Frequently Asked Questions about Ghosts
The Soul of a Deceased Person



 1. What is a ghost?
 2. What do ghosts look like?
 3. How long have ghosts been around?
 4. Why do ghosts remain earthbound?
 5. Can a ghost harm me or my family?
 6. What is a demon?
 7. What is an exorcism?
 8. Are ghosts everywhere?
 9. What causes ghosts to manifest?
10. What is an EVP?
11. What is a disembodied voice?
12. If ghosts are dead, than why do they wear clothes?
13. How can I tell if a ghost is in my home?
14. What is a cold spot?
15. What is a poltergeist?
16. Is there such a thing as phantom smells?
17. What is an angel?
18. How can I hunt for ghosts?
19. Are ghost hunting shows on TV real?

1. What is a ghost?

A ghost is believed to be the soul or spirit of a deceased person or animal. Ghosts may appear to the living in various forms and they may be associated with unexplained noises, speech (disembodied voices and EVPs) or objects being moved. It would appear that a majority of the population does believe in ghosts, especially women. It is important to realize that although the belief in ghosts is widespread, mainstream science does not recognize ghosts and most paranormal events associated with ghosts as fact. 


2. What do ghosts look like?

Reports of what ghosts look like can vary in description.
The following are descriptions of what ghosts may look like:
  • White translucent wispy-like mist (possibly ectoplasm)
  • Black shadow-like figures (often referred to as shadow people)
  • Bright orbs which may vary in colors (orbs are typically off-white and circular)
  • Black and white figures (full body or partial body apparitions have been reported)
  • Full color figures (some reports indicate that ghosts may appear as only one color as well - the most common of these ghosts are often referred to as 'green lady ghosts', 'brown lady ghosts' and 'blue lady ghosts' - full body or partial body apparitions have been reported)

3. How long have ghosts been around?


The belief in manifestations of the spirits of the dead is widespread, dating back to animism or ancestor worship in pre-literate cultures. Certain religious practices—funeral rites, exorcisms, and some practices of spiritualism and ritual magic—are specifically designed to appease the spirits of the dead.

Ghosts are generally described as solitary essences that haunt particular locations, objects, or people they were associated with in life, though stories of phantom armies, ghost trains, phantom ships, and even ghost animals and numbers have also been recounted.



4. Why do ghosts remain earthbound?

It is believed by many, that when the physical body dies, the soul continues and generally this soul would cross-over into another world or dimension. But in some cases, it is believed that ghosts do not cross-over and they remain earthbound.

There are various theories and speculations to why ghosts do not cross-over into the other world. It is believed by many that when a physical person dies, their soul continues and there is a path that they must take to continue on their journey. This path is often described by those who believe to have been involved in a near-death experience as a beautiful glowing white light and it is believed that by entering this white light the soul can continue within the next world and dimension.

The most common theory to why ghosts may remain earthbound is that the spirit who has recently
become deceased may be looking over their loved ones who they left behind, making sure they are coping with life and possibly the recent death. Ghosts in theory are believed to be energy, and emotions are in theory considered to be energy as well. It is believed that love is a very powerful energy in general and this may be a common reason as to why a ghost would choose to remain earthbound.

Another very common theory is that this particular ghost may have possibly committed suicide, was murdered or had an accident which lead to death. In these cases it is believed that the ghost may not wish to continue their path due to various reasons such as guilt, disbelief, anger or revenge. Another theory suggests that this ghost may not continue their path because they wish to explain to their loved ones who are still physically alive, what happened to them.

There are theories that children who become deceased may be confused or scared and stay behind within two dimensions. Many ghost hunters claim that ghosts play practical jokes with them and it is almost as if a child is involved. This theory may explain why.

Another theory is that the soul of the recently deceased person may believe that by entering this light they may go to hell. There has been alleged cases which have dealt with this particular event. In most cases it is believed that this ghost has committed certain activities while they were alive which they may consider to be sins. It has been theorized that these ghosts are basically petrified to go into the white light because they are fearful for what may await them on the other side. 


5. Can a ghost harm me or my family?


While there has been alleged reports of a ghost causing physical harm to people and in a few cases there has been claims of a death brought on from a ghost, there has been no case in history which would indicate that a ghost has caused any real serious injury or harm to any of the living.

There has been some claims that demons (which are believed to be a creature that is within the spirit world but was never physically alive) may be able to cause physical injury or possibly death to a person but this has never been scientifically proven.



6. What is a demon?

It is believed that demons are completely different than ghosts. While ghosts are believed to be the soul of a deceased person, a demon is believed by many to be an entity that was never physically alive. Demons are believed to be a supernatural being and they are sometimes referred to as inhuman entities. They are described as something that is not human and in ordinary usage malevolent.

