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Are poltergeists an economic phenomenon?

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In the late 1970s, an item was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 that caught the attention of Today Programme's guest editor, Al Murray.

The report, about a bizarre poltergeist incident in north London left him wondering why the supernatural seems to have become suburbanised.

Three decades on, our reporter Tom Bateman has been trying to find out... with the help of one or two ghost-hunters.

"Poltergeists seem to occur and concentrate in cramped domestic situations," the Society for Psychical Research's Alan Murdie told the Today programme. "One factor which always seems to be present - it's a family under stress."

But author Roger Clarke believes there is a more practical explanation for so-called sightings: "I feel personally that you can associate ghost beliefs with periods of economic downturn... People get a bit more fearful."


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