarities and differences across different types of accounts.

Goals:

To examine if measurable “symptom” differences exist as a function of location (i.e. inside hauntings versus bridge and forest hauntings).

To examine if measurable “symptom” differences exist between cultural types of haunting accounts. For instance, does being “cursed” by a magical practitioner differ from a haunting? Do stories of bridge ghosts produce different phenomena from spooky imaginary friend accounts? How so? What is definitively different besides the story and label of the event?

To use linguistic analysis software to examine emotional and psychological effects associated with these haunting accounts and determine if some types of accounts produce more fear, anxiety, or distress than others. Further, linguistic analysis allows for deception testing.

To assess thousands of these accounts across multiple types of encounters to create a mathematically based “monster manual”. Should data pan out, we will create a book based on features of haunting so users can classify it accurately predict the likelihood of what type of other phenomena is likely to occur, and determine the psychological effects of it. All based on mathematical modeling.

EARLY TARGETS FOR ACCOUNT COLLECTION

Imaginary Friends Turned Spooky

Possession

Bridge and Tunnel Encounters

Residential Hauntings

Non Residential Hauntings

Forest and Field Hauntings

Graveyard Hauntings

Hexes and Cursed Hauntings

Tulpas

Poltergeists

Helpful Hauntings

Traveling Hauntings (attached to people)

Seances and Rituals (yes Ouija boards too)

HOW CAN I HELP?

Glad you asked. We need volunteers to help us collect and code accounts. Volunteering for the HCP is a less than five hours per week volunteer position, out of respect for working Joes and Josies, moms, and dads. All education levels are welcome, and all ages 18 and older. Work can be done at any time. Training is provided with testing to ensure you are coding appropriately, and you will be expected to meet online twice per month to check in with our volunteer manager and get general progress reports on fun stuff that everyone has discovered. All volunteers get the inside scoop on developments on the project.

There are two different positions you can volunteer for:

HCP Aggregator: This volunteer position helps us find accounts on sites like Reddit, posts them into a Google Form, and also helps us code environmental and type variables.

HCP Coder: This volunteer position uses accounts collected by the aggregators and codes for SSE variables, also in a Google form.

If you enjoy snooping around creepy haunting accounts and have a decent level of detail orientation, these volunteer positions are for you! Use the link below to fill out an application and someone will be in contact with you over the next several days. Alternatively, we have volunteer applications at volunteermatch.org. Either one works. Hope to see you soon!

LINK 1 TO APPLICATION FORM