A demon is considered an "unclean spirit" which may cause demonic possession, to be addressed with an act of exorcism. It is believed that demons have much more power and energy than ghosts. Reports seem to indicate that a demon may be able to physically move large objects while in most accounts a ghost does not appear to possess as much power or energy. In some cases it is believed by certain individuals that some demons are the souls that serve Satan.



7. What is an exorcism?

An exorcism means to bind by oath. This practice is quite ancient and is part of a belief system of many cultures as well as religions. It is believed that demons may be able to physically possess those of the living. An exorcism is usually performed by someone of the church and is the process of evicting a demon from a physical living person.

An exorcism is basically placing the demon on oath which is calling upon something or someone that the oath maker considers sacred, usually God, as a witness to the binding nature of the promise or the truth of the statement of fact. More information about exorcisms can be found at the following article.



8. Are ghosts everywhere?

It is believed by many that ghosts are everywhere among the earth. In most cases, ghosts are generally around areas associated with multiple deaths, murders, suicide, or places associated with an accident which lead to death. These particular areas may be hospitals, prisons, asylums and others places with high amounts of emotions.

Ghosts are considered to be within a different dimension than the physical living which may explain why the physical living do not generally see ghosts. Because something cannot be seen though, does not mean it is not there. For many people, seeing is believing and therefore ghosts are dismissed as fantasy, fiction or an overactive imagination.



9. What causes ghosts to manifest?

There are many theories about why ghosts can be seen by the living.
The following may be reasons why ghosts might appear:
  • A physical person died a traumatic death such as murder, suicide or an accident. They are trying to appear to the living to possibly explain what happened to them. It has also been suggested that these types of deaths have high amounts of emotions which in turn may release higher than normal energy which could be the reason why they are able to manifest easier.
  • The ghost does not know they are dead or may refuse to accept their death and they continue to live within two dimensions or what may be a parallel dimension. There are theories that when a living person dies the spirit of that person is initially within two worlds at once (the 'living world' and the 'spirit world'. This is sometimes referred to as a 'limbo world'). If the ghost does not choose to continue its course or path, it has been speculated that they are 'stuck between two worlds' and this may explain why the living may be able to see or communicate with this ghost.
  • Physical objects such as limestone, quartz, crystals and fresh running water such as springs may hold energy which might be released to help manifest a ghost. In this type of haunting the ghost may be able to communicate with the living and this is called an intelligent haunting.
  • It has also been suggested that limestone, quartz, crystals and fresh running water may be able to 'record events' that took place at one time and replay these events later. This type of ghost is considered to be a residual haunting which means they are not able to communicate with the living. It is believed that they may not even be a ghost but just a recording of a physical person who was once alive or is possibly still alive, and this event is 'played back' when the conditions are right. This type of event usually repeats itself over and over but it may not always appear at the same time. Most people know this theory as being called a residual haunting but it has another name as well called the 'Stone Tape Theory' which was proposed in the 1970s. 
  • Physical objects that were once memorable to the ghost may cause ghosts to manifest as well. Objects such as jewelery, photos, clothing, furniture or any other object that was important to the ghost while it was alive in the physical world may cause a ghost to manifest itself. This type of object is sometimes referred to as a "trigger object". Moving this object to a different location may cause the spirit to dwell within the new location that the object has been placed in. These types of manifestations usually occur around the object itself.
  • There are theories that children generally see ghosts more than adults. The reason why this may occur is that it has been speculated that before we all were physically alive we all were initially within the spirit world first. When we cross from the spirit world over to the physical world we may be able to see within the spirit world easier since this crossing is more 'fresh' and happened more recently. This might explain why children may see ghosts more frequently. It also has been suggested that  children are generally more open to beliefs then that of an adult and because of this they may be able to see spirits easier then an adult would.

10. What is an EVP?

Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) are electronically generated noises that resemble speech, but are not the result of intentional voice recordings or renderings. Common sources of EVP include static, stray radio transmissions, and background noise.

Paranormal explanations for EVP generally assume production of EVP by a communicating intelligence through means other than the typical functioning of communication technologies. Natural explanations for reported instances of EVP tend to dispute this assumption explicitly and provide explanations which do not require novel mechanisms that are not based on recognized scientific phenomena.
 
Recording EVPs has become a technique of those who attempt to contact the souls of dead loved ones or during ghost hunting activities. In addition to deceased spirits, various paranormal investigators say that EVP could be due to psychic echoes from the past, psychokinesis unconsciously produced by living people, and the thoughts of aliens.

