Published in Skeptical Inquirer 1991, 16,
(See also an
update on OBEs 2010)
What is it like to die? Although most of us
fear death to a greater or lesser extent, there are now more and more
people who have "come back" from states close to death and
have told stories of usually very pleasant and even joyful experiences
at deaths door.
For many experiencers, their adventures seem
unquestionably to provide evidence for life after death, and the profound
effects the experience can have on them is just added confirmation.
By contrast, for many scientists these experiences are just hallucinations
produced by the dying brain and of no more interest than an especially
So which is right? Are near-death experiences
(NDEs) the prelude to our life after death or the very last experience
we have before oblivion? I shall argue that neither is quite right:
NDEs provide no evidence for life after death, and we can best understand
them by looking at neurochemistry, physiology, and psychology; but they
are much more interesting than any dream. They seem completely real
and can transform peoples lives. Any satisfactory theory has to
understand that tooand that leads us to questions about minds,
selves, and the nature of consciousness.
Toward the end of the last century the physical
sciences and the new theory of evolution were making great progress,
but many people felt that science was forcing out the traditional ideas
of the spirit and soul. Spiritualism began to flourish, and people flocked
to mediums to get in contact with their dead friends and relatives "on
the other side." Spiritualists claimed, and indeed still claim,
to have found proof of survival.
In 1882, the Society for Psychical Research
was founded, and serious research on the phenomena began; but convincing
evidence for survival is still lacking over one hundred years later
(Blackmore 1988). In 1926, a psychical researcher and Fellow of the
Royal Society, Sir William Barrett (1926), published a little book on
deathbed visions. The dying apparently saw other worlds before they
died and even saw and spoke to the dead. There were cases of music heard
at the time of death and reports of attendants actually seeing the spirit
leave the body.
With modern medical techniques, deathbed visions
like these have become far less common. In those days people died at
home with little or no medication and surrounded by their family and
friends. Today most people die in the hospital and all too often alone.
Paradoxically it is also improved medicine that has led to an increase
in quite a different kind of report that of the near-death experience.
Close Brushes with Death
Resuscitation from ever more serious heart
failure has provided accounts of extraordinary experiences (although
this is not the only cause of NDEs). These remained largely ignored
until about 15 years ago, when Raymond Moody (1975), an American physician,
published his best-selling Life After Life. He had talked with
many people who had "come back from death," and he put together
an account of a typical NDE. In this idealized experience a person hears
himself pronounced dead. Then comes a loud buzzing or ringing noise
and a long, dark tunnel. He can see his own body from a distance and
watch what is happening. Soon he meets others and a "being of light"
who shows him a playback of events from his life and helps him to evaluate
it. At some point he gets to a barrier and knows that he has to go back.
Even though he feels joy, love, and peace there, he returns to his body
and life. Later he tries to tell others; but they dont understand,
and he soon gives up. Nevertheless the experience deeply affects him,
especially his views about life and death.
Many scientists reacted with disbelief. They
assumed Moody was at least exaggerating, but he claimed that no one
had noticed the experiences before because the patients were too frightened
to talk about them. The matter was soon settled by further research.
One cardiologist had talked to more than 2,000 people over a period
of nearly 20 years and claimed that more than half reported Moody-type
experiences (Schoonmaker 1979). In 1982, a Gallup poll found that about
1 in 7 adult Americans had been close to death and about 1 in 20 had
had an NDE. It appeared that Moody, at least in outline, was right.
In my own research I have come across numerous reports like this one,
sent to me by a woman from Cyprus:
An emergency gastrectomy was performed.
On the 4th day following that operation I went into shock and became
unconscious for several hours. . . Although thought to be unconscious,
I remembered, for years afterwards, the entire, detailed conversation
that passed between the surgeon and anaesthetist present.... I was
lying above my own body, totally free of pain, and looking down at
my own self with compassion for the agony I could see on the face;
I was floating peacefully Then . . . I was going elsewhere, floating
towards a dark, but not frightening, curtain-like area.... Then I
felt total peace.
Suddenly it all changedI was slammed
back into my body again, very much aware of the agony again.
Within a few years some of the basic questions
were being answered. Kenneth Ring (1980), at the University of Connecticut,
surveyed 102 people who had come close to death and found almost 50
percent had had what he called a "core experience." He broke
this into five stages: peace, body separation, entering the darkness
(which is like the tunnel), seeing the light, and entering the light.
