Are ghosts human spirits? Origin and cause

Maybe you have experienced paranormal activity yourself, or perhaps you watched a paranormal show on TV. Now you want to know what ghosts are. Are they deceased connecting from the other side, or what are they?

A ghost is the disembodied soul of a deceased human or animal. Most ghosts look like a white transparent mist. The most common causes of hauntings are strong emotions, unfinished business, sudden death, or injustices.

A ghost is the spirit, image, or presence of the deceased person or animal. Another common term for the phenomenon is apparitionOpens in a new tab. if the ghost is seen with the naked eye in a defined shape with features. So, in short, a spirit is the disembodied essence of a person or animal that once lived here on Earth.

What a ghost is

A ghost is the disembodied soul of a deceased human or animal. Many forget that a ghost can be an animal too. The spirit is returning from the Afterlife for various reasons. A ghost might not be able to pass to the Afterlife due to sudden or violent death. They might not realize they are dead and linger between the two worlds. Some ghosts might not want to leave. They might fear not entering heaven, or they might not want to part with a loved one or precious possession.

There are paranormal entities that don’t drive from the Earthly realm. The most known non-human entities are, for example, aliens, fairies, angels, poltergeists, demons, and shadow people. These kinds of entities are not considered ghosts.

Many are afraid of the ghost phenomenon and try to expel them. In most cases, a ghost is not dangerous or harmful. The ghost might be sad, angry, or confused. But they seldom cause physical harm. People with sensibility or psychic abilities might be more prone to mimic their state of mind.

In Western culture, the religious belief is that you go to heaven or hell after your die. It is not in line with the teachings if you linger between the worlds. A ghost is not adapting to worldly views and therefore might pose a threat to the “world-view.” This might be why ghosts are considered “evil” or “bad.”

In modern spiritualism, the primary belief is that a ghost is a person or animal stuck in transition. The main reasons for the entrapment are unfinished business, violent or sudden deaths, and strong attachment to loved ones or possessions.

Psychic mediums can communicate with a ghost. High-sensitive people and empaths are often able to feel their emotions. That is why you might feel drained without knowing why when you visit haunted spaces.

Frederic W.H Myers, a founder of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) in London, defined a ghost as “a manifestation of persistent personal energy” (Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, p. 190)

[A ghost is] a manifestation of persistent personal energy

Frederic W.H Myers

Even though there is a consensus on what a ghost commonly looks like, there are different views on what ghosts are. This is a summary of a list found in the Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits by Rosemary Ellen Guiley.

Theories about what ghosts are

  • Trapped souls
  • Imprints of energy
  • Intelligent shells
  • Thought-forms
  • Time-slips
  • Alternate realities
  • Forms on the astral plane

The most common theory is that ghosts are trapped souls between Earthly life and Afterlife. Some hauntings seem to be imprints of energy and are called residual hauntings. These are the most common hauntings. Intelligent shells are a mix of residual and intelligent haunting. The intelligent shells act like residual energy but can communicate at times. Some refer to this as a looped haunting.

A thought-form is created by human imagination, fantasy, telekinetics, psychic manifestation, and alike. A time slip is when a vision from another time appears. It might be back or forth in time. Alternate realities are the idea that we have different realities and that a fault in the mesh creates ghost sightings.

A ghost is a soul of a deceased person or animal trapped or stuck between worlds.

Key takeaways

  • A ghost is a disembodied soul of a deceased person or animal
  • Ghost is also called apparitions if they manifest in a defined and detailed form
  • Ghosts seldom pose danger or cause harm to the living
  • Psychic mediums can communicate with ghosts
  • Empaths can feel the emotions of the ghosts
  • Manifest through apparitions, disembodied voices, sounds, or smells

Even if people are uncertain what ghosts are and why some become ghosts and others do not, they have been present throughout history. One thing that makes it hard to “prove” the existence of ghosts is that they do not follow the physics of our Earthly world. You can’t measure them with tools and gadgets – even though you can get hints and clues.