According to parapsychologist Konstantin Raudive, who popularized the idea, EVP are typically brief, usually the length of a word or short phrase. More information about EVPs can be found at the following page.



11. What is a disembodied voice?

A disembodied voice is basically considered to be speech (in some cases screams or other noises which appear to sound human) which is heard from a human ear but the source of the noise cannot be located. It is believed that the source of a disembodied voice lacks a body or any physical substance.

A disembodied voice differs from an EVP because this type of voice is heard from the living persons ears while an EVP can only be captured by an electronic recording device.


12. If ghosts are dead, than why do they wear clothes?

It is believed that ghosts appear to us as they want us to see them. A ghost is not a physical entity, in fact it is believed that they are pure energy. It has been speculated that ghosts generally attempt to form a shape which would resemble how they once looked like when they were physically alive. This shape includes their body, clothes and in some cases objects which they may have once used.

Another theory suggests that a ghost may appear to look like another form then what they may have looked like when they were physically alive. Since ghosts are considered to be energy it has been speculated that they may be able to form into any shape that they choose. The reason may be to possibly frighten a living person out of their home or area that a ghost may be occupying.


13. How can I tell if a ghost is in my home?

A haunted house is a house or other building often perceived as being inhabited by disembodied spirits of the deceased who may have been former residents or were familiar with the property. Supernatural activity inside homes is said to be mainly associated with violent or tragic events in the building's past such as murder, accidental death, or suicide.

In some cases there have been reports of new homes being haunted. It is believed that these types of hauntings may not be related to the home but could be related to either the land the home has been built on, possible objects within the home or possibly the person within the home.
The following article may help determine if your home is haunted.

* While ghosts are believed to generally remain in one area, there are reports that certain ghosts may be able to follow people from place to place, although some individuals believe this is quite rare. If this does occur, it has been speculated that the ghost is targeting an individual for some reason or possibly an object. This type of ghost may be considered a poltergeist.

It is also believed that if this does occur than it is possible that it may actually be considered a demon (sometimes referred to as an inhuman entity) and not a ghost since demons appear to attempt to possess the living.



14. What is a cold spot?

In the terminology of ghost hunting, cold spot describes an area of localized coldness or a sudden decrease in ambient temperature that is allegedly connected to paranormal activity.

Ghost hunters may carry thermographic cameras and infrared thermometers (which can only detect surface temperatures, rather than ambient air temperatures) to detect and document the presence of possible cold spots in the ambient air of locations that are reported to be haunted.

However, more expensive infrared thermometers have ports for "K-Type" probes that do measure ambient air temperatures. Ghost hunting organizations advise that the spots be checked from several different angles in order to confirm their existence and features. In some cases it is believed that cold spots may cause one's breath to suddenly become visible in the presence of a ghost due to the extreme temperature change.

Some ghost hunters warn against using cold spots as a paranormal indicator because cold spots can often be explained by natural temperature variances. Skeptics also commonly dismiss them, saying that it is normal for buildings to experience temperature variations.



15. What is a poltergeist?

The word 'Poltergeist' comes from the German language and is translated to be a 'noisy spirit'. A poltergeist is a phenomenon in which disorder occurs without explainable cause, usually indoors and in the presence of people. Such disorder typically includes inanimate objects moving or being thrown about, erratic noises (such as knocking, pounding, or banging), and physical attacks on the living.

Poltergeists have traditionally been described as troublesome spirits or ghosts haunting a particular person, but are often suggested in parapsychology to be caused by spontaneous psychokinesis. More information about poltergeists can be found at the following article.


16. Is there such a thing as phantom smells?

There are theories that ghosts can manifest phantom smells which are believed to be 'false smells'. These are scents that we can distinguish through our senses which are believed to be smells of something real but are not. Science will generally attribute this to a form of a mental disorder causing a hallucination or a tumor, cyst, or some infectious agent housed within the area of your brain where smell is processed. But there has been many cases which would appear to indicate that phantom smells may be a reality.

While many people may argue that sight is the strongest sense, it is believed that smell is actually the strongest of our senses. The sense of smell may have a connection with high emotions since it is tied with memory. High emotions are often attributed to energy and since it is believed that ghosts are energy it would appear that there is a connection.

Theories speculate that these phantom smells can be anything but often are smells of flowers, perfume and other scents that may be personal to the ghost. There has even been reports of cigarette, cigar, and pipe phantom smells within a building that is non-smoking, with all the windows and vents closed and no logical explanation could be provided.

Other theories suggest that angels often emit scents of flowers such as roses and demons emit scents of rotting flesh, sulfur and feces.

