Smell is one of those senses that we probably take a little bit for granted. It is closely connected to taste. While the taste buds in your tongue identify a taste, the nerves in your nose identify the smell. Smell invokes a memory. How can we use this to our advantage on a paranormal investigation? Could we incorporate it as part of the Singapore theory?
Some people have special abilities in that they can use their senses to communicate with spirit. This is called clairsenses. Clairvoyance is the ability to receive mental images and people use this to read the past, present and future. Clairaudience is the ability to 'hear' spirit through their inner ear. Clairsentience is to feel physical sensations from spirit. There are a lot of ways in which spirit can affect a person. Another way is what is called Clairscent. This is the ability to smell something that is not something that a physical nose is smelling. It is a smell a person suddenly picks up on that is completely out of place and is considered by them to be from spirit. Quite often this happens in the form of perfume, cigar smoke, cooking - something that would be significant to the spirit and the message they are trying to communicate. I personally remember my Grandfather smelling of Old spice aftershave. After he passed, there were occasions where I would out of the blue suddenly smell his aftershave. To me, it gave me comfort that he was around and making himself known. Whether it was him or just my memory triggering a smell, either way, it gave me comfort. While I do not have the ability of clairscent, most people will have had similar experiences where out of the blue they have smelt something out of place and interpreted it to be from spirit.
Following on from the above, I mentioned how the spell of Old Spice would automatically take me to memories of my Grand Father. The smell of tequila reminds me of a messy party at my Sister in Law's house and something I can no longer drink as a result (we have all been there). Smell also makes us feel different emotions. Perfume companies know this well and certain fragrances can 'empower' or even 'calm' you. Aromatherapy is used with essential oils where the fragrance is said to travels when you inhale from your olfactory nerves directly to the center of the brain which is considered to be the emotional center of the brain. Put simply, smell is extremely powerful.
Otherwise known as Paranormal Stimuli’ or theTheory of Familiaristion, it is recreating some sort of act or environment which may be ‘familiar’ to the spirits and therefore may induce some sort of response. Commonly people may reenact an activity in costume or play a song true to the time period. Maybe they will use certain trigger objects like cigarettes in an old prison etc. Something they feel may be familiar to a spirit to encourage them to come forward. Why not incorporate smell?
In his book "Where the ghosts Walk: The Gazetter of Haunted Britain", Peter Underwood concludes that it would be a stronger trigger than say using music.
Music is often regarded as having special powers of exercising a magical sensibility, of enhancing the sense of the supernatural, the transcendent and the ineffable, but sometimes ghostly smells are part of paranormal activity related and it is worth remembering that smells can often transport us back to powerful and emotional memories more effectively than sounds. Marcel Proust (1871-1922) advanced the theory and recent research at Utrecht University has confirmed it, concluding that 'odour is a stronger trigger for arousing detailed memories than music, for example. Peter Underwood
If a smell is better at invoking a memory or a feeling than music, why are we seldom using smell as a form of a trigger during our investigations? While some locations may make it difficult to use certain smells, it is something that is possible, you might just have to be creative. We may not be able to light a cigarette or a cigar inside a location, but what about the scent of a person's favourite flower? In a kitchen what about bring in a certain spice that would have been used? Perfume in a ladies' quarter? Equally, what would a female's perfume scent do in a men's ward at a prison? There is so much that can be done here just thinking from the top of my head! I know one of the first responses some people may have is 'but ghosts don't have noses how can they smell?' Well, they also don't have voice boxes nor eardrums yet we play music or ask questions out loud we expect to get an answer to. I think we have to look a bit deeper than physical attributes here. I am not saying it works, it is just a thought process worth exploring. If trigger objects work, then why not smell?
So I want to hear from you! Have you used smell to try to interact with a spirit? What did you use? Did it work? Do you have ideas to share? Tell me below in the comments
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