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UK News Black mould in your home can cause terrifying hallucinations of demons and ghosts A third of Brits believe in ghosts but the solution could be more cleaning based. Skeptics have suggested the ghostly encounters were concocted by BBC journalists to get out of deadlines. Now I must confess, while I'm frightened of all sorts of things, ghosts are not high on my list.

But here's what I wanted to know: what creates a spooky feeling? Room seemed like a perfect place to start. Who knows, maybe I'd even get spooked myself, in which case I could conveniently be the object of my own research. I arrived at the Langham Hotel armed with Freud's essay, "The Uncanny," his study of the feeling of spookiness. I imagined that when I checked in and told the desk clerk that I'd reserved Room , I'd get one of two responses. He'd either downplay the lurid tales. Or he'd ham it up so I'd get my money's worth out of the adventure.

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What I got, however, was terror. He stared, as though he was replaying in his mind all the horrors that had taken place in my room. Sometimes we have to put people there, but they're the ones who don't know about the stories. Me, I wouldn't even step foot on the third floor. I believe in those things. I don't want to take the chance of bumping into anything. Especially now. This is the time when ghosts are most active. The porter was somewhat more comforting.

As he carried my bag down the empty halls on the third floor, he said, "I'm on this floor all the time.

The scariest night of my life...

I work the night shift and haven't heard or felt a thing. Of course, some people are frightened by the number because of, you know, that exorcism movie. As he was letting me into my room, several more porters suddenly materialized. They huddled around the entry to my room like ants drawn to sugar. I noticed no one stepped inside the room. Maybe they just wanted to catch a glimpse of me, so later they could tell the story of the unfortunate accident that took place in room with more credibility.

As my seemingly rational porter showed me my room, he unexpectedly warned: "By the way, if you even touch anything or move something around in the mini-bar, you have to pay for it. Okay, so maybe once in a while I take a Diet Coke out of the mini-bar, consult the outrageous price list and put it back. But this seemed a bit harsh. But just in case, if you have any problems, call the operator. Or better, yet. Call me directly. It'll be faster.

The room was pretty unremarkable. A lot of dark wood furniture, dull checkered carpeting, a couple of prints, heavy flowery drapes, a nice, plump white comforter on the bed. In the bathroom hung his and her bathrobes. One sleeve had a large disconcerting brown stain, like, say, the color of dried blood. And there was a large gilded mirror, which I tried to avoid. Here's the extent of my knowledge on this subject: Vampires don't appear in them; ghosts do.

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As I recall from the movies, either a phosphorescent ball appears behind you or a faint shadow or a butler with a big gaping wound on his face. On a table opposite the bed was a book commemorating the th anniversary of the hotel. There was also a weak joke: "All good places have ghosts, and the Langham is no exception. Did I mention the room was freezing? I crawled into bed and listened.

I expected to hear noises, if only regular hotel noises. But there wasn't a sound. Never mind no bumps in the night. There were no footsteps of other guests walking down the hall or whispered conversations or doors being tried.

There are potential explanations (even if some people won't believe them).

Was it possible the third floor was deserted, except for me? Hotel rooms are just naturally creepy places. I mean, how many people have slept in that bed before you? How many of them were sick? How many were losing their minds? How many were perhaps thinking about reading a few final verses from the Bible in the drawer of the nightstand beside them and then hanging themselves in the closet beside the TV?

He observed that a spooky uncanny feeling -- like the one I was having right now - isn't the same as a frightening one. It also involves the feeling that something is familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.

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It's the resurfacing of childhood feelings that were repressed, felt "in the highest degree in relation to death and dead bodies, to the return of the dead. And to spirits and ghosts. This is because when it comes down to it, nobody really believes they die.