On April 2, we reported on an investigation by Shane Rogers, Clarkson civil and environmental engineering professor, and his undergrads into the connection between human exposure to biological contaminants, such as mold, and haunted sitings at the Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg, N.Y. The websiteHaunted Places reports the museum is:
[F]amous for its ghost—that of Madame Vespucci. Reports say the building was her former home; the mystifying sound of her voice has been reported by visitors on the museum’s upper level.
Despite our fun with the pic above, Shane’s research asks the serious question: Are reports of hauntings linked to specific pollutants found in indoor air that can perhaps alter mood and perception, even cause hallucinations?
Apparently, the world is waiting for an answer. Since our posting, he has been besieged with interview requests. “I have had a pretty crazy week because of the surprise press coverage,” Shane told us.
The scores of news reports have ranged from the UK’s Daily Express to Pakistan’s Daily Times, to the French L’OBS, the headline of which, according to Google translate, asks the question, “They see ghosts, do they breathed too mushrooms?”
But our favorite reporting comes from Good Housekeeping, which gives Shane’s research this spin, if you will pardon the pun ahead:
Maybe there is a scary old lady who hangs out in your laundry room, after all. If only she’d load the dryer for you, too.
April 22, 2015: This just in from Clarkson biology professor Michael Twiss, who also holds a PhD in the French language and takes issue with Google’s online translation of L’OBS’s headline. We are going with Michael on this. His translation:
“They see ghosts. Have they breathed too many mushrooms?”