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Two British scientists have discovered that infrasound—inaudible to the human ear, but still able to vibrate human organs—can cause spine tingling, anxiousness, and shortness of breath. They say it explains why large church organs increase spiritual sentiment, and why drafty old houses can feel haunted. Perhaps producers of Colorado's evangelistic Hell House will want to make the connection as they again "haunt" a holy place this October. The drama and its inventor/pastor have moved to an Assembly of God church too small to mimic walk-through Halloween haunted houses; Hell House is now a sit-down—but still bloody and disturbing—morality play on abortion, alcohol, and other issues. Meanwhile, supporters of Ceres Bethel AME Church in Burkittsville, Maryland, would rather the spookiness end. The chapel has been closed since 1984, but is seeing new popularity—and destruction—for its role in the 1999 horror film The Blair Witch Project. Pastor Richard Dyson told The Washington Post that he has had to spiritually cleanse the church after its frequent use for teens' occult activities.

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In the Magazine

November 2003

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