Nugget of Knowledge: Visions of the dead


Seeing or hearing a dead loved one is surprisingly common -- and there's a scientific explanation

(WYTV) – What happens when someone close to you dies? Would you like to see them again? Would you really want to?

When we actually glimpse the deceased, the experience for some can be so frightening, they never mention it.

But seeing or hearing a dead loved one is surprisingly common. It even has a name.

Scientists call these visions “post-bereavement hallucinatory experiences (PBHEs).”

They say up to six in ten of us either hear or see someone we recently lost and the hallucinations can be vivid. For example, “We lost dad, but I saw him sitting in his favorite chair just for a second.” Or, “Mom’s gone, but I heard her calling my name from the kitchen.”

PBHEs can be comforting or really disturbing, depending on what you believe about life and death and what stage of grieving you’re in. For some, it’s a sign of life after death.

But scientists and psychologists say your PBHE is nothing to fear. It’s a flashback to that person’s life and what triggers it in your mind is post-traumatic stress disorder from grieving. It’s not strong or long-lasting PTSD like some soldiers feel — it’s just a touch of it, enough to make you see and hear things for a brief point in your life.

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