Ghosts and Hauntings

Article Highlight: What Is the Difference Between Demons and Ghosts?

Often, you'll hear people in the paranormal suggest a building with a haunting has a demon instead of a ghost. Many people are hazy over the differences between the two and how to identify each. Keep reading »

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Life beyond death

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

If you believe in ghosts, you're certainly not alone. Millions of people believe that traces of a human being remain after death, and they have done so almost as long as people have been roaming the earth.

Life After Death

Nearly every culture on the planet has developed some concept of life after death. The ancient Egyptians believed the spiritual soul carried on life on another plane, and that people could even take their material possessions with them when they died.

Today, that "take it with you" train of thought has mostly been discarded. Still, many people believe that the deeds you do during this life determine which kind of afterlife you'll have. As the theory goes, you'll be rewarded if you've lived a good life. If you've lived a thoughtless or destructive life, your soul could wind up somewhere unpleasant for the rest of eternity.

Some cultures hold an alternative belief that life is a journey toward true enlightenment, and that people live many lives until their soul reaches perfection. This is the basic premise of reincarnation.

What Is a Spirit?

No matter what your personal beliefs are, there still remains the question of exactly what is a soul. Most people who study the paranormal theorize that a soul is pure spiritual energy that is released when the earthly body dies. That energy is then free to move on or remain as it wills. Spirit orbs are just one example many investigators use to explain how souls or "ghosts" manifest themselves after death, but there are many accounts of full-bodied apparitions to add to the rest of the anecdotal evidence.

Have you experienced a haunting?

Have you ever lived in a haunted house or experienced strange noises in the night? Do you believe in haunted houses and locations? According to a 2005 Gallup poll, 37% of the population believes in such paranormal events. Modern day accounts and stories throughout the years report many thousands of first hand experiences with such phenomenon.

Elements of a Haunting

Hauntings sometimes affect a location such as an old cemetery or historic battleground. More commonly, they affect homes and businesses where people work and live. A haunting is an assortment of seemingly unexplainable events that often appear to be paranormal in nature.

Usually these events are tied to a specific location. A common assumption is that ghosts or spirits cause hauntings, however scientists have yet to prove conclusively that this is the case. The most common elements of a haunting includes:

  • Unexplainable sounds such as footsteps, bangs, scratching, screams, whispering or music
  • Strange smells
  • Lights, orbs, or moving shadows
  • Physical symptoms such as cold areas of a room, headaches, or being "touched" by unseen objects
  • Objects moving such as doors, water taps, light switches or ornaments
  • Animals, such as dogs or cats, reacting to an unseen presence
  • Human or animal figures or apparitions are sometimes seen

A location is considered "haunted" when many of these apparently paranormal events occur often, many people witness them, and they cannot be explained by any natural causes.

What Ghosts Has to Offer

Here in the Ghosts category, you'll find articles about parapsychological research being done in the field to add to what's already known about spirit phenomena. You'll also find stories about famous cases of ghostly appearances, both reportedly real and strictly fictional. You can also share your own ghostly experiences in the comments box on any page. Be sure to visit often to find out what's happening and catch up on the latest paranormal news.

Ghosts and Hauntings