Sixth Sense: Research reveals why some ‘hear the dead’


  • A new study said that hearing the dead is all about absorption — a deep or imaginative mental involvement.
  • The survey covered 65 clairaudient mediums from the Spiritualists’ National Union and 143 ordinary people.
  • Based on the findings, spiritualists don’t give in to social pressure and have a stronger paranormal belief than most people.

Are there voices in your head?

Some individuals are susceptible to “hearing the dead,” a new study revealed. People who hear ghostly sounds are more likely to engage in immersive mental activities and hear eccentric sounds early in life, compared to those without “sixth sense,” Durham University researchers said.

The study explained why some people claim they can hear dead souls, which leads to spiritualism or the belief that a human soul continues to exist after death. Based on spiritualism, souls can still communicate with the living.

According to researchers, people who insist they hear voices are experiencing clairaudient communications, which is different from the more common phrase clairvoyant (seeing) and clairsentient (feeling and sensing) ghostly presences.

To examine the phenomenon, 65 clairaudient mediums from the Spiritualists’ National Union and 143 ordinary people were surveyed. Based on the results, spiritualists have a strong link to absorption — a deep mental involvement, imaginative activities or experiences of altered consciousness.

Compared with the general population, a spiritualist scored significantly higher on absorption tests.

Nearly half of the spiritualist participants (44.6%) say that they hear voices of the dead every day. Another 33.8 percent had a clairaudient experience within one day of the survey.

According to 65 percent of the mediums surveyed, spirits communicate with them “inside the head,” with a third asserting that they have a ghostly experience both inside and outside of their head. Average spiritualists started overhearing voices at the age of 21.  

Likely, the ability to hear mysterious signals is connected to self-confidence. The scholars found out that the mediums in the survey are much less likely to be concerned with other people’s opinion.

Spiritualists don’t give in to social pressure. They also have a stronger paranormal belief than most people and are really interested to understand why they are hearing strange voices.

“Our findings say a lot about ‘learning and yearning’. For our participants, the tenets of Spiritualism seem to make sense of both extraordinary childhood experiences as well as the frequent auditory phenomena they experience as practicing mediums,” lead researcher Dr. Adam Powell said in a media release.

“But all of those experiences may result more from having certain tendencies or early abilities than from simply believing in the possibility of contacting the dead if one tries hard enough,” Powell added.

He continued, “Spiritualists tend to report unusual auditory experiences which are positive, start early in life and which they are often then able to control. Understanding how these develop is important because it could help us understand more about distressing or non-controllable experiences of hearing voices too.”

The Mental Health, Religion and Culture journal contains this study.

Source: Study Finds

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