It should be noted that scents can be absorbed by certain items such as clothing and wood. Clothing made out of cotton can absorb smells quite easily as well as wood since it is very porous. Under certain conditions these items may emit smells that have been absorbed within the item. These conditions generally occur when a person walks by the item, fans, vents or air conditioning is turned on, as well as anything related to heat.

Nevertheless, although there are logical reasons why some smells have occurred which appear to defy logic, this does not explain the true definition of phantom smells.



17. What is an angel?

To many people, an angel is believed to be a 'messenger of God'. It is believed that angels are basically the exact opposite of what a demon is. People who have claimed to experience an angel often describe that they sense being touched, pushed, or lifted to avert a dangerous situation. In some cases people have also claimed that they have heard a voice in their head to warn them of a possible dangerous situation and this may be attributed to an angel.

Some people have also claimed that angels appear to them as beams of light, a human form with wings, or as a beautiful or radiant human being. An interesting note about angels with wings is that at one time it was believed that the human soul was actually a bird (or other animal).

Although angels and ghosts are considered to be two separate entities it is interesting that birds were once associated with ghosts. Some theories suggest that angels with wings may have actually been a physical person who died and this person (now a ghost) was appointed to be an angel.

Angels are often referred to as being guardian angels which is believed to be an angel that has been assigned to protect a particular person or group.



18. How can I hunt for ghosts?

Ghost hunting is the process of investigating locations that are claimed to be haunted by ghosts. Typically, a ghost hunting team will attempt to collect evidence claimed to be supportive of paranormal activity. Ghost hunters often utilize a variety of electronic equipment, such as the following types:
  • voice recorders (capturing EVPs & disembodied voices)
  • digital cameras (capturing orbs, shadow figures, apparitions and other paranormal phenomena) 
  • video cameras (capturing orbs, shadow figures, apparitions and other paranormal phenomena)
  • computers (generally used to save data feeds of audio and video as well as for enhancing audio and video)
Traditional techniques such as conducting interviews and researching the history of a site are also employed. Some ghost hunters refer to themselves as paranormal investigators. While many groups claim to utilize scientific methods in their search for the paranormal, science can not confirm even to this day, the existence of ghosts. Ghost hunting can be classified as a pseudoscience which is basically a practice that is presented as being scientific but does not adhere to a valid scientific methodology.

* More information about ghost hunting and the equipment used during a paranormal investigation can be found at the following page.

* If you are interested in becoming a paranormal investigator or joining an existing paranormal group you can find more information at the following page.



19. Are ghost hunting shows on TV real?

This can be a difficult question to answer. Popular ghost hunting shows such as 'Ghost Adventures' and 'Ghost Hunters' are considered to be in a category called docudrama or reality television. Both shows are quite popular and it would appear that these two shows are within a battle among each other for dominance.

While many people speculate that these shows are fake, many others believe they are real. It all comes down to a belief system. Be aware that while there is evidence that may suggest ghosts are real, science does not recognize this evidence as proof.

That being said, it would appear that these shows do indicate to a point some proof that ghosts may exist, but there has been many incidents over the years that evidence of the paranormal has been hoaxed when it comes to these subjects.

Ghost Hunters have been in the spotlight for possibly faking paranormal events. The incident that is especially in question was when Grant Wilson's coat was tugged on during the live Halloween event in 2008 at Fort Delaware.

Many people believe it was some sort of prop with a string he tugged on while his hand was in his coat pocket.
In regards to the scrutiny, Grant and Jason defended themselves, stating that they are accused of faking evidence all the time, and maintained that everything in the show is real.

Another TV program named 'Most Haunted' had undeniable proof that certain evidence was hoaxed on the show. The incident that occurred was with a medium named Derek Acorah.

On numerous investigations for the program, Acorah would appear to become possessed by spirits or an evil entity or would appear lost and confused. On one such occasion, Acorah claimed to be possessed by the spirit of a man called Kreed Kafer.

In a later interview the program's parapsychologist, Ciaran O' Keeffe claimed that the character was completely fictional. O' Keeffe claims that he fabricated the "Kreed Kafer" character (an anagram of "Derek faker"), and misfed the information to Acorah who subsequently presented it as fact.

The main reason that evidence is hoaxed is generally related to money. Producers of these shows want as many people watching them as possible. The more people who watch, the more money they will make and the more chance the show will continue for another season.

As explained above, it is a difficult question to answer. The best answer that can be provided is yes in many cases you may be seeing some sort of proof of paranormal on these shows but be aware that evidence can easily be hoaxed.