posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 08:48 AM
Well, I think you tend to see "ghosts" as people/dogs/whatever because the thing itself isn't really there at all. It's calling images out of your
memory, maybe the closest echo you know of what it once was. But everyone that "sees a ghost" tends to describe it a bit differently even though
they all "saw it". What you see is an icon, sort of. Not a replay of the thing as it originally was - unless you actually knew that person/animal
in real life.
Because...I think that it's a real phenomenon, but not a supernatural one. I think it's not strongly conserved as an ability anymore, at least for
people, and that it doesn't serve the purpose it once did, and will eventually breed out.
What in hell, Tom, are you talking about, you say.
Well, I think it's a dying remnant of a once useful biological function. A thing that animals still do but we do not, at least not nearly as well.
Consider. If Thag gets killed at the big bend near the water hole by a sabertooth that lives near by, it would be a useful biological function, one
that could be selected for in an evolutionary sense, if Thag's last will and testament was a succinct encoding of a warning - I got et here. Watch
yer back. That ought to hit at the lowest level of emotional response. And what is that? Smell.
Let's say that you, under stress, or in the moment of death, or any number of similar things that might be about to imminently lead to death, emit a
pheromone tag that is fairly persistent, marking the place and manner of your demise. Future people coming to that spot, might, if the wind was right
and your mental state receptive, pick up on that cue and "see a ghost"- perceive some sort of vague and misty warning conjured up from other
memories and pitched obliquely at the conscious.
You have a lot of receptors in your nose that tie directly to the seats of memory and emotion - the hippocampus and limbic system. These receptors do
not encode for scent. Your nose has the ability to detect complex airborne molecules and forward that info as tags to your memory and emotion without
filtering. No one really knows what that's for. Some of them obviously encode for sexual pheromones. But the majority of nasal receptors still exist
and work for...something. If triggered you don't smell anything - many of them cause reactions too subtle to easily notice. The Army pranked around
with this because a lot of them induce fear and unease, and as far as I know gave it up a few years back. But what if those receptors are for a
pheromone that isn't "wow you're hot" but "Help, I'm being eaten"?
What are some of the features that tend to induce hauntings? Sad lives cut short, surprise or violent death, long torments, battlefields. Generally
some emotionally wound up state culminating in death. And either mass death, if it's in the open like a battlefield, or in cemeteries where they are
piled up, or generally if it's a single person haunting it's inside. Inside the scent concentrates. Outside, you need more dead people in an area.
I think that ghosts are the lingering remains of a once-useful warning system that involves emission of a long duration airborne tag in sweat or urine
that marks the spot where someone died a violent death (how many ghosts are generated by happy lives with a calm death?). That tag is picked up as a
neutral scent by the pheromone system, the recipient may, upon detecting it, generate limbic system emotions of unease, fear, dread and simultaneously
the hippocampal connections may cause memory retrieval of something close to the original event. The purpose would have been to warn you away from
areas where death occurred in a nasty way, and the more deaths in that area, the more likely the system will trigger. Thus are cemeteries "scary",
battlefields too, especially at night when the air is heavy, humid and still, just right for conveying the death pheromone tag.
Some people are better at smelling it and are "sensitives".
It would be interesting if there were some way to reliably trigger the sensation (bottled ghost!) or to conduct a study where you could plug the noses
of half the volunteers to see if that was it.