Watching a ghost story like The Apparition, you wouldn’t think that any of it could be even remotely based on a true story. Oddly enough, you’d be wrong.
At the beginning of The Apparition, a seance-like trial is conducted under scientific conditions, which ends up manifesting a supernatural entity from beyond. In the film they called it The Charles Experiment. Well, in the early 1970′s, a group of researchers performed something very similar called The Philip Experiment, and it was all caught on tape.
Though not nearly as violent, contact was made with an entity over the course of months, resulting in everything from communicative knocks, to the seance table shifting around – sometimes rising above the floor. What made this “Philip” case so unique, besides there being ample footage of their findings, is the fact that this was a rare “man made ghost” – meaning that the person they were attempting to contact was completely fictional.
Generating spectral responses while attempting to contact a made-up person opened up the minds of occult scientists everywhere. Were sounds, interferences, and contacts made during seances solely from the spirit world? Or could they also be the result of concentrated energies of the living mind?
In the end, the “Philip” experiment came to an abrupt halt when one of the group members declared aloud, “we only made you up, you know”. All activity thereafter completely ceased. “Philip”, however, re-manifested “itself” later with another group.
“Philip”, seeming to be a manifestation of “the human mind”, opened up further studies correlating with the alternative school of thought that poltergeist activity could sometimes be the result of extreme stress – derivative of either the dead, or the living.