He found that the later stages were reached by fewer people, which seems
to imply that there is an ordered set of experiences waiting to unfold.
One interesting question is whether NDEs are
culture specific. What little research there is suggests that in other
cultures NDEs have basically the same structure, although religious
background seems to influence the way it is interpreted. A few NDEs
have even been recorded in children. It is interesting to note that
nowadays children are more likely to see living friends than those who
have died, presumably because their playmates only rarely die of diseases
like scarlet fever or smallpox (Morse et al. 1986).
Perhaps more important is whether you have
to be nearly dead to have an NDE. The answer is clearly no (e.g., Morse
et al. 1989). Many very similar experiences are recorded of people who
have taken certain drugs, were extremely tired, or, occasionally, were
just carrying on their ordinary activities.
I must emphasize that these experiences seem
completely realeven more real (whatever that may mean) than everyday
life. The tunnel experience is not like just imagining going along a
tunnel. The view from out of the body seems completely realistic, not
like a dream, but as though you really are up there and looking down.
Few people experience such profound emotions and insight again during
their lifetimes. They do not say, "Ive been hallucinating,"
"I imagined I went to heaven," or "Can I tell you about
my lovely dream?" They are more likely to say, "I have been
out of my body" or "I saw Grandma in heaven."
Since not everyone who comes close to death
has an NDE, it is interesting to ask what sort of people are more likely
to have them. Certainly you dont need to be mentally unstable.
NDEers do not differ from others in terms of their psychological health
or background. Moreover, the NDE does seem to produce profound and positive
personality changes (Ring 1984). After this extraordinary experience
people claim that they are no longer so motivated by greed and material
achievement but are more concerned about other people and their needs.
Any theory of the NDE needs to account for this effect.
Explanations of the NDE
Astral Projection and the Next World: Could
we have another body that is the vehicle of consciousness and leaves
the physical body at death to go on to another world? This, essentially,
is the doctrine of astral projection. In various forms it is very popular
and appears in a great deal of New Age and occult literature.
One reason may be that out-of-body experiences
(OBEs) are quite common, quite apart from their role in NDEs. Surveys
have shown that anywhere from 8 percent (in Iceland) to as much as 50 percent (in special groups, such as marijuana users) have had OBEs
at some time during their lives. In my own survey of residents of Bristol
I found 12 percent. Typically these people had been resting or lying
down and suddenly felt they had left their bodies, usually for no more
than a minute or two (Blackmore 1984).
A survey of more than 50 different cultures
showed that almost all of them believe in a spirit or soul that could
leave the body (Shells 1978). So both the OBE and the belief in another
body are common, but what does this mean? Is it just that we cannot
bring ourselves to believe that we are nothing more than a mortal body
and that death is the end? Or is there really another body?
You might think that such a theory has no place
in science and ought to be ignored. I disagree. The only ideas that
science can do nothing with are the purely metaphysical onesideas
that have no measurable consequences and no testable predictions. But
if a theory makes predictions, however bizarre, then it can be tested.
The theory of astral projection is, at least
in some forms, testable. In the earliest experiments mediums claimed
they were able to project their astral bodies to distant rooms and see
what was happening. They claimed not to taste bitter aloes on their
real tongues, but immediately screwed up their faces in disgust when
the substance was placed on their (invisible) astral tongues. Unfortunately
these experiments were not properly controlled (Blackmore 1982).
In other experiments, dying people were weighed
to try to detect the astral body as it left. Early this century a weight
of about one ounce was claimed, but as the apparatus became more sensitive
the weight dropped, implying that it was not a real effect. More recent
experiments have used sophisticated detectors of ultraviolet and infrared,
magnetic flux or field strength, temperature, or weight to try to capture
the astral body of someone having an out-of-body experience. They have
even used animals and human "detectors," but no one has yet
succeeded in detecting anything reliably (Morris et al. 1978).
If something really leaves the body in OBEs,
then you might expect it to be able to see at a distance, in other words
to have extrasensory perception (ESP). There have been several experiments
with concealed targets. One success was Tarts subject, who lay
on a bed with a five-digit number on a shelf above it (Tart 1968). During
the night she had an OBE and correctly reported the number, but critics
argued that she could have climbed out of the bed to look. Apart from
this one, the experiments tend, like so many in parapsychology, to provide
equivocal results and no clear signs of any ESP.
