Dr Ben Alderson-Day writes:
Have you ever had the experience of feeling like you are in the presence of somebody, even when no-one was there? Or had the feeling that someone was close by, who you couldn’t see, hear or touch?
Such experiences are known as felt or sensed presences and they are known to occur in a range of very different situations. For some people they might happen when they wake from sleep, or when they are feeling very stressed or unwell. For others, the experience might have a spiritual nature of some kind, or feel like the presence of someone who has recently passed away. I recently wrote about felt presence experiences in an article for The Psychologist magazine, which is available for free here.
We are conducting a survey on felt presences and we would like to hear from people who have had the experience, whatever the context it has occurred in. We would also like to hear from people who have never had this kind of experience. We are particularly interested in whether there are psychological factors that are shared across different kinds of felt presence experiences, and whether they can tell us why only some people have the experience.