Hayley is a Ghost

My phantom cheese-on-toast problem

Posted on: March 5, 2011

I’m sat here editing down the next episode of the Righteous Indignation podcast (and prepping for a paranormal investigation this evening, you can take part, read my previous blog post) and I’ve just listened to a conversation we had before the recording of the show that has inspired me to write this post about something I experience that I thought was normal but, according to my co-hosts, isn’t normal at all.

I had a reoccuring cholesteatoma in the mastoid cavity of my right ear about two or so years ago (the second one was discovered when surgery was undertaken to rectify damage caused by the first. Fun). There aren’t really many side effects of the surgery other than:

– my face going numb down one side occasionally because the nerve in the ear that controls the right side of my face was exposed by the first cholesteatoma thing

– the right side of my tongue occasionally recieving electrical-like shocks that taste like tin.

– partial deafness (“sorry, what did you say?” “Oh sorry, I didn’t know you were talking”)

– the ear canal in my right ear was made wider by surgeons to allow better access “next time”

– I have a brand new super reinforced ear drum in my right ear that was made by the surgeon cutting off the tragus (click here if you don’t know what the tragus is) and using that as an ear drum.

– The smell of cheese on toast everytime I have a shower or wash my hair.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Every time I have a shower or wash my hair, when I leave the bathroom I can smell cheese on toast even when cheese on toast isn’t being made, hasn’t been made for a long time, and there isn’t even cheese in the house.

I thought it was normal but apparently it isn’t. The smell fades after a hour or so and I’m not sure what the cause is. I’m blogging about it in the hope that someone might be able to tell me why it is that I smell phantom cheese on toast every time I leave the bathroom after having a shower or washing my hair…

It’s led to some arguments that start with “I know you’re cooking cheese on toast, why didn’t you offer me any?” “I’m not cooking cheese on toast what the hell are you on about”….

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!


6 Responses to "My phantom cheese-on-toast problem"

When i was younger i used to smell sulphur if i was extremly happy. It was rare and vague and only “close” to sulphur. I just figured that is how my brain is wired. I wish you the best of luck with your ear and everything else.

Since smell is related to memory, it’s possible that at some point your brain forged a connection between showering (etc) and the smell of cheese. It could be as abstract as your eating cheesy toast when it was raining one day to that being (probably unconsciously) connected to water running and the thought of cleaning and if at that moment you were focussed on something, motivational neurotransmitters may have fired, making it more likely that the connection was strengthened. My point is: the brain is limitless and so the possibilities are infinite. You’ll probably never know.

First of all, I think the right person to ask is Steven Novella. Second, the phrase “even when…there isn’t even cheese in the house” made me shudder. I’ve reconsidered adopting you. Even though my house is on the smallish side and it is rather a long commute from Seattle to Wiltshire, I do believe I can promise you a life never having to worry about a cheese-less household. However it will also be an eight year-old boy-full household. So you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons.


Have aread of this Haley.
Some of the readers of this will have experienced this from MDMA useage .

I thought I had already said this, but, I tend to smell peanuts on planes. It’s not exactly peanuts, but it’s very similar.

This explains all! http://bit.ly/91nTh6

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Hayley is a ghost

Hayley Stevens is an advocate for science-based research into seemingly paranormal experiences and occurrences. With a background in the pseudo-scientific research into ghosts, Hayley offers a unique insight into the strange world of ghost hunting through her experience.

She describes herself as 'a ghost hunter who doesn't hunt for ghosts' and this is her personal blog where she writes about ghosts, people, and other interesting things. Read more here.

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