image source: Wikimedia | Beware of carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide poisoning has also been implicated as the cause of apparent haunted houses. Symptoms such as delirium and hallucinations have led people suffering poisoning to think they have seen ghosts or to believe their house is haunted.
The American Journal of Emergency Medicine that reported an investigated case of a young woman found in her home with carbon monoxide poisoning who was dealing with paranoid feelings as well as hyperventilation.
Nevertheless, could it be that many of the haunted houses in America to this day are the result of people breathing carbon monoxide from a heating source and then experiencing strange sensations from the complex world of the brain? To prove more of what’s possible, a medical report was written up just three years ago in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine that reported an investigated case of a young woman found in her home with carbon monoxide poisoning who was dealing with paranoid feelings as well as hyperventilation.
The hyperventilation might seem a routine symptom, but the standout was when the woman claimed to see a ghost in her bathroom when authorities arrived.
Instead, Nickell says “ghosts” are often the result of pranks, environmental phenomenon, or physiological conditions such as sleep paralysis and the hypnogogic and hypnopompic hallucinations that accompany it.
Dr. Priyanka Yadav, a sleep specialist at the Somerset Medical Sleep for Life Center in Hillsborough, N.J., says sleep paralysis occurs when there’s a disconnect between mind and body while people are going in or coming out of REM sleep.
“It seems like you’re paralyzed, which naturally occurs when you’re sleeping,” says Yadav.
“But this somehow happens while you’re awake. It can last from a few seconds to a minute or two and is often associated with hypnagogic hallucinations, things you might see when trying to fall asleep or hypnopompic hallucinations, things you see when you’re trying to wake up.”
Yadav says these “waking dreams” can involve serpents, spiders, intruders, and yes, even ghosts and are often associated with feelings of dread.
“They’ll often see someone coming into their room and they’re not able to move or talk or scream or do anything.”
“Some people have visions where they feel something is trying to strangle or choke them or they have a sense of impending doom,” she says. “They’ll often see someone coming into their room and they’re not able to move or talk or scream or do anything.”
In a May 2009 paper in the journal Cortex, psychologists from Goldsmiths College in London wrote about their attempt to do just that. They then asked 79 participants to spend 50 minutes inside their “haunted” chamber.
A review of such work is presented, followed by the results of the “Haunt” project in which an attempt was made to construct an artificial “haunted” room by systematically varying such environmental factors.
Recent research has suggested that a number of environmental factors may be associated with a tendency for susceptible individuals to report mildly anomalous sensations typically associated with “haunted” locations, including a sense of presence, feeling dizzy, inexplicable smells, and so on. Factors that may be associated with such sensations include fluctuations in the electromagnetic field (EMF) and the presence of infrasound. A review of such work is presented, followed by the results of the “Haunt” project in which an attempt was made to construct an artificial “haunted” room by systematically varying such environmental factors. Participants (N=79) were required to spend 50 min in a specially constructed chamber, within which they were exposed to infrasound, complex EMFs, both or neither. They were informed in advance that during this period they might experience anomalous sensations and asked to record on a floor plan their location at the time of occurrence of any such sensations, along with a note of the time of occurrence and a brief description of the sensation. Upon completing the session in the experimental chamber, they were asked to complete three questionnaires.
National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) | The “Haunt” project: an attempt to build a “haunted” room by manipulating complex electromagnetic fields and infrasound.
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