Ghost walks, all-night ghost hunting, weekend breaks in haunted places, these are just some of the experiences on offer to the psychic tourist. Top ten lists regularly appear for Britain’s most haunted village, or America’s most haunted hotel. Castles are on the tourism trail as haunted places to visit. Events companies offer nights to remember with celebrity mediums and locations ‘as seen on TV.’ Such tours or events take traditional ghost stories, history and folklore, and repackage these for the contemporary tourist. The type of ghost walks where actors dress up and spook people are one example of entertainment and spectacle. There are also events where members of the public can be a ghost hunter for the night. Such event organisers take elements from paranormal investigations and parapsychology, mixing this with other alternative practices, deliberately opening up the scientific study of the paranormal to a wide audience. Similar to other developments such as dark tourism in nuclear hot spots, or

extreme sports in wild locations, ghost hunting events offer an unusual, exhilarating experience. This is the commercialisation of ghost hunting as the selling of a unique experience. Events organisers inform their clients that only a small percentage will encounter paranormal phenomena. People understand they are paying for an experience that is by its nature anomalous and therefore highly unlikely to occur. The promise of a unique experience is therefore a strategy that shifts the emphasis of a ghost hunting event away from the elusiveness of scientific proof and towards feelings, emotions, and instincts. There is an emotional geography to an allegedly haunted location which makes ghost hunting events disquieting experiences. Another related strategy is that of sensory engagement. People experience sensory deprivation, listening in the dark, looking at shadows, and in these spaces their senses are heightened. Psychic tourists go on a sensory journey. People use their five senses to experience a place and also draw on their common understanding of a sixth sense. Extrasensory experiences are extremely rare, and yet people on a ghost hunting event invest a lot of emotional and psychological energy in looking for such an experience. Indeed, what many claim

as extrasensory is created by them – they produce and perform the experience they hope to have.