How science explains ‘supernatural presence’ experiences

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The experience of sensing an unknown presence can be frightening.

  • writer, Ben Alderson-Day
  • introduction, conversation*

Have you ever had the eerie feeling that there was a presence in your room, even though you were sure you were alone?

If the answer is “yes,” you may be reluctant to admit this experience. Or maybe it was something profound that you happily share with others. Or – more likely – the experience may be somewhere between these two extremes.

Without an explanation to help you process what you experienced, most people have difficulty understanding what happened. But research shows that this ethereal experience is something we can understand using scientific models of mind, body, and the relationship between them.

One of the largest studies on this topic was done in 1894. Published that year by a British entity called the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). Census of Hallucinations (“Census of Hallucinations”, in free translation) – a survey that involved more than 17,000 people in the UK, USA and continental Europe.

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