I can… smell death

Whiffy warn­ing

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Iscrunched up my nose, wig­gled, then rubbed it, but still the smell lin­gered. Whatõs that stench?

It was sum­mer 2015, and I was walk­ing my dog around Mar­ket Rasen, Lin­colnshire, where I lived.

We walked the same stretch most days. But, en­joy­ing the weather, I’d taken a longer route home. Ended up at a manor house.

That’s when the strong scent wafted into my face. Cigar smoke, I re­alised! ‘Pooh!’ I said, flap­ping my hand in the air to shift the un­pleas­ant aroma. As I did, I turned full cir­cle, but no one was there. Where had the smoke come from? With­out a clear ex­pla­na­tion, and think­ing noth­ing more of it, I for­got about it. Un­til a few weeks later, my nose twitched as I could smell cig­a­rette smoke while I was stood in the mid­dle of a de­serted road. Spooky! Then, later that month,

while view­ing a house to buy, I sensed the un­pleas­ant whiff of an un­washed per­son nearby. That’s when it hit me… Th­ese odours were from peo­ple who had died in th­ese lo­ca­tions... I could smell death – the scents peo­ple leave when they de­part this world. In Jan­uary last year, I moved to Gainsborough. For­got about my ex­pe­ri­ences. But, on 22 Novem­ber, I was mak­ing a cuppa when I smelled some­thing fa­mil­iar. ‘That’s Gramps’ af­ter­shave!’ I said to my­self. It was so dis­tinct, I hadn’t known any­one else to wear it. Truth is, I hadn’t thought of Gramps for decades. Then I re­alised it was the an­niver­sary of his death! I like to think it was his way of look­ing down on me. I don’t think I have any spe­cial pow­ers, or in­deed any in­sights. But I’m try­ing to find out if any­one else has had a sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ence, and can ex­plain it. Or per­haps I’ll never know. Who nose?!

Th­ese odours were from peo­ple who had died

Mary Cook, 74, from Lincs

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