Old Places, Historical Traces: Ghost Hunt In Augmented Reality

The basic idea ‘every place has a story to tell’ has given grounds to many manifestations — in quite a figurative and literal sense. We have seen the pictures, know the books and on-site there you can feel a presence sometimes. Historical places can give us a thrill just by being there. However, media technologies like Augmented Reality applications can make the experience even more unique.

Haunted Planet Studios has created a range of applications where participants can actually capture the ‘paranormal activity’ by using their smartphones. Viking Ghost Hunt (Dublin) and Falkland Ghost Hunt (Scotland) are examples of these projects, which use GPS technology, Augmented Reality and audio to immerse the player in the backdrop of a historical site.

In the video above, a presentation of CEO Alan Duggan, we can see how people experience the play of the Falkland Ghost Hunt. The game is centered at the Falkland Palace, where Queen Mary of Scots used to live. The participants can experience the place through the ghosts of the castle, by visual and audio clues. When approaching a ghost, we not only see more blips on the radar but also the music creates certain suspense.

A nice feature of this game is to see how carefully detailed it is, as we see many approaches in the development of Augmented Reality applications. Over the last couple of years we have seen many site-specific projects arise in multiple forms. Some stick to merely to the soundscape, other use more extensive forms in software to create visuals or add a game mechanism. Anyway, it is all about engaging to a site in a different manner — thus creating a new and sometimes intense experience of place.