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Can You Really Smell a Ghost?

GhostMany believers claim that a sure sign a spirit is near is their distinctive aroma. The type of scent a ghost emits can vary depending on the message they want to convey.

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Spirits that have a desire to communicate with friends and loved ones may chose to do so in a variety of ways. Everyone has heard stories of a misty form coming to someone in a time of grief or of ghostly voices speaking words of comfort or warning, but have you ever heard of a spiritual message sent by smell?

Science has proven that scent and memory are very tightly connected. Those close to you may wish to let you know they are present without sending you into a panic with the sight of a full-body apparition or making you question your sanity looking for the source of an unseen voice.

Using a scent that you are sure to notice or that can instantly trigger a past event is a gentle way for spirits to communicate without causing alarm.

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Ghost Odors Come in All Varieties and Can Include:

Floral Scents

The most commonly reported odor associated with spirits is the smell of fresh flowers. Rose, lilac, and jasmine, three distinctly different aromas, are attributed to the ghosts of those who have recently passed. Sometimes a floral scent can be connected to a loved one with a particular fondness for a certain flower instead of someone who just crossed over.

Scents of Everyday Life

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Some spirits display very unique scents that were closely connected with them in life. These “connection” scents include cigar or pipe smoke, a special perfume or cologne, brewing coffee, and cooking foods. It is thought that these odors are used specifically by the departed to let loved ones know that they are near in times of joy or pain.

Negative Scents

The odors of mildew, rotten eggs or sulfur, and rotting foods are often reported where unhappy or unfriendly spirits are believed to reside.

Interpreting the Message

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If you believe you’ve experienced this phenomena, answer these questions to help yourself better understand what message may be coming to you:

Is the odor pleasant?
Is the scent familiar to you?
Are you experiencing particularly difficult or joyful events in your life?
Who may want to contact you and why?
Do you really smell something?

One of the mysteries surrounding olfactory paranormal phenomena is that it is often only perceived by one or two people in a room while it goes unnoticed to others.

Some researchers have theorized that the odors are not present in the air at all, rather that spirits are directly manipulating the olfactory receptors in the brain to send their message.

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Obviously, this theory will take further advancement of science to test. Until then, trust your nose.

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a researcher and a prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and the unexplained since childhood. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of, a website he created in 2013.