Ghosts also known as apparitions, phantoms, poltergeists, shades, spectres, spirits, and wraiths are most often believed to be the souls or spirits of those who have passed on, both human and animal. They can, at times, appear to the living and may be able to affect the physical world around them. Descriptions of ghosts vary from person to person with some invisible but still present, to wispy, to seeming to be real-life visions. While there is no scientific consensus that ghosts exist, and the study of ghost hunting has been dubbed a pseudoscience, those who have experienced the presence of a ghost know beyond a doubt that ghosts are real, that they exist, and that they can be both friendly and unfriendly to the living.

Ghosts – A Few Explanations

GhostsBut what are ghosts? There are five theories about what ghosts are and where they come from: that they are the spirits of the dead, that they are beings from another dimension, they are demons trying to trick us or angels trying to protect us, that they are spiritual recordings of events, or that they are powerful projections of our own minds.

Types of Ghosts

There are five basic types of ghosts: intelligent, residual, demonic, demonic possessed, and poltergeists.

Intelligent ghosts are those ghosts that are able to communicate with you in a way you understand. These are most often the ghosts that are thought to be ‘trapped’ between worlds, though some have simply figured out how to move between the ethereal plane and the physical. These ghosts were once people, and like people have personalities. They can be happy or angry, friendly or not. A residual ghost is simply an energy imprint or psychic impression. These can be caused by a singular traumatic event, such as the place someone died, or of the person who left the imprint visiting the place over and over, like the soldier still standing watch over the same place. These aren’t really ghosts, though they can on occasion behave like intelligent ghosts.

Similar to demonic possessed ghosts, poltergeists are feared and disliked, often blamed for violent and destructive paranormal activity. However, a poltergeist doesn’t always lash out violently, and while they are certainly frightening, there is a current theory that poltergeist behavior is actually caused by entirely living being, in particular adolescents. Because of the emotional upheavals teenagers, especially teenage girls, tend to experience during these years it is believed that they are unconsciously activating the telekinetic areas of the brain and using psychokinesis subconsciously as the brain tries to deal with the excess and intense energy.

Demonic ghosts are precisely what they sound like, they are demons. They qualify as ghosts because they are not really visible to the naked eye and yet they are affecting the world around us. Why it is they chose to harass and torment humans is not clearly understood, but demonic ghosts are terrifying.

Demonic possessed ghosts are human entities that have been taken over by a demonic presence. This is very similar to the same possession that can happen to a living person because the basics are the same. It’s not the body that is possessed by the demon, but the soul and both the soul and demon fight for control over the shell or body. Because their ability to manipulate the physical world is augmented by their possession, demonic possessed human entities are very dangerous and difficult to control.

A residual ghost is less of a ghost and more of a memory. These are the most commonly seen or heard ghosts, the stories of the old soldier guarding the window, or the child laughing in the hallway are residual ghosts.

Do they exist?

Despite the stories from all around the world about ghosts, there are those who do not believe that they exist and have their own theories as to why people believe in ghosts. The first theory is that we believe there is another presence with us because the electromagnetic fields in a certain area lead to a change in energy that we subconsciously pick up. The question is, which came first, the ghost or the change? The next suggestion is that we are picking up infrasound that is too low for us to consciously recognize but are still able to feel. Many people subjected to these sorts of sounds report feelings of panic, disorientation, chills and a sense of uneasiness. The more logically minded have ever wondered if it could be that hauntings and sightings of ghosts, which often take place in damp basements and rotting buildings, could be the effects of toxic mold growth or carbon monoxide poisoning. There are also thoughts that the reason ghosts continue to exist in our minds is because someone else told us they saw one and we wanted so badly to believe that we saw the ghosts as well.