Did You Just See A Ghost? Here's Who To Call

Photo: Sebastian Rothe/Getty Images
We are certainly not ones to shy away from a good old-fashioned ghost sighting. And whether you're trying to seek out said ghosts or send them packing, or just need some advice from your local witch, you better believe Refinery29 has got you covered. But if you've witnessed multiple ghost appearances recently, you should actually see your doctor before you start salting your doorway.

No, we're not advocating a stop at the psychiatrist (yet); your eye doctor may be the only medical professional — or exorcist — you need.

Eye surgeon Dr. David Allamby, medical director of London's Focus Clinic, told The Daily Mail that macular degeneration and/or Charles Bonnet syndrome may be the culprit behind certain spooky sightings. How? These conditions can cause you to lose your peripheral vision; then, when your brain tries to fill in what it can't see, hallucinations can result.

"It's not surprising that such sufferers naturally assume that they've had a paranormal or supernatural experience," Dr. Allamby explained to the publication. 'The reality, however, is that what they've seen is just a symptom of something they're not even aware of."

It's important to note that this type of hallucination due to vision deterioration is not a mental health problem and is not due to dementia, Alzheimer's, etc. (Although it's never a bad idea to rule out those conditions — and hey, maybe check for carbon monoxide poisoning while you're at it?)

"If you are seeing ghosts, fairies, demons, or even aliens, you should seek an eye test immediately before you reach for the crucifix," Dr. Allamby adds. And since a surgeon with a sense of humor is possibly even less common than a ghost sighting, we'll definitely be taking this advice to heart.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled seance.

More from Body


R29 Original Series