Odors, Strange Smells: Essence of a Ghost or Not.

ghostOdors, Strange Smells: Essence of a Ghost or Not.

It has been speculated that some entities communicate with us this way, because the sense of smell is the deepest part of the brain and easiest to trigger via nerve impulses, as opposed to vision or hearing. An intelligent spirit is generally what we consider a ghost. This is the spirit of a deceased person that lingers at the site and attempts to interact with inhabitants of the location. A residual ghost cannot interact with you and doesn’t know you exist. This type of ghost has imprinted on the environment during an emotionally charged event and has in essence created a recording that is destined to replay throughout time. This ghost will be observed performing the same actions in the same sequence at regular intervals regardless of it you are there or not. An inhuman spirit is the energy of an entity that has never lived in human form. This may take the form of an evil spirit, but not all inhuman spirits are believed to be evil or demons and some are usually associated with an odor, or aroma the distinct smells of a loved one like cologne, flowers, smoke, and so on. Olifactional Residual Haunting, A term loosely used to describe a ghost that is trapped in a continuous loop that has a particular smell associated with them. Another theory is that an event left a psychic impression on an area and some people witness a replay of that scene or smell.

Unfortunately, investigating paranormal smells is difficult. There are no easily available instruments to detect or measure them. In almost all cases, investigators must rely on their own sense of smell and reports from witnesses. This is difficult when people vary a lot in their perception of smell. These factors alone may be responsible for some reports of apparently paranormal smells. If one person persistently reports a smell that others can’t detect, because their sense of smell is particularly sensitive, it may give the impression of being a paranormal phenomenon. Furthermore, if an odor is evenly distributed in the air, as can happen sometimes, tracing its source becomes a matter of pure luck! Even in perfectly still air, an odor will disperse from its source by a process of diffusion. More often, however, air is moving as a result of convection currents, draughts, winds and so on. Such air currents can move, disperse and even concentrate a smell so that finding its source becomes difficult or near impossible. When one individual persistently reports smells that no one else can sense, it could indicate a medical problem, like phantasma. This is certainly something that should be considered seriously alongside possible paranormal explanations.

Science has proven that scent’s and the memory are very tightly connected and the perception of scents could be tied to those close to you they may wish to let you know they are present without sending you into a panic with the sight of a full-body apparition, or by looking for the source of an unseen voice. Using a scent that you are sure to notice or that can instantly trigger a past event is a softer way for a love ones spirits to communicate without causing alarm or making you question your sanity even more than you already do? And just because there is a smell it doesn’t mean a ghost caused it. Just like we can have visual illusions, we can also have olfactory illusions too, and memories of smell seem to be very vivid compared to other kinds of memories. Phantom odors have always been tied to hauntings and ghost.  Before sophisticated equipment could measure EMF and voice recorders were picking up EVPs, personal experiences of encounters with the paranormal phenomena nearly always came accompanied with a particular odor. Even today, part of an investigator’s interview questionnaire always include questions about phantom odors, and any personal experiences involving such are carefully documented and used to set up equipment during the investigation.

According to Medical Consumer’s Advocate, smell is a chemical sense. That means, when you smell something, your brain is perceiving specific airborne molecules. These molecules bind to receptors in the olfactory epithelium, which is the tissue that lines the back of the roof of the nasal cavity. Nerve impulses are generated, which travel first to the olfactory bulb, then to other areas deeper within the brain. That means, there’s a lot of places where things can go wrong along the way. In the medical world, the term for phantom smell is phantasma. Some phantom smells are simply hallucinations, plain and simple, brought on by any number of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. We generally tend to think of hallucinations only being visible in nature, but any sense can be affected by these psychiatric hallucinations. With all that said, smelling something that is not there doesn’t automatically point to a psychiatric disorder. But we will cover all bases to be sure…

There’s also another facet to the long list of dysosmias know as olfactory disorders that can be mistaken for paranormal activity: parosmia. Parosmia is a distortion of smell. Not as common as phantom smells, parosmia is still something that must be taken into consideration whenever a certain odor is associated with a haunting. The main reason for this is because of a horrible sub-category of parosmia called cacosmia, where the person will smell fecal matter in place of another smell. Since foul odors are associated with negative hauntings and demons falsely smelling a foul odor may cause a bias in perception of a haunting. Dysosmias, included, but not limited to, parosmia and phantasma aren’t the only natural explanations for alleged phantom smells of a paranormal nature. Scent ions are strange little things, they can become trapped in fabrics, masonry, and even wood surfaces to be released months, and yes even years later with the right change of humidity, temperature, or barometric pressure we must try to cover all explanations. So if phantom smells are a part of your suspected haunting, keep these few things in mind during an investigation.

Yes there are many recorded cases of people smelling things which either disappeared very quickly, or had no reason to be there. Just as ghosts appear to our eyes, and a prickly feeling to our skin, our noses are sometimes the sense that picks up on the paranormal also. In the field of parapsychology, clairgustance is defined as a form of extra-sensory perception that allegedly allows one to taste a substance without putting anything in one’s mouth. It is claimed that those who possess this ability are able to perceive the essence of a substance from the spiritual or ethereal realms through taste.  Unlike taste, there are hundreds of olfactory receptors, each binding to a particular molecular feature. Odor molecules possess a variety of features and thus excite specific receptors more or less strongly. This combination of excitatory signals from different receptors makes up what we perceive as the molecule’s smell. In the brain, olfaction is processed by the olfactory system. Olfactory receptor neurons in the nose differ from most other neurons in that they die and regenerate on a regular basis. The inability to smell is called anosmia.

Research has shown that people react differently to the smell of human sweat when it is produced in a stressful situation as compared to from exercise. Effectively, people really can smell other’s fear! If people enter a room recently vacated by people who were scared, they might feel anxious themselves for no obvious reason! This could conceivably be a factor on ghost sightings and as far as the smell of a ghost! Anything is possible when dealing with the other side.

As Always

Be Safe Be Sure & Smell you later

Until next time….

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