Paranormal Phenomena/Strange cigarette smells


QUESTION: We have been experiencing strong cigarette odors in our home for years. No one smokes. It has been going on for a least 5 years or longer it comes and goes mostly in the middle of the night. I need a no nonsense approach I haven't contacted any paranormal society group because I am a skeptic but I know something is going on. The smell ranges from mild to strong it tends to follow me sometimes and usually stays in the living room, hallway and kitchen area. But last month it went into my bedroom and woke me up it felt like it was right on top of the bed the smell was so strong I couldn't even sleep in my bedroom. Five people live in this house they all can smell the cigarettes. It used to be cigarette and a rose smelling perfume odor. But now just cigarette I can also feel at times a presence of some sort or energy. This has not harmed or scared us but it is annoying. Sometimes it happens during the day but there is no way to predict when it will happen I have been keeping a journal since last year to see if I have noticed a pattern but nothing I could see. Have you heard of anything like this occurring I have read up on this and have read on the Internet similar stories so I know we are not crazy we are stable and again no nonsense we just want to try and understand what is going on. Thank you.

ANSWER: Hello,

  Thank you for writing to me at All Experts, Paranormal Phenomena with your interesting concern. To start with, I agree with you that there is a good chance that this is not a paranormal happening although odors are one of the more common indications of a haunting, or even a visiting spirit. It might also be residual phenomena where the energies of the past are being replayed in the present. But let's look at what some of the logical explanations may be.

  Medically, there is a condition called "parosmia" that is an olfactory disorder. This is when the olfactory nerve has been damaged or effected by things such as trauma, chemicals or by a viral or bacterial infection. As the odors are being noticed by more than one member of the household, I would dismiss the trauma unless you all walked into a wall at the same time, or  as the effects of chemicals. So if there is something in your environment that has caused a viral infection, especially one that is contagious the smell may have a logical cause. The smell most often associated with parosmia is the smell of cigarette smoke. I am not qualified to offer a medical diagnosis so I would suggest that one of you see an otorhinolaryngologist (ear, nose, throat specialist) to rule out parosmia or other medical issues.

  The second most common cause for the smell of cigarette smoke is cigarette smoke. I'm not trying to be smart here, but nowadays more and more people are taking their smoking habit outside. Smokers who have had a child or who have children or asthmatics in the home often go out for their cigarette. The odors could be coming from a nearby business. You state that you have kept a journal. Have you recorded the direction of the wind when the odors occur? If not, I would start.

  There is a chance that the cigarette smoke is actually within your home. One has no idea how smoke and its effects can get into the very fabric of a home - literally! If you are at all using something that requires air circulation such as a furnace, that has an air return or central air conditioning, a dirty filter could be the culprit. Come to think of it, air conditioning and the like can also cause sinus infections, etc. If there was an ex-smoker on the premises in the past, the "ghost" of his habit may be lingering on the walls and in the carpets and being released into the atmosphere of your home depending on the climate of the home, temperature and humidity for example. If so, wash, seal and repaint the walls and have carpets cleaned by a professional service with odor removal. I'm sure that other odor removal services exist and you may want to inquire to them with your concerns as it may be a common issue. I do not know if there is much need for furnaces and the like in California, but if you have one a cleaning of the furnace, replacement of the filters and vent cleaning could help.

  Paranormal reasons?... Has anyone who was a smoker known or close to you or a family member passed away approximately five years ago? If so he/she may be making his/her presence known to you. It is not uncommon for a ghost to communicate to another with a familiar smell, something that the living would recognize as being associated with the deceased.

  I hope that these explanations have shed some light on this matter. As I am intrigued, I will keep an eye open for any other possible cause and should I happen upon one I will follow up this reply. If there is anything else that I can help you with please be sure to let me know.

Take care,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you Greg for your time, information and not finding us crazy. I had checked most of what you said out already because everything you said makes sense and that is what I am looking for in this situation. I have had 2 brother in laws who were smokers and have passed away ages 4l & 5l. Again I am a no nonsense person. I know this is all unbelievable but it is true there is some sort of energy here. I don't believe in mediums or hocas pocus explanations I believe in facts and other persons experiences. I can't explain everything that has happened with this energy over the years as it would take pages to detail. I also know people would not believe it since most would have closed minds or think it is evil. If there is anything else you need or questions please contact me or send more information. Again thank your for your time and prompt response.

ANSWER: Hi Vivian,

  You are most welcome. What you may need is a simple house cleansing... not the regular spring cleaning variety but rather cleansing the home of negative energies. In a situation such as yours the process would be simple. What you have is not evil. Negative energies can build up and often have nothing to do with the dead. The living are major contributors to negative energy. People with what I term "ghost fever", those who attribute every little event to a ghost - the paranormal addicts, believe that all residual phenomena is caused by some ghostly entity - not so. The living can leave an imprint on the " ethereal fabric", so to speak, as well.

  If you contact me at I can instruct you how to perform a simple cleansing. Again, I am glad to help in any way I can.

