Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Touched by a ghost!

Crows in a treeThe witness was sitting on a moving train, looking out of the window. They felt someone sit down in the adjacent seat. Curiosity soon got the better of the witness who, after a few seconds, turned to casually look at their new neighbour. There was no one there!

That's the basic account, now for the detail which is vital in understanding paranormal cases. First of all, the 'witness' is my acquaintance (MA) who has microsleep with REM (MWR) experiences. MA goes straight into a dream state during microsleep episodes that last just seconds. Being awake before and after means that the dream episode can feel very much like a waking experience. A small proportion of the general population, typically with certain sleep disorders, have such experiences.

MA did not actually see or hear anything. It is possible the ghost made a noise while sitting down but this could have been drowned out by the train noises. Instead there was only the physical feeling of someone's clothes touching MA's when the ghost sat down. It felt perfectly normal, just as if a real human being had sat there. It was not possible for the ghost to have actually been a real person as MA still felt the 'contact' while turning round. MA does not recall exactly when this feeling stopped. A crucial point is that MA remembers coming out of a MWR while turning to look at the ghost. So the experience definitely appears to be a MWR episode. However, crucially, this is the first time MA has ever felt anything physical in such an experience. MA's MWRs have hitherto been exclusively visual and / or aural.

This is very interesting! It means that MWRs can involve physical sensations as well as visual and auditory ones. It is not yet known if the three can combine in one experience. We'll have to wait and see. Interestingly, MA did NOT feel any sense of presence. There was, instead, the normal physical sensation of someone's clothes touching MA's. It was so real that MA was shocked to see no one there. And this is someone for who strange experiences have become routine.

This physical sensation clearly extends the range of reports of apparently paranormal phenomena that MWRs can cover. For instance, in some ghost cases there are reports of witnesses apparently being touched by someone, or something, invisible. These reports no longer rule out the possibility of MWRs as a possible xenonormal explanation.

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