As a psychic and empath, this is my personal belief, and you can agree or disagree. The Divine is something that is hard (or impossible) to measure. The same goes for God, the fallen Angels, the Saints, the Divine, yes, whatever you want to measure from the world of spirit.

Characteristics of a ghost

Ghosts are most commonly manifesting as a white semi-transparent fog. They can be full-body apparitions or partial. Sometimes they have full features, and you can see their clothing – even fine details. Other times they show partial or distorted features. There are cases reported where a ghost has manifested with human mass. This is not common, though.

Ghosts can communicate with disembodied voices or gestures. As mentioned earlier, psychics can receive messages even when not manifesting.

It is not uncommon to hear footsteps, tapping, or notice the movement of smaller objects. In some cases, this can be due to residual hauntings, though. These ghosts are not intelligent but an imprints of energies. A residual haunting act merely as a recording. I have written about this in the article below.

Why ghosts haunt: The most common reasons

Learn more about the causes of hauntings.

Evidence of the existence of ghosts

There is at this time no unchallenged scientific evidence that ghosts exist. There are many findings though, and compelling ones too. As paranormal phenomena do not follow the laws of physics and science, my guess is that it will take some time yet. My theory is that ghosts do not follow the laws of earthly science and physical laws. They are not a part of our world, and therefore quite hard to measure with the tools available to us. But we can get clues and hints.

Rosemary Ellen Guiley wisely stated in her book The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits, that “subjective factors are part of the paranormal picture. Science doesn’t like the subjective, but when it comes to the paranormal, there’s no way around it.” She also states the following, which is in line with my standpoint on the matter: “We have good evidence that our paranormal experiences are influenced, perhaps even caused, by the mix of consciousness with the energy of the place”.

We have good evidence that our paranormal experiences are influenced, perhaps even caused, by the mix of consciousness with the energy of the place

Rosemary ellen guiley

There is research that points to energy fields being present at haunted locations. It is called place energy and consists of geomagnetic and electromagnetic energy that influence the possibility of hauntings. The ghosts take advantage of the place’s energy to manifest.

When I feel a presence, it’s just a feeling of knowing. It is not violent or forceful, I just know. How do you measure that? It’s like measuring a feeling or describing a color. No one can really know how you perceive things. You can call it green, but in reality, you experience it differently. I hope you follow my “logic.”

I’m feeling quite torn about all this as I’m a firm believer in logic and rationality. But when it comes to the paranormal, I have to let it go and accept it for what it is.

Sometimes I feel frustrated that people can’t accept the fact that not everything can be measured with scientific tools. Maybe there is a fear of the unknown that is forcing us to want “proof” and not just rely on our gut feelings and senses.

As mentioned earlier there are many different types of ghosts and hauntings that make things even more complex. Ghost activity can have different characteristics – some more “easily” measured than others.

Not all ghosts manifest alike. There are different types of ghosts with different characteristics.

There are often natural causes for the ghostly phenomena. With that said, there are situations where science and experienced paranormal investigators and parapsychologists can’t rule out ghostly activity. This happens when we can’t find any scientific reasons for a happening or activity.

Ghostly hauntings and their characteristics

A haunting is described as a manifestation of sensory phenomena that can’t be explained by science. Most hauntings derive from ghosts (a spirit of something or someone deceased) but can also be caused by non-human entities (not originating from the Earthly realm). A haunting is often space or place-specific, but demons are known for possessing people and following them along.

When the haunting is caused by a ghost, the spirit is often connected to the place it haunts. It might be that they loved it or treasured it in life. But there are hauntings when we can’t understand why it is happening. My guess is that we are not able to understand the cause, not that it is non.

Maybe a psychic is not trusted by the ghost and therefore gets no answers. In time, with historical research and a medium, the spirit trusts the answers might come.

When you live in a haunted house or in a haunted area you might start to feel the imprint of the energy with time. That is why you might not experience anything at first. Many ask how people can move into a house that is haunted. But the reality is that it might not show any paranormal activity at first.

