Coffee can cause hallucinations

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  • Drink too much coffee and you might end up seeing a ghost

    People who drink too much coffee can end up seeing ghosts and hearing strange voices, new research has found.

    Seven cups of coffee a day can leave people three times more likely to experience hallucinations than those who drank just one.

    However, the team at Durham University do stress that the findings do not prove a ‘casual link.’

    ‘This is the first step toward looking at the wider factors associated with hallucinations,’ said psychology PhD student Simon Jones, who led the study.

    When under stress, the body releases a hormone called cortisol and this is produced in larger amounts when we drink caffeine.

    It’s this extra cortisol in the body that causes people to hallucinate, so Jones explained that this link between caffeine and stress was the basis of their research.

    Despite the evidence that seven cups of coffee or more caused people to see things that were not there, hear voices, and sense the presence of dead people, Jones stressed that more work needs to be done.

    ‘Stressed people may simply drink more caffeine.’

    And he added: ‘Even if caffeine were responsible for hallucinations in some way, the part it plays would be small compared to other factors in life.’


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