Researchers Link Haunted Houses To Hallucinogenic Mold

By Tony Sokol

MIDDLE ISLAND, N.Y., April 6, 2015 /Daily Offbeat/ — Things that go bump in the night might originate behind the walls. According to a study at Clarkson University in New York, ghost sightings might be caused by hallucinogenic mold.

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“Experiences reported in many hauntings are similar to mental or neurological symptoms reported by individuals exposed to toxic molds,” wrote Professor Shane Rogers, who is leading the research, in a statement. “Psychoactive effects of some fungi are well-known, whereas the effects of others such as indoor molds are less researched.”

Researchers at Clarkson University have been is studying samples taken from several buildings where ghost sightings have been reported. The scientists believe that toxic mold in supposedly haunted houses may cause a form of hallucination. The researchers say that haunting reports are similar to mental or neurological symptoms reported by individuals exposed to toxic molds

“I have long been a fan of ghost stories and shows related to investigation of haunted places and have to admit to some strange occurrences in my own past,” Professor Rogers wrote.

Researchers Link Haunted Houses To Hallucinogenic Mold
Toxic mold can grow in wall cavities and under floor boards. Mold is common in older damper houses.

“Many of the places under investigation and from my own experiences may be prime environments for mold and other indoor air quality issues. “We would like to see if we can parse out some commonality between the mold microbiome in places that are haunted relative to those that are not.”

According to researchers, older buildings often have poor air quality from pollutants like toxic mold, which can the brain. Exposure to the mold can cause mood swings, irrational anger and cognitive impairment.

“Reports of psychiatric symptoms including mood swings, hyperactivity, and irrational anger, as well as cognitive impairment are prevalent among those exposed to molds,” wrote Rogers.

“Other reports include depression and loss of memory function,” Rogers wrote. “More recent work is emerging that supports brain inflammation and memory loss in mice exposed to Stachybotrys charatarum, a common indoor air mould, as well as increased anxiety and fear.”

This article originally ran in Daily Offbeat in 2015

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