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Digital Subscriptions > Skeptical Inquirer > Sept/october 2019 > The Trapped Ghost

The Trapped Ghost

Massimo Polidoro is an investigator of the paranormal, lecturer, and cofounder and head of CICAP, the Italian skeptics group. His website is at

The old man sitting in a chair put his hands to his chest and grabbed his sweater, his fingers tightening. He spoke in a whisper, his eyes shut. “Yes … I feel that everything has happened here. This is the right place. It was horrible …. There was nothing left to do. But the time has finally come to end this pain. Now we can free the ghost that has been trapped in this house for so many years.” The highlight of the spiritual evocation came after half a day spent walking around the house, climbing stairs up to the attic and then down to the basement, and again room by room. It was the late English medium Eddie Burks that RTSI, the Italian television of Switzerland, had called to the town of Breganzona to see if a beautiful nineteenth-century villa, now home of the municipal offices, was haunted by ghosts. There had been rumors and hypotheses about an infestation after employees had noticed strange happenings—lights that went out, mysterious footsteps, and so on. And I had been called to observe Burks’s work and give my opinion on the whole thing.

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