So, this theory has been tested but seems to
have failed its tests. If there really were astral bodies I would have
expected us to have found something out about them by nowother
than how hard it is to track them down!
In addition there are major theoretical objections
to the idea of astral bodies. If you imagine that the person has gone
to another world, perhaps along some "real" tunnel, then you
have to ask what relationship there is between this world and the other
one. If the other world is an extension of the physical, then it ought
to be observable and measurable. The astral body, astral world, and
tunnel ought to be detectable in some way, and we ought to be able to
say where exactly the tunnel is going. The fact that we cant,
leads many people to say the astral world is "on another plane,"
at a "higher level of vibration," and the like. But unless
you can specify just what these mean the ideas are completely empty,
even though they may sound appealing. Of course we can never prove that
astral bodies dont exist, but my guess is that they probably dont
and that this theory is not a useful way to understand OBEs.
Birth and the NDE:
Another popular theory makes dying analogous with being born: that the
out-of-body experience is literally just that reliving the moment
when you emerged from your mothers body. The tunnel is the birth
canal and the white light is the light of the world into which you were
born. Even the being of light can be "explained" as an attendant
at the birth.
This theory was proposed by Stanislav Grof
and Joan Halifax (1977) and popularized by the astronomer Carl Sagan
(1979), but it is pitifully inadequate to explain the NDE. For a start
the newborn infant would not see anything like a tunnel as it was being
born. The birth canal is stretched and compressed and the baby usually
forced through it with the top of its head, not with its eyes (which
are closed anyway) pointing forward. Also it does not have the mental
skills to recognize the people around, and these capacities change so
much during growing that adults cannot reconstruct what it was like
to be an infant.
"Hypnotic regression to past lives"
is another popular claim. In fact much research shows that people who
have been hypnotically regressed give the appearance of acting like
a baby or a child, but it is no more than acting. For example, they
dont make drawings like a real five-year-old would do but like
an adult imagines children do. Their vocabulary is too large and in
general they overestimate the abilities of children at any given age.
There is no evidence (even if the idea made sense) of their "really"
going back in time.
Of course the most important question is whether
this theory could be tested, and to some extent it can. For example,
it predicts that people born by Caesarean section should not have the
same tunnel experiences and OBEs. I conducted a survey of people born
normally and those born by Caesarean (190 and 36 people, respectively).
Almost exactly equal percentages of both groups had had tunnel experiences
(36 percent) and OBEs (29 percent). I have not compared the type of
birth of people coming close to death, but this would provide further
evidence (Blackmore 1982b).
In response to these findings some people have
argued that it is not ones own birth that is relived but the idea
of birth in general. However, this just reduces the theory to complete
Perhaps we should give up and conclude that all the experiences
are "just imagination" or "nothing but hallucinations."
However, this is the weakest theory of all. The experiences must, in
some sense, be hallucinations, but this is not, on its own, any explanation.
We have to ask why are they these kinds of hallucinations? Why tunnels?
Some say the tunnel is a symbolic representation
of the gateway to another world. But then why always a tunnel and not,
say, a gate, doorway, or even the great River Styx? Why the light at
the end of the tunnel? And why always above the body, not below it?
I have no objection to the theory that the experiences are hallucinations.
I only object to the idea that you can explain them by saying, "They
are just hallucinations." This explains nothing. A viable theory
would answer these questions without dismissing the experiences. That,
even if only in tentative form, is what I shall try to provide.
The Physiology of the Tunnel:
Tunnels do not only occur near death. They are also experienced
in epilepsy and migraine, when falling asleep, meditating, or just relaxing,
with pressure on both eyeballs, and with certain drugs, such as LSD,
psilocybin, and mescaline. I have experienced them many times myself.
It is as though the whole world becomes a rushing, roaring tunnel and
you are flying along it toward a bright light at the end. No doubt many
readers have also been there, for surveys show that about a third of
people havelike this terrified man of 28 who had just had the
anesthetic for a circumcision.
I seemed to be hauled at "lightning speed" in a direct
line tunnel into outer space; (not a floating sensation . . .) but
like a rocket at a terrific speed. I appeared to have left my body.
