A new report from Clarkson University in New York, USA, has suggested that reports of ghosts, hauntings and apparitions in older houses may be more rationally explained as bad air quality and the effect of toxic mould spores, and NOT the undead chucking tea cups around the kitchen!
Whilst not wanting to have an angry clairvoyant like Derek Acorah knocking on my door tomorrow, or even Scooby doo and the gang chasing a white bedcloth with 2 eye holes, across my front garden, we thought as we specialise in curing damp, mildew and mould in houses, maybe we can offer an alternative view?
Damp and mould, if your home suffers from that, can be cured in most cases, but the long term effects of damp and mould are, by most people, underrated and not given the attention it deserves.
(* Derek appears and does an invisible “Sooty” impression)
“What’s that Sam?”
“You think the editor’s got it wrong?”
“Alright Sam, caaaam down, caaam down, let’s look at da weeeerk ‘ere an’ decide for ourselves sof’ lad.”
So who is right?
Are haunted homes not haunted at all, and merely the product of toxic mould spores on the brain, coupled with an inventive imagination, or do ghosts really exist?
If they (ghosts) do exist, do they actually LIKE or prefer damp homes?
After all, when did you last year of a haunted “brand new” Wimpey home?!
I think to study and pick apart the findings of the research, it is useful to be objective and whether you believe in ghosts or not, the findings are certainly food for thought.
Whenever we see a TV show about the paranormal, be it “Most haunted”, or “Haunting evidence”, “Celebrity ghost hunt” and suchlike, the producers go to great lengths to make it as spooky as possible. Maybe it just makes “good TV” or something but my own personal view is it takes credibility away from what they find on the show.
So amongst the screams, unexplained noises and so on, are the film crew really seeing or experiencing ghosts or is there a more logical explanation?
Even their resident sceptic Ciarán O’Keffe often struggles at the end of the show to provide an explanation for what the team captured on camera, based on cold, hard logic, some things really can’t be explained.
What actually defines a “ghost”?
Scooby doo and the gang will tell you that any ghost they come across is ALWAYS the caretaker of a closed down fairground. WITHOUT FAIL.
Whilst any ghost that appeared in Scooby-Doo was ALWAYS very easily explained by the gang, in many cases compelling evidence has been produced, much of it online, that things really DO go bump in the night and seemingly no-one, not even Scooby himself, can explain what they are or why they happen.
A ghost is, by popular definition, is an apparition of a dead person which is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image.
But whether you believe in the paranormal or not, there is plenty to read about online and in books, of strange goings on that nobody can explain, but more often than not, the recorded hauntings all seems to be in abandoned or old and creepy houses dating back centuries.
Browsing Clarkson universities’ website and their take on this, we learn that…….
Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering Shane Rogers said human experiences reported in many hauntings are similar to mental or neurological symptoms reported by some individuals exposed to toxic moulds. It is known that some fungi, such as rye ergot fungus, may cause severe psychosis in humans.
The links between exposure to toxic indoor moulds and psychological effects in people are not well established, however, Rogers said. Notably, many hauntings are associated with structures that are prime environments to harbour moulds or other indoor air quality problems.
So whilst they concede there is no definite proof that spirits or ghosts can be explained simply by suggesting it is all in the mind and caused by toxic mould spores, it’s certainly indicating a correlation between sightings of apparitions and older buildings.
The team promised to continue their research on air quality and reported hauntings, however professor Rogers stressed he was not out to disprove ghost theories but to cast some light on whether the issue really is to do with poor domestic air quality and its effect on the human brain, or perhaps even that fact that real ghosts DO exist, but they just happen to like old and mouldy homes!
It wasn’t just professor Rogers and his team who have suggested this, in fact a somewhat sceptical article on a ghost hunting website we found by the name of hauntedamericatours.com went on to argue…
…………something as seemingly harmless as mold could have an effect on our brains, but it does. And as I recommend a kit for detecting this should be part of all ghost hunters gear as well as part of ghost hunting procedures.
Exposure to toxic mould can have neurological effects, as spores enter the body and release toxins into the bloodstream. and many of these symptoms are often the same as those experiencing a haunting.
So have you really seen a ghost or is your home just full of damp???!!
We ourselves reported a couple of years ago the problem and acute health dangers of black mould spores.
When your internal house walls become wet, usually due to a lack of building maintenance, they are an ideal breeding ground for damp mould spores. The spores and like clumps of microscopic “seeds” that the mould (which is technically a plant or living organism) sends into the air, in the room, in order to reproduce itself and grow just like a virus.
The worst kind of these mould spores are known as Stachybotrys chartarum , a deadly strain which exists in an alarming number of homes in the UK.
The mycotoxins (naturally occurring chemicals produced by Mould) are toxic and can cause people to suffer toxic symptoms including: Respiratory and breathing problems, haemorrhage problems, inflammation of the skin, Irritation of the mucous membranes, constant tiredness or nausea.
Even if the source of the water that is causing the damp is found and stopped, the mould can become powdery and this is when it starts to release the spores in the air inside the house, so a full and professional removal by a damp proofing company like NEVER PAINT AGAIN UK is highly recommended.
Oh and as a footnote, do I believe in ghosts?
Yes! I won’t go into detail too much on this page as you will think I am mental, but yes I do think there is another level or plane, too much weird stuff has happened to me to think otherwise, but the study we looked at was an interesting viewpoint whether I believe their findings or not.
Do I believe in damp?
I believe that many homes across the UK suffer from damp and people either put up with or just cannot seem to cure it, despite their best efforts. Having mould on the walls of your house not only looks and smells awful, it can REALLY harm your health so get it sorted!
If your home has damp and mould then contact us today for advice
If your home is haunted, who you gonna call? “Ghostbusters!”?