Take care,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Greg thanks again for your time. Can you recommend some books or articles I can read regarding intelligent spirits vs residual spirits. I took notes on a few articles stating things that have happened which is identical to what is happening here it was as if I wrote the articles. Each time something happens I try to get a witness and note whether it is a mild to strong feeling and date in my journal. I know no one will believe us so I am on my own trying to research and find an explanation. There is no rattling of doors, footsteps, images, sounds etc. that's why I don't want to call any want to be ghostbusters. It seems to follow me since I am the one up late at night I am not overly tired or taking any medications most encounters are between 12am-1:30am. The smell seems to float then I can feel a presence of some sort perhaps an energy it can last for a few minutes to an hour. I am Catholic but I don't believe it is spiritual I also live within walking distance to a cemetery lived in this home for 21 yrs this started about 5 yrs after we moved in. Is there anyone in addition to you that can help explain this so I can go further into detail. The reason I have waited so long is because I knew no one would believe it and because it never went into my bedroom only stayed in the hallway, living room and kitchen area. This was not a dream as I woke up my daughter so I could document the incident with a witness. I know I will probably get no where with this situation it's to hard for anyone to believe and take seriously. But I will continue to try and make a little sense of it, if you can help in anyway I would appreciate your expertise and referrals. Thank you

Hi Vivian,

  Let me save you the trouble of doing a lot of research as to whether or not this is intelligent or residual. You answered your own question... it follows you. Residual phenomena would not act, react or interact in an intelligent manner and the act of deliberately following someone is intelligent in nature. Unfortunately that means that you have a minor haunting on your hands. It's not the length of time that indicates the severity of a haunting but rather the amount of activity.

  Your religion has zero to do with this... the fact that you live near a cemetery has little to do with this as cemeteries are among the least haunted places...

  I could refer you to others, if I thought that that would help. I teach for a living and believe me, the more people you bring into this at this stage the more confused and frustrated you will become. Especially since this is not an objective subject, and subjectivism, that is knowledge based upon experience and opinion, can be haphazard. Again, I urge you to contact me personally and remove All Experts as the middleman. I do help people who contact me on a personal basis. Please write to me at [copy / paste the below address]...

  We can then begin a personal correspondence. I do look forward to hearing from you.
Ciao for now,

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Greg Pocha


Ghosts - Hauntings - Paranormal & Preternatural Phenomena - Parapsychology - Death/Afterlife Studies

Director of Parapsychology and Paranormal Studies (Eidolon Project Canada)

Mr.Pocha will not accept Donations, "Prestige Points" or Ratings.

Greg shares his experience and knowledge as a special consultant on All Experts to help people find educated and unbiased answers from a professional in the field. He will be happy to answer your questions on the following subjects:Greg is the head of the Eidolon Project Canada, one of Canada's largest and best established Paranormal Investigation organizations. He and his team of professional investigators spend hours investigating hauntings and analyzing their findings. He has helped people internationally understand and deal with their paranormal activity. When giving an answer through All Experts the questioner can expect to be treated as an individual and given a thought out educated reply that will take in different aspects regarding their unique situation.


Greg Pocha is the Director of Parapsychology and Paranormal Studies for the Eidolon Project Canada. Mr. Pocha is also a leading authority on 'Spectral Profiling'. He has been actively researching and investigating the paranormal in relation to ghosts, hauntings, paranormal activity, parapsychology, psychical research and other closely related areas as a professional since 1999 although his interest and study of the paranormal goes back nearly a half century. He is one of the founders of 'Eidolon Project Canada', an organization that researchs and investigates hauntings at no cost to their clients. Besides studying the subjects that most people consider 'paranormal', Greg also studies subjects such as Near Death Experiences, and other scientific areas. Greg has instructed the Paranormal Studies course for Edmonton Public School's Adult Continuing Education department. He has also given seminars for Edmonton Public Libraries programs. Greg continues adding to his knowledge through study and his continued active involvement in research and investigations of hauntings throughout his home province of Alberta, Canada. Mr. Pocha has been called in to offer his expertise and assist in independent investigations. His input and opinions are sought after and respected.

Greg is currently writing his first book, "BEYOND: Recognition {Ghosts, Hauntings and Spectral Profiling}". Note: This is an actual book, not a vanity published e-book.


Outside of practical hands-on experience and field work for over a decade, Greg owns a private reference library approaching 1,000 books dealing with the paranormal, ghosts, hauntings, parapsychology, physics, medical and other related subject. Here is a subject sampling of this extensive library:GHOSTS - HAUNTINGS - POLTERGEIST - CLASSICAL & QUANTUM THEORY - ENCYCLOPEDIAS / DICTIONARIES / ANTHOLOGIES on PARANORMAL STUDIES - TEXTS on PARAPSYCHOLOGY - DEMONOLOGY - CASE STUDIES - INVESTIGATIVE TECHNIQUES - HISTORY / MYTHOLOGY of GHOSTS - THANATOLOGY - NEAR DEATH STUDIES - HOSPICE CARE - PSYCHICAL STUDIES - BEHAVIORAL PSYCHOLOGY - etc.. Authors include: Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, Stephan Hawking, Paul Davis, Carl Sagan, Allison DuBois, James van Praagh, Derek Achora, John Robert Columbo, Dr.Raymond Moody Jr., Dr.Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Dr. Maurice Rawlings, Dr.Melvin Morse, Dr.Janis Amatuzio, Dr. Kenneth Ring, Dr. Jeffrey Long, Harry Price, Hans Holzer, Andrew Lang, Ed & Lorraine Warren, A.Arthur Findlay, Nandor Fudor, Colin Wilson, Plato, DeCarte, Nietzshce, This ever growing library is available should references need to be made to help in answering your questions. Greg's on-going education in the paranormal and parapsychology fields is unending.

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Due to confidentiality agreements made with our clients guaranteeing their anonymity, I can not list past/current clients. All of our investigations are refered to by case number only. Personal information regarding our clients is privileged.

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