In the 1930s, Heinrich Klüver, at the University
of Chicago, noted four form constants in hallucinations: the tunnel,
the spiral, the lattice or grating, and the cobweb. Their origin probably
lies in the structure of the visual cortex, the part of the brain that
processes visual information. Imagine that the outside world is mapped
onto the back of the eye (on the retina), and then again in the cortex.
The mathematics of this mapping (at least to a reasonable approximation)
is well known.
Jack Cowan, a neurobiologist at the University of Chicago,
has used this mapping to account for the tunnel (Cowan 1982). Brain
activity is normally kept stable by some cells inhibiting others. Disinhibition
(the reduction of this inhibitory activity) produces too much activity
in the brain. This can occur near death (because of lack of oxygen)
or with drugs like LSD, which interfere with inhibition. Cowan uses
an analogy with fluid mechanics to argue that disinhibition will induce
stripes of activity that move across the cortex. Using the mapping it
can easily be shown that stripes in the cortex would appear like concentric
rings or spirals in the visual world. In other words, if you have stripes
in the cortex you will seem to see a tunnel-like pattern of spirals
This theory is important in showing how the
structure of the brain could produce the same hallucination for everyone.
However, I was dubious about the idea of these moving stripes, and also
Cowans theory doesnt readily explain the bright light at
the center. So Tom Troscianko and I, at the University of Bristol, tried
to develop a simpler theory (Blackmore and Troscianko 1989). The most
obvious thing about the representation in the cortex is that there are
lots of cells representing the center of the visual field but very few
for the edges. This means that you can see small things very clearly
in the center, but if they are out at the edges you cannot. We took
just this simple fact as a starting point and used a computer to simulate
what would happen when you have gradually increasing electrical noise
in the visual cortex.
The computer program starts with thinly spread
dots of light, mapped in the same way as the cortex, with more toward
the middle and very few at the edges. Gradually the number of dots increases,
mimicking the increasing noise. Now the center begins to look like a
white blob and the outer edges gradually get more and more dots. And
so it expands until eventually the whole screen is filled with light.
The appearance is just like a dark speckly tunnel with a white light
at the end, and the light grows bigger and bigger (or nearer and nearer)
until it fills the whole screen. (See Figure 1.)
If it seems odd that such a simple picture
can give the impression that you are moving, consider two points. First,
it is known that random movements in the periphery of the visual field
are more likely to be interpreted by the brain as outward than inward
movements (Georgeson and Harris 1978). Second, the brain infers our
own movement to a great extent from what we see. Therefore, presented
with an apparently growing patch of flickering white light your brain
will easily interpret it as yourself moving forward into a tunnel.
The theory also makes a prediction about NDEs
in the blind. If they are blind because of problems in the eye but have
a normal cortex, then they too should see tunnels. But if their blindness
stems from a faulty or damaged cortex, they should not. These predictions
have yet to be tested.
According to this kind of theory there is,
of course, no real tunnel. Nevertheless there is a real physical cause
of the tunnel experience. It is noise in the visual cortex. This way
we can explain the origin of the tunnel without just dismissing the
experiences and without needing to invent other bodies or other worlds.
Out of the body experiences:
Like tunnels, OBEs are not confined to near death. They too can occur
when just relaxing and falling asleep, with meditation, and in epilepsy
and migraine. They can also, at least by a few people, be induced at
will. I have been interested in OBEs since I had a long and dramatic
experience myself (Blackmore 1982a).
It is important to remember that these experiences
seem quite real. People dont describe them as dreams or fantasies
but as events that actually happened. This is, I presume, why they seek
explanations in terms of other bodies or other worlds.
However, we have seen how poorly the astral
projection and birth theories cope with OBEs. What we need is a theory
that involves no unmeasurable entities or untestable other worlds but
explains why the experiences happen; and why they seem so real.
I would start by asking why anything seems
real. You might think this is obviousafter all, the things we
see out there are real arent they? Well no, in a sense they arent.
As perceiving creatures all we know is what our senses tell us. And
our senses tell us what is "out there" by constructing models
of the world with ourselves in it. The whole of the world "out
there" and our own bodies are really constructions of our minds.
Yet we are sure, all the time, that this constructionif you like,
this "model of reality"is "real" while the
other fleeting thoughts we have are unreal. We call the rest of them
daydreams, imagination, fantasies, and so on. Our brains have no trouble
distinguishing "reality" from "imagination." But
this distinction is not given. It is one the brain has to make for itself
by deciding which of its own models represents the world "out there."
