Why Do Some People See Ghosts And Others Don’t?

Science Blog writes:

People seeing ghosts? There may be a genuine mind-body foundation for such anomalous perceptions, according to two researchers, Michael Jawer and Marc Micozzi, MD, PhD. Their book, The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion, suggests that sensing a presence, seeing an apparition, or feeling energy around a person or place may be related to the workings of the limbic system — the “emotional brain” — as well as a personality type that rapidly registers feelings.

As surveys consistently show that anywhere from one-third to two-thirds of the public say they’ve had an extra-sensory experience — with nearly 25% of respondents stating they’ve actually seen or felt a ghost — anomalous perceptions are nothing to shrug off. “People have had these experiences down the ages and across all cultures,” comments Micozzi, a physician and anthropologist. “They’re quite universal. What we’ve begun to document is that there’s a certain type of person most likely to experience them.”

That person is environmentally sensitive, according to Jawer, an expert on the condition known as Sick Building Syndrome. “Our data show that anomalous perceptions parallel other forms of environmental sensitivity, such as having pronounced or longstanding allergies, migraine headache, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, irritable bowel, even synesthesia (overlapping senses) and heightened sensitivity to light, sound, touch, and smell. Women make up three-quarters of this sensitive population but there are other markers as well: being ambidextrous, for instance, or recalling a traumatic childhood. The more we look at the people who say they’re psychic, or who have recurring anomalous experience, the more it seems there’s a mix of nature and nurture that predisposes them.”

The researchers posit that brain and body are effectively unified — a perspective taken by the pioneering field of psychoneuroimmunology — and that highly sensitive people react more strongly than others to what they’re feeling as well as to incoming environmental stimuli. This raises the possibility, Jawer and Micozzi assert, that subliminal feelings and other environmental nuances could be picked up by individuals who are sufficiently sensitive. A reputedly “haunted” place, therefore, could exhibit stimuli that register more with certain people and less with others.

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5 Comments on "Why Do Some People See Ghosts And Others Don’t?"

  1. Wow! That is a very high percentage of the population one-third to two-thirds. It is interesting how in the West because we are so caught up in the mind we see nearly the same about of miracles that hapen in the East.

    • tonyviner | Nov 1, 2009 at 3:25 pm |

      Miracles don't actually happen, in the east or the west.

    • Word Eater | Nov 2, 2009 at 1:39 am |

      A miracle is just unexplained science.

      I can say that with a straight face even though I'm a Christian.

      The human mind (not just the physical brain, but the entire sensory system that feeds the brain) is an amazingly complex thing that we have only the most basic understanding of. Things happen that our mind cannot explain. We perceive it as supernatural until we have the knowledge to call it something else.

  2. Carrmeghan37 | Jun 2, 2010 at 11:07 pm |

    wow thats very high that people can see ghost they made got a gift from god to see them some ghost need help to cross over

  3. Carrmeghan37 | Jun 2, 2010 at 6:07 pm |

    wow thats very high that people can see ghost they made got a gift from god to see them some ghost need help to cross over

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