"Oftentimes during a paranormal investigation a phantom smell will waft across the nose of a team member or perhaps you have caught a whiff of something out of the ordinary in your home. Detecting an unusual odor isn’t always a sure sign of a spirit’s presence, but in certain instances, it is. Some of the more familiar smells are perfumes that were worn by the lady of the house when she was alive or, in the case of a smoker, pockets of cigarette or cigar smoke will mysteriously appear. These scents are generally harmless to a resident or investigator – as they are intended to be either an attempt at communication, a comforting sign to let a loved one know they are nearby or they will suggest the presence of a spirit who coincidentally is within your vicinity. There are certain odors, however, that everyone should be gravely concerned about because they are a pretension that an evil entity is in the room with you.
In certain extreme cases, smells can signify a negative presence which either resides on the property or is passing through to another destination. In some instances, there is an open portal nearby which is allowing the passage of a spirit to wander as it sees fit. The strong odors of decaying flesh and decomposition are telltale signs that this foul entity is nearby. In the town of Union, Missouri, located about 50 miles south of St. Louis, there is a house where these types of disgusting smells have been detected on multiple occasions.
On numerous occasions my wife and I have smelled tobacco smoke in our home. Her father was a smoker, and we know from experience that he likes to make frequent appearances (a medium had told her this was the case… but that is another article). An old friend of mine, who was a chain smoker, passed away about a decade ago. I believe that he too will come and pay a visit because I know this is something he would have done in life. The scent of burning tobacco was always his constant companion, and so I expect that any of his visits would warrant this odor….." Timothy Yohe
A demonic infestation may involve all five senses, including smell, which is what I want to focus on. Above is a typical approach to paranormal smells within the paranormal community. One problem with smell is that it cannot be collected, like an EVP. But the presence of supernatural smells is so common that it is without doubt a true phenomenon.
The author makes a distinction between innocuous smells and smells that indicate a negative spirit. Notice that the actual smells themselves are seem by him as indicative of the identity of the spirit behind the smell. Foul smells are evidence of a negative spirit, and other smells are to be seen as evidence of the presence of a benign spirit. Do you think that is wise? Especially in a realm rife with deception?
For example, the odor of rotting flesh or sulfur is stated to be evidence of a demonic spirit. The only problem is that he offers no real reason as to why these admittedly vile smells indicate an evil spirit. Who has not let food go bad and had to air out their residence due to the vile smell? However, there is nothing insidious behind it. So, why automatically assume foul smells indicate a negative spirit?
When it comes to the supernatural realm, how does he have any basis for certainty regarding the meaning of certain smells? He does NOT appeal to the Word of God, and is left with speculation.
One of my criticisms of the paranormal community is that they continue to maintain their basic beliefs, but they don’t really exercise strict self-examination regarding those beliefs…..exposing them to thorough critical review. I make it a point to frequently read articles written by folks within the paranormal community—that is how I came across this article. However, it is rare to see paranormal investigators ask the tough questions—am I dishonoring God by attempting to speak to the dead? (Deuteronomy 18) Am I really putting Christ as Lord over my thinking and actions related to the paranormal? Am I seeking to sincerely put my beliefs under the absolute Lordship of Christ?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) This is a call for Christ to be Lord over all spheres of our lives. The wise will govern themselves by what the Lord Himself declares, AND WILL NOT SET THEIR OWN FINITE AND OFTEN MISTAKEN UNDERSTANDING AGAINST HIS.
If this is true in the natural realm, how much more when dealing with the supernatural. ….we are totally left in a morass of speculation if we don’t lean on the Lord with all of our heart when trying to understand the invisible realm, especially (and this is crucial) since this is the temporary, God-ordained home of Satan and his minions.
Christ’s Lordship extends over every sphere of life. ”The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both.” As God has made the ears and the eyes (and all our senses) He better than anyone knows how to assess a person or situation, and His judgment will be final and decisive. We must seek to see ghosts through God’s eyes, and bow before His judgment.
