San Diego Ghost and Paranormal Group Message Board › How to Create Your Own Ghost-The Philip Aylesford Experiment

How to Create Your Own Ghost-The Philip Aylesford Experiment

A former member
Post #: 118

During last week's meetup , Marie Jones had mentioned various problems about gathering evidence with preconceived notions about the site. Sometimes, people can go to a haunted place with such strong expectations that they might subconsciously create phenomena that they had anticipated.

Dave mentioned that there was an experiment performed in the 1970's that took this process to the ultimate level.

Here is an article about this experiment:


In 1972 in Toronto, Canada a group of Parapsychologists, directed by an expert in the field of poltergeists named Dr A.R.G. Owen, embarked of an unusual challenge which was to Literally create a ghost.

Now they had planned to do this not by summing demons or by any other “supernatural means” but they hoped to Scientifically create the experience of a ghost which they claimed could be created through the human mind which in turn creates them via imagination, visualisation, expectation and so on.

So they assembled a group of 8 individuals from its own membership (who later became known as the Owen Group) who were all different in their own respects and all who claim to have no psychic ability of any kind.

Once a team was established it was then time to decide a bit more about this so called “Ghost” so after some timethe group decided on calling him "Philip Aylesford" thus creating the Philip experiment but they also needed to create a background for him to make the experience as real as it could possibly be.

This is a small snippet of his background......


Philip was an aristocratic Englishman, living in the middle 1600s at the time of Oliver Cromwell. He had been a supporter of the King, and was a Catholic. He was married to a beautiful but cold and frigid wife, Dorothea, the daughter of a neighboring nobleman.

One day when out riding on the boundaries of his estates Philip came across a gypsy encampment and saw there a beautiful dark-eyed girl raven-haired gypsy girl, Margo, and fell instantly in love with her. He brought her back secretly to live in the gatehouse, near the stables of Diddington Manor - his family home.
For some time he kept his love-nest secret, but eventually Dorothea, realizing he was keeping someone else there, found Margo, and accused her of witchcraft and stealing her husband.

Philip was too scared of losing his reputation and his possessions to protest at the trial of Margo, and she was convicted of witchcraft and burned at the stake.
Philip was subsequently stricken with remorse that he had not tried to defend Margo and used to pace the battlements of Diddington in despair. Finally, one morning his body was found at the bottom of the battlements, whence he had cast himself in a fit of agony and remorse.


The Owen group even enlisted the help from ones of its more artistic students to paint a portrait of Philip to “bring him to life” so to speak.

Here is the picture of him…..



So with a background ready and even a portrait of him the experiment would now officially begin.

So in September 1972 the Owen group began their “sittings” where they would concentrate on and discuss Philip and his life to try to understand him better and to make him seem as real as possible which was extremely important in this experiment.

They even meditated on him and together as a group tried visualizing him, each sitting conducted in a fully lit room carried on for quite a while with no such results which is when the group decided to change their tactics in their search for the imaginary Phillip.

So the group then decided that with a more real life situation like a séance for example they could create actual real life results so with all the lights dimmed they sat around the table and surrounded themselves with pictures of the type of castle they imagined Philip would have lived in the hope of maximizing their chances of successful results.

And what’s truly remarkable is that this tactic actually worked! As during one evening the group received its very first communication from the Fake Phillip in the form of a distinct rap on the table.

Before long the group after asking questions received answers using the system of - one rap for yes, two for no and they actually got a positive response from Philip after the group asked if it was indeed him who was with them at this time.

The sessions really kicked off from that point on as the group then started to learn more about Philip even finding out more about his life and more bizarrely his personality from his likes to dislikes and his views and preferences etc. The table even moved on some occasions sliding from side to side and even dancing on one leg even on a thick carpet and the table was even reported to have chased someone across the room all the while the groups hands were clear of the table when this occurred.

This is all remarkable and everything but sadly Phillips responses was nothing that the group was unaware of so everything that was actually answered was something that the group already knew so it seems that the answers the group was receiving came from nothing more than their very own subconscious minds.

Weirdly though some members of the group even claimed to have heard the whispers from Philip when he was answering questions but nothing was ever caught on a recorder but it seems was further proof that people can actually subconsciously create ghostly experiences which is what the group originally set out to find when “creating this ghost.”


Philip's psychokinetic powers, however, were amazing and completely unexplained. If the group asked Philip to dim the lights, they would dim instantly. When asked to restore the lights, he would oblige. The table around which the group sat was almost always the focal point of peculiar phenomena. After feeling a cool breeze blow across the table, they asked Philip if he could cause it to start and stop at will. He could and he did.

The group noticed that the table itself felt different to the touch whenever Philip was present, having a subtle electric or "alive" quality. On a few occasions, a fine mist formed over the center of the table. Most astonishing, the group reported that the table would sometimes be so animated that it would rush over to meet latecomers to the session, or even trap members in the corner of the room.


It’s truly remarkable what the Owen group has uncovered and shown here but sadly their biggest goal still remains elusive as showing an actual physical presence of Phillip was never and has never been achieved.

But the Philip experiment was deemed a success still (even without achieving their main goal) as they proved that they could indeed create ghostly experiences through nothing more than ones imagination.

The success of the experiment produced future experiments with different groups (replicating the same results) and more fictional ghosts were also created such as Lilith, a French Canadian spy, Sebastian, a medieval alchemist and even Axel, a man from the future.

So whether you believe in this story or whether you believe that the group was actually using nothing but there imagination or if you believe that another ghostly entity took on the role of Philip this is still such a fascinating story that I really wanted to share with you all.

Thank You for reading.


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