Becoming a Haunting Myth and a “Lost Place”: An Investigation Report | Gerhard Mayer

Gerhard Mayer, researcher at the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health (IGPP), presents the results of the field investigation of the Castle Hotel, and the impact that a field study can have on the investigated object.

In the year 2005, the counseling department of the IGPP was informed about spooky events in a hotel with a glorious past in Southern Germany. Because of the complex social dynamics associated with the case, an examination promised interesting results.

This video provides a brief overview of the investigation and the findings gained with on-site explorations, interview data, and a historical inquiry. As is often the case in such alleged recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis (RSPK) cases, it is difficult to assess the reported phenomena from a retrospective perspective regarding their paranormal quality. In this respect, the scientific gain in knowledge regarding the supposedly paranormal phenomena remains low. However, from a sociological, anthropological, and cultural-scientific perspective, the case offers interesting insights into the conditions for the emergence of a haunting myth.

The focus of this study rests on the analysis of the conditions that favor this emergence. In addition, the further development in this case shows in an exemplary manner the effect a field study can have on the investigated object. The study also aims to raise awareness of these issues among researchers investigating spontaneous cases. The case of the Castle Hotel, however, also shows the limits of the possibilities to minimize such effects.

Presented at the “62nd Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association” on July 4, 2019, Paris, France; program chaired by Ramses D’Leon. Download the Abstracts at

The Parapsychological Association is an international professional organization of scientists and scholars engaged in the study of psi (or ‘psychic’) experiences, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, psychic healing, and precognition. The primary objective of the PA is to achieve a scientific understanding of these experiences.

A longer version of this convention video, including the Q&A period, is available to PA members-only at There is a level of PA membership for everyone interested in the scientific and scholarly advancement of parapsychology. Learn more at:

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Published on June 9, 2021