I suggest it does this by comparing all the models it has at any time
and choosing the most stable one as "reality."
This will normally work very well. The model
created by the senses is the best and most stable the system has. It
is obviously "reality," while that image I have of the bar
Im going to go to later is unstable and brief. The choice is easy.
By comparison, when you are almost asleep, very frightened, or nearly
dying, the model from the senses will be confused and unstable. If you
are under terrible stress or suffering oxygen deprivation, then the
choice wont be so easy. All the models will be unstable.
So what will happen now? Possibly the tunnel
being created by noise in the visual cortex will be the most stable
model and so, according to my supposition, this will seem real. Fantasies
and imagery might become more stable than the sensory model, and so
seem real. The system will have lost input control.
What then should a sensible biological system
do to get back to normal? I would suggest that it could try to ask itselfas
it were"Where am I? What is happening?" Even a person
under severe stress will have some memory left. They might recall the
accident, or know that they were in hospital for an operation, or remember
the pain of the heart attack. So they will try to reconstruct, from
what little they can remember, what is happening.
Now we know something very interesting about
memory models. Often they are constructed in a birds-eye view.
That is, the events or scenes are seen as though from above. If you
find this strange, try to remember the last time you went to a pub or
the last time you walked along the seashore. Where are "you"
looking from in this recalled scene? If you are looking from above you
will see what I mean.
So my explanation of the OBE becomes clear.
A memory model in birds-eye view has taken over from the sensory
model. It seems perfectly real because it is the best model the system
has got at the time. Indeed, it seems real for just the same reason
anything ever seems real.
This theory of the OBE leads to many testable
predictions, for example, that people who habitually use birds-eye
views should be more likely to have OBEs. Both Harvey Irwin (1986),
an Australian psychologist, and myself (Blackmore 1987) have found that
people who dream as though they were spectators have more OBEs, although
there seems to be no difference for the waking use of different viewpoints.
I have also found that people who can more easily switch viewpoints
in their imagination are also more likely to report OBEs.
Of course this theory says that the OBE world
is only a memory model. It should only match the real world when the
person has already known about something or can deduce it from available
information. This presents a big challenge for research on near death.
Some researchers claim that people near death can actually see things
that they couldnt possibly have known about. For example, the
American cardiologist Michael Sabom (1982) claims that patients reported
the exact behavior of needles on monitoring apparatus when they had
their eyes closed and appeared to be unconscious. Further, he compared
these descriptions with those of people imagining they were being
resuscitated and found that the real patients gave far more accurate
and detailed descriptions.
There are problems with this comparison. Most
important, the people really being resuscitated could probably feel
some of the manipulations being done on them and hear what was going
on. Hearing is the last sense to be lost and, as you will realize if
you ever listen to radio plays or news, you can imagine a very clear
visual image when you can only hear something. So the dying person could
build up a fairly accurate picture this way. Of course hearing doesnt
allow you to see the behavior of needles, and so if Sabom is right I
am wrong. We can only await further research to find out.
The Life Review:
The experience of seeing excerpts from your life flash before you is
not really as mysterious as it first seems. It has long been known that
stimulation of cells in the temporal lobe of the brain can produce instant
experiences that seem like the reliving of memories. Also, temporal-lobe
epilepsy can produce similar experiences, and such seizures can involve
other limbic structures in the brain, such as the amygdala and hippocampus,
which are also associated with memory.
Imagine that the noise in the dying brain stimulates
cells like this. The memories will be aroused and, according to my hypothesis,
if they are the most stable model the system has at that time they will
seem real. For the dying person they may well be more stable than the
confused and noisy sensory model.
The link between temporal-lobe epilepsy and
the NDE has formed the basis of a thorough neurobiological model of
the NDE (Saavedra-Aguilar and Gomez-Jeria 1989). They suggest that the
brain stress consequent on the near-death episode leads to the release
of neuropeptides and neurotransmitters (in particular the endogenous
endorphins). These then stimulate the limbic system and other connected
areas. In addition, the effect of the endorphins could account for the blissful
and other positive emotional states so often associated with the NDE.
