by Louis Charles

Ghosts are earthbound spirits of human beings and animals that manifest in both the physical and spirit planes.

True ghosts are spirits, meaning they are alive; they retain the mind of the individual who once lived on Earth. Despite what some may think, real ghosts are not "dead people" (though the physical body has perished) - for death is an illusion, a doorway unto the next experience. Ghosts are the living essence of people.

We have been exploring ghost phenomena for many years and have divided our research and exploration into several main categories, noted below...

Thoughts About Ghosts

The places where ghosts inhabit or are sighted are called a "haunt." And the experiences people have there cause them to label such places "haunted." The spectral activities of ghosts, in general, are known as 'haunting' (not 'hauntings'). Good stuff to know.

Intelligent, Unintelligent or Traumatized Ghosts?

It is theorized that some ghosts seem to be more of a residual energy imprinted in the natural world from times past. If experienced, this type of haunting is repetitive, the ghost repeatedly displaingy the exact same actions and never interacting with those who witness them. In such cases, this type of phenomenon might not be the sighting of a living ghost but the unveiling of a prior event. Some say it is a leftover energy that is somehow released, showing a picture of the past to the viewer.

These types of ghosts are considered unintelligent by ghost investigators because they seem to continue to walk the same paths and do the same things - apparitions that have no interaction with the current physical environment or people. This is their haunt. Another theory, though, is that non-interactive ghosts could, at times, be traumatized to the point that the person's spirit is trapped by their own mind, actually reliving past trauma and unaware of witnesses in the present moment of time.

We should note, for comparison, that ghosts who are sentient beings and react to people (or with the physical environment) are often dubbed "intelligent" by ghost hunters.

There are other types of ghosts, too. Read 8 Classifications of Ghosts to learn more about them.

Ghosts: Appearance and Behavior

Ghosts have been known to move objects, flip light switches and even cause electrical disturbances. But poltergeists, or "noisy ghosts," are not always ghosts who try to get our attention through the manipulation of physical objects, say some paranormal investigators. Occasionally, poltergeist activity is thought to be caused by an uncommon mental state, causing a psychokinesis effect, manifested through an unsuspecting family member.

Ghosts, spirits, or phantoms are typically depicted as orbs, ectoplasm, apparitions, vortexes, dark shadows, and energy. They have been captured in ghost stories, EVP, ghost videos and ghost pictures. Often, ghosts speak to us through thoughts that many may discount as their own. Many describe the presence of spirit or ghosts as goose bumps. The most common ghosts sightings reported are shadow people. Some ghosts have been said to be highly reactive with the present day environment and bring messages, warnings, harassment, and even protection over people. But in contrast, other ghosts seem very un-attentive, mindless, and just “going about their business;” perhaps “locked” in the past through prior trauma. Ghosts are usually not described as solid matter, but 'transparent' in nature. Yet, it has been reported that some have conversed with seemingly “solid” people who then vanish after what is usually a message. Only later does the person realize they were speaking with a ghost.

Ghosts: Cultural Experiences

Every culture in the world has ghosts in their beliefs, although many disagree as to whether ghosts are real or just figments of the imagination. According to some beliefs, a ghost may be the personality of a person after his or her death, and not directly tied to the soul or spirit. There is much debate on whether ghosts are spirits of deceased people or just spirits or a naturally occurring phenomenon. Yet, interesting ghost sightings of deceased relatives during near death experiences has been shared world-wide.

Most people around the world believe ghosts to be people who have died and cannot enter into rest or peace. In Asia, many believe ghosts to be person who have died and refuse to be reincarnated due to unfinished business here on earth, believing that ghosts can bring revenge on persons who wronged them in their physical life. Even Hindu scriptures tell of ghosts being people who have sinned greatly in this lifetime, and are trapped to roam this physical world in darkness and puzzlement. Most cultures believe ghosts to haunt the places they once inhabited or frequented during their physical existence; especially places where they died…the place of trauma, once again. Usually ghosts that manifest are seen in the clothing they wore in their earthly lifetime.

Ghosts: Ancient Descriptions and Experiences

Some of the earliest writings of ghosts only told of spirits asking to be buried properly, or to bring a message to a loved one. Homer wrote such a story more than 2000 years. The Old Testament of the bible tells of the Witch of Endor bringing up the ghost of the prophet Samuel to speak a message to King Saul:

Then the woman said, "Whom shall I bring up for you?" And he said, "Bring up Samuel for me." When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman spoke to Saul, saying, "Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul!" And the king said to her, "Do not be afraid. What did you see?" And the woman said to Saul, "I saw a spirit ascending out of the earth." So he said to her, "What is his form?" And she said, "An old man is coming up, and he is covered with a mantle." And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground and bowed down. Now Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up.”

Ghosts have also been known to cause troubles beyond what is just the common shock of seeing a deceased person manifest. Some basic troubles encountered, as referenced prior, might be the turning on and off of electrical appliances, mysterious knockings, disembodied voices, invisible touching, sudden drops in temperature, movement of objects, etc. This is just odd behavior - something to garner our attention and let us know we are not alone.

About Ghosts and Negativity

The type of ghosts that cause true problems, though, are 'negative' ghosts or “negative energy,” as some might call them. Nefarious ghosts are simply dark-minded people on the other side of the grave who were most likely negative during their time on earth. They continue to haunt the physical world with their negative energy, usually seeking to be pranksters or downright nasty.

They are not demons, by religious definition, but have been called that for thousands of years.

It is theorized that due to the tremendous amount of energy to manifest a haunting, sudden temperature drops are typically associated with events, possibly due to robbing the area of its energy. Some believe that negative ghosts or entities can leave marks, by hitting, clawing, slapping, their unfortunate victims. Movement of an object to cause harm, as well as the ghost speaking a frightening message to its victims have also been reported by witnesses.