People around the world have reported seeing ghosts and experiencing paranormal occurrences for eons, especially in dank, dark, older buildings.
Coincidentally, these seemingly haunted environments are also prime breeding grounds for toxic molds and fungi. Is there a connection? Associate professor Shane Rogers decided to find out by looking at the link between ghosts, mold, and bad air quality.
Team of Researchers
Rogers teaches in the civil engineering department at Clarkson University. He became intrigued when he realized that the buildings where ghosts have been spotted are often plagued with mold and poor air quality, so he decided to do some research. He and a group of undergraduate students selected haunted buildings in northern New York state to investigate. Their goal is to compile data to analyze in order to come up with some answers. They will reveal their findings later this year.
During the investigation, the researchers will gather samples from haunted and non-haunted locations, and then compare them. The professor and his students will be searching for environmental commonalities in the haunted locales. To do this, they will:
- Take air quality measurements.
- Look at microbiomes, such as bacteria that causes fermentation.
- Study mold types related to psychosis.
Poor air quality caused by molds and mildew can trigger mental issues in building inhabitants. Biological pollution can lead to depression, anxiety, and psychosis. When a person is in a psychotic state, he or she perceives an altered reality. This means that the individual may see beings and things that no one else sees, such as ghosts. Rye ergot is one fungus known for causing psychosis.
Reports of Haunting
What do people observe that make them think a place is haunted? There are many different reports of paranormal activity and ghosts, such as:
- Seeing people who have already died.
- Hearing unexplainable sounds like a door slamming when no one is there.
- Noting the disappearance and return of items such as keys.
- Smelling food or perfume when no one is cooking or wearing cologne.
It may seem to be proof that ghosts exist when these unexplainable experiences happen, but there are ways to explain it, such as mold-induced psychosis. When humans are in psychotic states, they also see, hear, and smell things when no one else does.
Are there really ghosts that haunt houses or are toxic substances such as fungi causing people to imagine they perceive eerie things? That’s what the Clarkson professor and his team of students are trying to find out. Stay tuned to learn more about their findings later in 2015. While they may not rule out the existence of ghosts, they can prove that spooky places contain molds that cause psychosis.
[Image: Bart Everson]