When the ghost gets to know the new inhabitants they might not want to communicate, or they will. You have to remember, that in intelligent hauntings you are dealing with a human spirit with all its emotions and personality. You can’t force anything to happen, as you can’t make them stop because you want to. You are two in a “relationship.”

In many cases, you find answers when doing historical research. It is amazing how much information is stored in archives that pinpoint what needs to be done to release the ghosts.

Not everyone living or visiting a haunted place or area will experience the phenomena. Some hauntings will show regularly, others more periodically or just occasionally. It is also common that hauntings to occur on specific dates. It is thought that hauntings are more visible for people with psychic abilities of some shape or form.

A haunting often involves footsteps, whisperings, weeping, giggling, tapping, and howling. A haunting might also consist of smells or other sensory manifestations such as touch. If it is a haunting caused by an animal spirit you hear animal sounds.

f you are an empath or high-sensitive person you can feel the emotions of the ghosts. This might show sudden anger, fear, hatred, sadness, or happiness when you enter a room. Sometimes the senses get overwhelmed and you can start to feel nauseous or seasick.

As mentioned earlier in this article, there is evidence pointing toward place energy as a cause of hauntings. With that said it is also common that ghosts manifest after thunder- and solar storms. Sometimes ghosts seem to manifest after strange happenings with electrical gadgets. It can be battery draining, or lamp flickering.

A common onset of paranormal activity is when new residents move into a house. Another common onset is renovations or when things are moved around in the house. The ghost might be nervous and protective of their space. Remember, they are there for a strong reason. It’s not to scare you, it’s because they feel a deep connection to the house or place and are unwilling or incapable of letting go.

Most hauntings are sad in nature, that is why I think it is of great importance to pay the spirit respect and understanding.

miss claudette

Most hauntings are sad in nature, which is why I think it is of great importance to pay the spirit respect and understanding. There are, of course, benign ghosts as well. But these are rare. The benign hauntings can be very challenging for an empath or sensitive person as they easily drain energy levels. There might be curses involved with a haunting as well, but these are not common.

Some ghosts are protective of their space and will act out if you are not treating them with respect. It is as if someone forced themselves into your home. Always remember that you are interacting with a spirit that once was a person, like you.

Key takeaways

  • A manifestation of sensory phenomena that can’t be explained by science
  • The ghost often have a connection to the haunted place
  • As a ghost is of human origin they might be as complex as any other living person
  • Treat them with respect and dignity
  • Common onsets of paranormal activity are renovations and new residents

How to get rid of ghosts

What to do if you share your home with a ghost and want it to leave? I’m somewhat conflicted on this subject. As you are moving into “their” old home, you might not have the right to call all the shots. And this approach might also be why you have an issue with the ghost.

By paying respect and remembering that the ghost is there for a reason. Often a sad one, you have to work on your relationship. Yes! It is a relationship, even if it might be forced upon you. The spirit probably feels the same about you.

The easiest, and often most effective way to ask the ghost to leave you alone is by simply asking them. In a civilized way. Tell them you understand that they are there, but that you feel uncomfortable with their presence. Many times just recognizing them will make the haunting slow down.

If things don’t get better after asking the spirit or ghost to leave you might consider contacting a trusted medium or paranormal investigator for help. It is important to know that you are dealing with a ghost of human or animal origin before moving on to more advanced techniques.

You can also try to clear the house or area with incents. If you are not familiar with this, I recommend you stay away from this as it might cause more problems if done incorrectly.

If you are dealing with a very angry or vicious ghost this might not do the trick. You can in these cases try to release the spirit and make it move onto the Afterworld. This should be done by a professional, as it can cause more harm than good if made incorrectly.

If things really go wreak havoc, an exorcism might be needed. This should also be done by a professional and nothing you try yourself. Contact the clergy for further advice and directions.

Key takeaways

  • Ask the ghost to leave in a compassionate and respectful manner
  • Remember that the ghost was a person just like you are now
  • Sprit releasment
  • Exorcism
  • Cleansing spaces with incents or rituals

Claudette Beaulieu

A certified paranormal investigator, accredited demonologist, and psychic stuck in the Victorian era.

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