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Ghosts, gaslighting and random post-its: Why your confusion at home could be CO poisoning

Ghosts, gaslighting and random post-its: Why your confusion at home could be CO poisoning

Man leans over bannister in thought

SPONSORED: Carrie Poppy sincerely believed she lived with a ghost.

She explains in a video: ‘One night, I was sitting there and I got this really spooky feeling.

‘Over the course of that week, this feeling got worse and worse. Then I started to become convinced that something was there… haunting me,’ she said.

She even did a sage cleanse, to try to get rid of the spirit: ‘Everyday I’d come home… I would sit there in bed and I would cry every night.’

Investigative journalist, Carrie Poppy
Carrie Poppy believed a ghost was haunting her. | Photo: Carrie Poppy at Ted X Vienna

She turned to the internet to ask a forum of people who claim they can dispel any ghost story.

Carrie outlined all of the things she was experiencing and one guy replied: ‘Have you heard about carbon monoxide poisoning?’

She immediately called the gas company who came out and fixed what turned out to be a gas leak.

On inspecting the house and its carbon dioxide levels, they told her: ‘It’s a really good thing you told us tonight, because you could’ve been dead very soon.’

Carbon Monoxide: A silent killer

Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is invisible to the eye and has no taste or smell. It can also send people into confused, delirious states of mind.

But left untreated, it can cause serious life-threatening damage.

According to one of Britain’s leading energy companies, npower, carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas that can kill.

It is unfortunately the case for an Italian gay couple on holiday last week.

A defective wood-burning brazier leaked while the young couple were sleeping. All it took was one night of extreme levels of CO for the couple to suffocate to death.

They were holidaying with friends who were sleeping in another room. But because their friends were using an electric fire, they were not affected.

According to npower, appliances that burn fuels, such as gas, coal, oil and wood can produce CO if they have not been properly installed or regularly serviced.

‘I could easily have died’

It’s a similar story for actor Rory Cowan, best known for his role as Rory Brown in Mrs Brown’s Boys.

While renovating his home in Kilmainham, Ireland in 2014, there were some technical difficulties while installing a new boiler. Renovators placed it in a spare bedroom and Rory used it on and off.

But a few months later, Rory’s personal assistant went into the room to get something and was immediately taken aback.

According to the Irish Independent, the PA told Rory: ‘There’s a heavy, dead smell in that room. It’s like there’s no air.’

Suffering what he thought were no symptoms, Rory was skeptical, but called technicians anyway.

When the technician entered his house, his own personal CO reader alarm went off.

Rory said: ‘The reading was so high, I was told I could easily have died.

‘There was a leak in one of the flue connections and CO was being fed back into the house. I was only saved because the boiler was isolated upstairs,’ he said.

The only symptoms he had were bad headaches and feeling unwell, but he put that down to work-related stress.

Some common symptoms of CO poisoning include: headaches, dizziness, nausea, stomach pain, difficulty breathing, vomiting, tiredness and confusion.

‘A Reddit user saved my life’

Reddit user RBradbury1920 wrote in a post: ‘I found a yellow post-it note in a handwriting that wasn’t mine on my desk reminding me of some errands I had to do, but told literally nobody about.

‘I found another post-it note on the back of my desk chair, in the same handwriting as the previous note, telling me to make sure I “saved my documents.”

‘I was freaked out,’ he wrote.

After a series of more unexplained notes, he suspected his landlord might have something to do with it.

Confused man
Have you ever gotten mysteriously confused at home? (Image: Pixabay)

So he took to Reddit to break the situation down.

Then Redditer Kakkerlak replied with an interesting theory: ‘It’s likely that you are writing the notes yourself, but you are forgetting.

‘You mentioned that you have a very unusual narrow bedroom with no windows. Is there a chance that you are not getting enough ventilation when you sleep, or that there is a carbon monoxide leak in the building?

‘A cheap CO detector (which you should have anyway) is a fast way to find out,’ Kakkerlak hypothesized.

Remarkably, RBradbury1920 had a CO detector in his home, but packed away in a box.

He installed it and found dangerous levels of carbon monoxide (100ppm – the maximum recommended level is 9ppm).

He took to Reddit to update the forum: ‘I had CO poisoning. Thanks to everyone who sent suggestions and gave advice on how to proceeded – especially to those who recommended a CO detector.’

Experts agree installing a carbon monoxide detector is the best way to protect yourself against the risk of poisoning.

Energy company npower has a full checklist on how to safeguard yourself.

Do you know how to protect yourself against carbon monoxide poisoning?