Morse provided evidence that some children
deprived of oxygen and treated with opiates did not have NDE-like hallucinations,
and he his colleagues (Morse et al. 1986) have developed a theory based
on the role of the neurotransmitter serotonin, rather than the endorphins.
Research on the neurochemistry of the NDE is just beginning and should
provide us with much more detailed understanding of the life review.
Of course there is more to the review than
just memories. The person feels as though she or he is judging these
life events, being shown their significance and meaning. But this too,
I suggest, is not so very strange. When the normal world of the senses
is gone and memories seem real, our perspective on our life changes.
We can no longer be attached to our plans, hopes, ambitions, and fears,
which fade away and become unimportant, while the past comes to life
again. We can only accept it as it is, and there is no one to judge
it but ourselves. This is, I think, why so many NDEers say they faced
their past life with acceptance and equanimity.
Now we come to what might seem the most extraordinary parts of
the NDE; the worlds beyond the tunnel and OBE. But I think you can now
see that they are not so extraordinary at all. In this state the outside
world is no longer real, and inner worlds are. Whatever we can imagine
clearly enough will seem real. And what will we imagine when we know
we are dying? I am sure for many people it is the world they expect
or hope to see. Their minds may turn to people they have known who have
died before them or to the world they hope to enter next. Like the other
images we have been considering, these will seem perfectly real.
Finally, there are those aspects of the NDE
that are ineffablethey cannot be put into words. I suspect that
this is because some people take yet another step, a step into nonbeing.
I shall try to explain this by asking another question. What is consciousness?
If you say it is a thing, another body, a substance, you will only get
into the kinds of difficulty we got into with OBEs. I prefer to say
that consciousness is just what it is like being a mental model. In
other words, all the mental models in any persons mind are all
conscious, but only one is a model of "me." This is the one
that I think of as myself and to which I relate everything else. It
gives a core to my life. It allows me to think that I am a person, something
that lives on all the time. It allows me to ignore the fact that "I"
change from moment to moment and even disappear every night in sleep.
Now when the brain comes close to death, this
model of self may simply fall apart. Now there is no self. It is a strange
and dramatic experience. For there is no longer an experienceryet
there is experience.
This state is obviously hard to describe, for
the "you" who is trying to describe it cannot imagine not
being. Yet this profound experience leaves its mark. The self never
seems quite the same again.
The After Effects:
I think we can now see why an essentially physiological event
can change peoples lives so profoundly. The experience has jolted
their usual (and erroneous) view of the relationship between themselves
and the world. We all too easily assume that we are some kind of persistent
entity inhabiting a perishable body. But, as the Buddha taught we have
to see through that illusion. The world is only a construction of an
information-processing system, and the self is too. I believe that the
NDE gives people a glimpse into the nature of their own minds that is
hard to get any other way. Drugs can produce it temporarily, mystical
experiences can do it for rare people, and long years of practice in
meditation or mindfulness can do it. But the NDE can out of the blue
strike anyone and show them what they never knew before, that their
body is only that a lump of fleshthat they are not so very
important after all. And that is a very freeing and enlightening experience.
If my analysis of the NDE is correct, we can extrapolate to the
next stage. Lack of oxygen first produces increased activity through
disinhibition, but eventually it all stops. Since it is this activity
that produces the mental models that give rise to consciousness, then
all this will cease. There will be no more experience, no more self,
and so that, as far as my constructed self is concerned, is the end.
So, are NDEs in or out of the body? I should
say neither, for neither experiences nor selves have any location. It
is finally death that dissolves the illusion that we are a solid self
inside a body.
In November 1990, I visited the Netherlands to
give two lectures. The first, on parapsychology, was part of a series
organized by the Studium Generale of the University of Utrecht and titled
"Science Confronts the Paranormal." The second was at the
Skepsis Conference. Skepsis refers to the very active Dutch skeptics
organization called Stichting Skepsis, which means "skeptical foundation."
Cornelis de Jager, professor emeritus in astronomy, is the Chair. Skepsis
was established in 1987 and publishes the journal Skepter. Stichting Skepsis also publishes conference proceedings and
monographs on subjects like reincarnation, spiritism, and homeopathy.
As its purpose is to educate the public, Skepsis received a starting
grant from the government but is now self-supporting, thanks to many
generous donations. This is the lecture I presented at the organizations
1990 conference, on "Belief in the Paranormal."
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