Gallop polls show that 1/3 of the population believe they've seen a ghost at one time or other. How can we explain this?
Simple. People who say they've seen a ghost actually have seen a hallucination. Most apparitions can be explained this way. People that hear voices are simply experiencing auditory hallucinations. Robin Williams may have taken his life due to hallucinations brought about by Lewy Body Dementia, closely associated with Parkinson's disease. He was often caught speaking to imaginary people. (TMZ) We all knew how crazy a comedian he was, what we didn't know was how crazy.
There are two types of hallucinations; Hypnagogic (going to sleep)and Hypnopompic (waking up from sleep).
This is the most common of ghost experiences and accounts for a vast majority of them. A ghost standing at the foot of the bed as a sleeping person awakens, would be a good example. A dead mother, a grandmother, the bell keeper. You may converse with the apparition, or not. This well understood reason alone makes for a good ghost story, the stuff legends are made of and the down-right horror. It's when the body switches from the voluntary nervous system to the involuntary nervous system that we get our wires crossed momentarily, making us confused, bringing up long lost images planted deep inside our psyche. The images seem real, the same with sounds and smells. These experiences are almost forgotten about by the time you get out of bed.
These hallucinations happen when you are awake and most likely what Williams suffered from. This time from the involuntary to the voluntary nervous system, the opposite of Hypnagogic hallucinations.
Both hallucinations can explain the "hitchhiker" phenomena. People do fall asleep at the wheel, then wake just in time, to save themselves. Some people can feel, when their car hits the hitchhiker, they can feel it go under the wheels as the car rolls over it. Some hear the hitchhiker scream as he's being struck. This hallucination/apparition has been known to talk, and give directions. The person experiencing the hallucination can actually feel as the hitchhiker gets into the back seat, but as the hallucination passes they find no man under the car, or sitting in the back seat. It was all an illusion.
Then thats for another blog, things that appear that aren't there.
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