By Rick Hinton
Dusted off and reprinted from 11/29/2015
Have you ever woken up to the smell of breakfast cooking, yet no one’s in the kitchen? Or, smelled a strong whiff of cologne or perfume in the air when being the only one in the house? Had the odor of flowers, and you have no plants in the home? Or perhaps the smell of wet animal fur, much like after a bath, when there are no longer any animals in the residence? If so, you may very well have had a paranormal encounter; and not even cognizant it has happened!
Phantom odors are a very familiar component in the realm of paranormal investigations, and as evidence, equally as important with audio recordings, camera footage, shadow movement and apparitions. While still a personal experience, when it happens to more than one person at the same time, it’s something to consider. These odors sometimes tell a story, putting a time stamp upon a life once lived. Yet, for whatever reason after death – do not depart.
Unexplained smells from reported experiences have included food cooking, bread baking, tobacco (cigarettes, cigars and pipe); former fire damage, cologne, perfume, deodorant, hair spray, body odors and occasionally the smell of rotted meat. It is thought a house (or building) can literally absorb these past odors and replay them in short bursts at times. Skeptics will reason there’s nothing paranormal about it, and all coincidence. Maybe … but these odors seem to always tie in with a former resident and their stroll through life. They may have become a calling card of sorts.
My wife, Laura was awakened once in the wee hours of the early morning by an overwhelming odor of what she describes as “grandmotherly” perfume. I slept through it oblivious as I most often do. The smell emitted from her side of the bed (the location of most of the occurrences in our home) and was so thick she almost got sick from it. And then, just as quickly, it disappeared. It was not the smell of any perfume she uses. She woke me up. Afterward, from our neighbor, we learned the first owner of our house had been an elderly woman. Coincidence? The skeptical side of me would like to think so, but I have my doubts.
My father died in 1987, passing away on a couch in front of the fireplace of our longtime weekend house on Prince’s Lake, just outside of Nineveh. The house was his labor of love for years and it was only poetic he would go there. Putting this as delicately as I can – my father retained large amounts of gas. It had a very distinct odor. He passed it a lot. Silent but deadly was my dad, but I loved him still. After his death – for many months – this odor would suddenly surface, and then just as suddenly disappear. Coincidence?
Had our weekend home – with so much of his soul invested into – become a place he chose not to leave? Did he even have a choice in the matter? I don’t know. There’s a reason for everything, yet, will paranormal investigators ever understand these gray areas? Some will say they have the answers; they don’t! It’s still a work in progress, and I expect to be for many years to come. Paranormal odors are another piece of the puzzle.