What is a Ghost & Do They Really Exist?

Written by Christy Selfridge

The night is late and Amanda is tired.  She quickly goes through her house and turns off the lights one by one as she makes her way down the hall to her bedroom.  As she switches off the last lamp in the living room, darkness floods into the room.  She takes a couple of steps away from the lamp when it suddenly comes on again by itself.  She can feel goose bumps crawling up on the back of her neck and eyes piercing right through her as she reaches for the small Bible in her pocket.  She decides to ignore the light as if it was still off as she makes her way to her bedroom.  She finds that her pace gets a little faster with each step.  When she reaches her room she quickly turns on her light and then slams her door shut.  She runs for her bed and puts her back up against her headboard and pulls the covers up around her body.  She doesn’t quite know what’s going on, but whatever it is, she knows she doesn’t like it.

 For just a few quick seconds, she entertains the thought that it could be a ghost but then tries to put it out of her mind.  She doesn’t believe in ghosts, or at least she never used to until she moved into the old house.  She thought back to the first time that she saw it as she drove by and saw the “for sale” sign in the yard.  The old Victorian style home was small but delicate and something that she had always dreamed of.  She had even spent quite a bit of her savings into restoring the old home, adding the improvements that she thought would bring a nice touch, but now she was not so sure she had made the right choice by buying the old house.

 She lived in the home alone and started noticing strange things taking place about a week after she had moved in.  Her lights would flicker or come off and on by themselves; she would hear disembodied voices, see shadows, and feel someone watching her, or have an occasional touch on her face or shoulder.  She didn’t know what to do about it as ghosts didn’t exist or did they?  Was she going crazy?

She sat there for a few moments in silence, trying to shake the uneasy feeling that she had.  She needed some rest that was all.  She had been working too hard lately and just needed to slow down a bit.  She placed her Bible back on her nightstand and switched off her bedside lamp.  She stared out into the darkness of the room hoping that nothing would find her.  She closed her eyes and before she knew it, she fell fast asleep.

She awoke a couple of hours later to someone tapping on her bedroom door.  She said straight up in bed and in silence, watched as her bedroom door slowly opened on its own and a strange man walked through the door and up to the foot of her bed.  He stood there and just stared at her, not saying a word.  She was so frightened that she opened her mouth to scream but nothing would come out.  She grabbed her pillow and covered her face, too afraid to look again at the ghostly figure.  Too afraid because she knew if she did, she’d find him standing right beside her.  She mustered up her courage and peaked out from her pillow expecting to find the man but instead found no sign of him!  If that night had convinced her anything at all, it convinced her that ghosts are real and do exist.

        Have you ever had an experience like Amanda?  Perhaps you believe in ghosts or perhaps you don’t.  Most people in general struggle with the thought that life ends after they die. A lot of people want to believe that after we die, our existence does not stop, but continues on. Most people believe the soul is a never ending life force or energy, so if this is true, and the soul does truly exist, where exactly does it go once it leaves the physical body?  Does this disembodied soul really turn into a ghost?  If so, where do they go?  Do they really exist on another plane of existence?  If so, why are they here and what do they want?  You might wrestle with these questions, but don’t worry, you’re not alone!  To find answers to these questions has been a common goal among paranormal investigators for a very long time.  We hope that through our investigations and research that we can find clues that will help answer these questions.  Ultimately in the end, ghosts and the afterlife indeed raise many curiosities, including the age old question of, “Is there truly life after death” which continues to baffle mankind for centuries and still to this day, remains a mystery.

         Modern Christianity teaches that there is a Heaven and a Hell and those who do not uphold good morals and accept God/Jesus as their savior, have a fiery hell that awaits them when they die. Others believe that the present life we are living on Earth is hell, while others believe we are all destined to a resting place of peace & happiness no matter what. Then again, other people simply believe that when our physical body dies, life simply stops and so does our existence.  Many different religions lead each individual to believe different or similar theories about the “other side” and what really happens to us when we leave our physical bodies.  While there is not a lot of proof that the other side exists, we are given clues and bits of information from time to time which can help each of us decide what “theory” or “belief” system we really choose to accept. 

 Many people throughout the world have reported seeing apparitions, more commonly known as “ghosts” or hearing disembodied voices or claim to see things move on their own, etc.  Is all of this proof that ghosts exist?  To those of us who have experienced any of the strange phenomenons, chances are, it’s strengthened our belief system to agree that ghosts do exist.  To the hard core skeptics or to modern day scientists however, there will never be enough proof to say that ghosts exist!

 Medical scientists have conducted studies on the physical body and the possible existence of a soul.  During these studies; they have discovered interesting facts that have lead up to a theory on death and the soul’s existence. Their studies have involved different people right about the time of their death. These scientists would weigh their subject’s right before they died and then weight them again just seconds after death. While this may sound a bit morbid, it has enabled scientist to find a slight difference in weight right after the body dies. Could this possibly be from the absence of the soul away from the physical body? This was a theory they presented as a result of their studies.

    Although most paranormal researchers do not necessarily have a degree which defines us as a scientist, we are all still interested none the less in the studies of the soul and the existence of life after death. Throughout the years, many paranormal researchers have taken a step forward to test theories about the existence of ghosts and have developed intriguing methods of study, coming up with some interesting evidence that helps back our theories that ghosts are real.

 Most paranormal researchers & investigators know that modern science doesn’t accept our evidence as proof that ghosts exist. In fact, the closest form of recognizing any evidence that ghosts exist is through EVP, electronic voice phenomenon or “voices of the dead”. It is through this phenomenon of recorded voices that scientists have acknowledge a possibility that a supernatural realm is possible, but the recordings presented are not enough “evidence” to say for sure.   For those of us who research the paranormal and record our own “evidence,” we can say that we definitely believe that there is another existence for us after we die, a place where our soul goes after it leaves the physical body, an existence known simply as a “ghost.”

 So what really is a ghost? by New Webster’s Dictionary it is:

Ghost:  The soul of man, a disembodied spirit; apparition, shadow
Ghostly:  Relating to the soul; spiritual; not carnal or secular; pertaining to apparitions.

          From our studies, and contrary to some people’s beliefs, ghosts were once human and in physical form living their lives like all of us, until their passing into death. When the physical body dies, the soul continues on and if these people don’t cross over, they remain Earthbound and become what we commonly refer to as ghosts.

    Ghosts in general are just like regular people, each having different personalities, etc. The only difference is that they have no physical body. They usually keep the same personality traits in their thoughts, needs, wants, etc. The reasons they stay Earthbound can vary with each individual ghost.  In our time or researching & investigating the paranormal, we have learned that ghosts do not always choose to go around harming & scaring people as Hollywood depicts in the movies that they produce. Hollywood has produced this type of stereotype for ghosts for so many years, that it has edged a precognitive notion deep into our subconscious minds causing many people to prejudge the supernatural world without first having all the facts involved.