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An Introduction to Ghosts

Ghost on StairsA ghost is an alleged non-corporeal manifestation of a dead person (or, rarely, an animal or a vehicle). 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. Every culture in the world carries stories about ghosts, though they often disagree as to what ghosts are and whether they are just figments of imagination or a part of reality.

In Asian cultures, for example, many people believe in reincarnation. Ghosts are those souls that refused to be "recycled" because they have unfinished business, similar to those in the West. Exorcists can either help a ghost to be driven away or reincarnated.

In Chinese tradition, apart from being reincarnated, a ghost can also become immortal and become a demigod, or it can go to hell and suffer for eternity, or it can die again and become "ghost of ghost". The Chinese also believe that some ghosts, especially those who died of drowning, kill people in order to rob them of their rights to reincarnation.

Ghosts are often depicted of a human size and shape (although some accounts also mention animal ghosts), but typically described as "silvery", "shadowy", "semitransparent", "misty", "human-like", "big", "scary" or "fog-like".

Parapsychologists refer to the "substance" of which ghosts and other spirits are made of as "ectoplasm". Ghosts do not have a physical body like human beings, but only a subtle astral body. Ghosts have been known to interact with the living or just make acknowledgment with a quick glance or eye contact. In other accounts the ghost seems unaware of the presence of living people and appears to be acting out some part of their own life. Sometimes they do not manifest themselves visually but in terms of other phenomena, such as the movements of an object, spontaneous throwing of a light switch, noises, etc., which supposedly have no natural explanation.

Ghosts are known to have relatively no desire to bring harm to anyone. They, however, have been known to disrupt the lives of those that they affect and play pranks and move things about. In other words, they are actually limited in the activities that they are able to carry out in their frame of existence. Non-human forms as well as evil spirits and demons, which have never had a body, have additional powers and have the ability to sway our thoughts and tempt our reasoning.

Ghosts should not be mistaken for spirits. Spirits are capable of continuing a full existence on the other side with their full mental and emotional facilities intact, unlike their counterpart the ghost. When they are detected, it is believed that their appearance might be in the form of ectoplasm mist, as well as a full-bodied apparition. They are permitted to visit on occasion and even communicate a message when they have permission to do so but for the most not they will not be picked up on any ghost detection devices or be photographed by any cameras. Many believe that we have spirits assigned to watch over us, and that might very well be true but you won't normally be detecting them unless they have a special purpose in making there presence known. In other words Spirits (not ghosts) seem to have a finer spirit tissue that is for the most part undetectable.

Some ghost researchers approach the possibility of ghosts from a more scientific standpoint, seeking to find correlations and causal relationships between recordable phenomena and the supposed presence of ghosts. Those who follow this approach most often believe that ghosts are not actual disembodied souls or spirits, but rather they are impressions of psychic energy left behind by a deceased (or in some rare cases, still living) person. They assert that traumatic events (such as a murder or suicide) cause mental energy to be released into the world, where it may be experienced by other people who are sensitive to its presence. This way of thinking classifies ghosts in the same category of preternatural unexplained phenomena as poltergeists/telekinesis, ESP, and telepathy. Theories from this approach often encounter difficulties in explaining ghosts that appear to be sentient, such as those which answer questions or react to specific actions from people present.

Classification of Ghosts

There are several types of ghosts out there in yonder dimensions and it's important to know them for the purpose of advanced knowledge & research.

Orbs are believed to be ghosts in the form of balls of light. They are life forms that travel in groups and are believed to be the human soul or life force of those that once inhabited a physical body here on earth. Psychics claim to talk to them on a regular basis, and ghost hunters encounter them quite frequently. It is said that they are those spirits that have willingly stayed behind because they feel bound to their previous life or previous location for whatever reason. While the majority of us proceed gladly and willingly to the next level of existence after death, a select few choose to stay behind because of a refusal to move on. Apparently the longer they stay behind, the harder it is to find their way to the next level, which is the spirit world.

Ghostly orbs are the most photographed anomalies caught on film by ghost hunters. They can be completely transparent or display themselves in a bright solid form. It is not hard to capture them on film in their circular form. It is theorized that ghosts prefer the form of an Orb (ball of light) because it takes less energy. The consensus is that small orbs take up the least amount of energy and apparitions and other fuller shapes take up the most. In the colder parts of the year, it seems that ghosts tend to find it easier to take on shapes other than orbs. That's when there is the most static electricity in the atmosphere. It is also believed that they are able to draw on our own energy when needed.

Ghost in Woods

The Vortex (or the funnel ghost/seen here?) is a tornado-like mass of air, water, or energy that spins around very fast, creating a vacuum to pull objects into its empty center. It can vary in size and length when moving. They are readily confused with a speeding orb when they slow down and take on this straight and narrow look.

The Ball Lightning
is a slow-moving ball of light that is occasionally seen at ground level during thunderstorms. It is generally believed that ball lightning is a ball of plasma, and some scientists believe that it is similar to the highly luminous plasma disks that are formed when explosives are detonated. The ball can measure 30 centimeters across.

- Initially meaning “noisy ghosts” (from the German poltern "to knock" and geist "spirit"), the term in its modern definition is now associated with physical paranormal activity inside homes such as mysterious noisy disturbances or moving, misplacing of objects. Included in the most common types of poltergeist activities are the rains of stones and other small objects; moving or throwing of objects, including large pieces of furniture; voices, loud noises and shrieks; odors which sources cannot be found. Poltergeists are known to have caused interference in telephones and electronic equipment, and turning lights and appliances on and off. The poltergeist might even become a full bodied or partial bodied apparition. Some poltergeists are said to pinch, bite, hit, and attack the living.

Doppelgangers are ghostly doubles of living people and look very similar to the ghosts of the deceased. In some cases a person will come upon his own doppelganger who is typically engaged in some future activity.

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