However the author reveals an autonomous thought and heart pattern when using his sense of smell because he doesn’t look to the Lord who created his nose. Notice there is no leaning on the Lord and His revelation in his speculations regarding the identity of the spirits behind the various smells. God made your nose; therefore He owns your nose…literally. It is an act of cosmic treason to use our God-given senses without reference to Him, especially when attempting to interpret part of His world. Without our Triune God, life is incoherent and meaningless.
However, the author speaks confidently that certain smells are to seen as innocuous spirits. How does he know? He assumes the very thing he is trying to prove.2 Corinthians 11:14 speaks of the angel of light principle. If Satan can deceive visually, then he can deceive the olfactory system. All five senses are open to deception. Think of how many of Adam and Eve’s senses were involved in their fateful temptation? The forbidden fruit was enormously attractive…
The author readily admits that his own home has paranormal smells on regular basis….the smell of tobacco. He assumes that this is evidence of his deceased father, as well as a friend—both who smoked. His confidence in his beliefs was bolstered by a medium’s visit. Need I say more?
This raises the issue that has me deeply concerned. How many of those who do paranormal investigations have signs of paranormal activity in their own homes, but they see it as innocuous? There are many investigators who are being oppressed by demonic spirits which they have given legal rights to by their actions. But when you combine those with the seemingly benign activity, then I fear the vast majority of investigators are under direct attack. That is tragic beyond words.
Here is a point that occurred to me. No living person has the ability to self-generate smells without some aid, like perfume or a cigar. They can’t just make those smells appear out of thin air. So, what is the mechanism by which alleged ghosts generate smells? If they can’t do it while alive, it is inconsistent to assert that they have those powers after death. While alive one’s soul cannot make a smell appear out of the blue. How can this same soul generate the smell of a cigar, perfume, etc,ect?
To assert that this soul is smoking or wearing perfume is utterly absurd! They are disembodied spirits. Demons DO have the ability to generate smells, without resorting to saying that they are actually smoking, ect. Occam’s Razor would suggest that the notion of demonic origin of paranormal smells is the simplest explanation. It is also in line with the angel of light principle.
My conclusion is that all paranormal activity—including paranormal smells—are demonic in nature. The exception would be the pleasant smells that sometimes attend a deliverance or house cleansing. Some have reported the smell of roses after a cleansing. That makes sense.
However, in general, any truly paranormal smell that simply occurs in one’s home is certainly demonic. Angels don’t play around and would not leave an odor unless it was God-honoring.
To associate certain foul smells with “negative spirits”, and all the rest with usually benign earthbound spirits is anti-biblical, and foolish. It is pure speculation. This gives a false sense of security to those whose home is infested with demons. Because the stakes are so high when determining the identity of a spirit, it is incumbent upon us (especially believers) to not rely on our speculation. We must look to God’s revelation and not our speculation when determining the nature of paranormal smells.(see Proverbs 3:5-6)
Please DO NOT become accustomed to any paranormal activity, including pleasant smells, because these smells are from hell. Think of the most pleasant odor imaginable and demons can (and do) mimic it, as they also mimic familiar sights and sounds.
Satan takes all God’s good gifts, like smell, and uses them for his insidious purposes. It is perfectly in line with Satan’s brutality and cruelty to play upon one’s loss. That is, demonic mimicry of dad’s cigar is an attempt to deceive and oppress us. Yet, there are many dear folks (including the author of the above excerpt) who take deep comfort in demonic smells.
I don’t write in order to try to score “points” but in love…..as an attempt to educate folks regarding the juggernaut of demonic deception that is crushing the spiritual landscape around us, as well as causing us harm. The book of Proverbs is full of warnings that when we sin it is like we are punching ourselves in the face.
Please beware of the smells from hell. And let us take the Lordship of Christ seriously for His glory, and for own welfare.
Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.