Now, I know the 'rule' to not jump to paranormal conclusions until all possible physical causes have been exhausted, which is why I found the following quite interesting:There was a strange smell in the air when the department of Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies moved, at the end of 2014. According to lecturer and researcher Francien van Driel, staff complained about the stench right from the start. She only began to suspect that something might be seriously wrong when she ended up in hospital. ‘My GP advised me to stop working there as soon as possible’, she says. ‘I haven’t had a migraine attack since I left.’
Lots of staff have reported health problems: headaches, nausea, sore throats, shortness of breath, sore eyes. The sheer variety of problems made it difficult to isolate the cause.
So apparently the university did everything they could to get to the bottom of this - changing air vents, changing the carpets, calling the Occupational Heath and Safety Service, and yet the phenomenon is still persisting.Accommodation coordinator at the Faculty of Social Sciences Esther Huijs says that the university took measures immediately after the first complaints came in: air vents were fitted to get rid of the musty smell in the rooms. Staff working on the second floor were moved to the first. An independent investigation commissioned by the Department of Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Service (AMD) concluded that a chemical smell present in one room was probably caused by a stale pot of glue. As all the readings were under the permitted levels, the report could only conclude that the air was not a health hazard. ‘People felt unwell in four particular rooms’, says Huijs. ‘We tried all sorts of things, including changing the carpets. Nothing seemed to help so we decided to take the rooms out of service.’
And yet the people working on the first and second floors are still reporting problems. ‘A lot of the complaints are informal; people don’t want to make a fuss’, says Lau Schulpen, who works in the room next to Van Driel’s old office. ‘The symptoms tend to be vague and vary in severity, so people don’t report them. Opening the windows to ventilate helps to a certain extent, but that’s not a viable option in the winter.’
Is there a chance this could be paranormal-related? Or am I just over-reacting?