Ghosts, Spirits and Hauntings

By | January 19, 2017

What is a ghost, exactly? Do they even exist? Or are they figments of the imagination? Good questions!

I can answer only from my personal experience over the past 30+ years. Someone who has had different experiences than I have, would undoubtedly have different answers and beliefs regarding the spirit realm.

I grew up in a haunted house. A very haunted house. From an early age, I knew that there was more to this world than what we can see with our physical eyes. Click here to read more about my experiences.

To understand how “ghosts” are created, let’s first examine the death process. Most of us identify more with our physical bodies than with our spirits.

The “you” that walks around everyday, the “you” that goes to work and comes home, the “you” that runs errands and plays tennis, is not the real “YOU”. Your body is simply a shell. You are attached to it now because you are “in” it.

Once your spirit leaves your physical body, you see that it was just a vehicle you used to get around while you were here on earth. It holds no more importance to you than an older car that you are ready to trade in for a newer model. You may have some emotional fondness for it, but that’s it.

The real “YOU” is the part of you that thinks, that loves, laughs, feels hope and joy, and has faith that there is a God. This “you” is your soul, your essence, the part of you that observes the world while living in it.

We are all spiritual beings FIRST, physical beings second. When your spirit leaves your body, your consciousness does not “die”, nor does your personality change.

You are still “YOU” – but better! You may become aware that you have no pain. You feel light and buoyant. This is because the spirit body cannot be damaged. Whatever ills your physical body suffered, your spirit body will not share them. You will be whole and beautiful and filled with light. (do some reading on Near Death Experiences, they give a great idea of what the death experience is like for the many thousands of people who have experienced it)

Okay, so there you are, standing outside of your body, wondering what just happened.

At this point a Spiritual Guide may appear to help you to the other side, or perhaps you see a speck of Light in the distance, and begin to move toward it naturally.

This is the defining moment where “ghosts” are created.

What if the person that just died did some really terrible things in their lifetime, and they just know that God is going to send them to Hell forever. How likely are they to want to see God? Not very! So they move away from the Light.

Or maybe they don’t know what that Light is, so they are naturally afraid of it. This is common for Athiests, because they expect their consciousness to just “blink out” when they die. When that doesn’t happen, they can become confused and may not realize that they can move on.

Sometimes, if a person dies in a very sudden, unexpected way, they might have no idea that they are “dead.” They find themselves standing at the scene of the accident, wondering what happened.

Sometimes people do realize they have died, but they don’t want to move into the Light right away, because they want to be assured that their loved ones will be okay without them. They may stay around for a few days, even attending their own funeral, and try to comfort their family. This happens a lot more than you might think! However, these types of spirits often move on shortly afterwards, and do not become ghosts.

Earthbound Spirits

When a spirit gets “stuck” on this earth plane, they are referred to as Earthbound.

However, they are not really “bound” at all. Each of them can choose to move on at any time. Some of them choose not to, as described above. But others are truly lost, and do not know that they are dead.

Spirits of this type usually get attached to a certain place (like the house they lived in at the time of their death) and refuse to leave. If you have the misfortune to move into the house, the spirit will likely not take kindly to you being there!

Remember that they think it is still THEIR house. How would you feel if some strangers suddenly moved into YOUR house? I bet you wouldn’t be too pleased!

Spirits will often try getting your attention by speaking to you, tapping you on the shoulder, or even throwing things. This does not mean that you have an “evil” spirit on your hands. Truly evil spirits are very, very rare. (I will talk more about those momentarily.)

Rather, you have the spirit of an unhappy person on your hands. They feel you are invading their territory, and of course they will try to let you know that they are unhappy about it. Sometimes though, they aren’t even unhappy about you being there, they just try to let you know they are there, period.

They may cause certain physical phenomena to occur (moving objects, voices, apparitions, flashes or trails of light, shadows, footsteps, doors opening and closing, etc). Remember that it can get quite lonely being a ghost. Imagine spending years without anyone knowing you are there. Most people can’t see or hear you. Then one day someone comes along that senses your presence, and you know it. Of course you’d try to let them know that you are really there.

Good Ghost, Bad Ghost

Remember that when you die, your general personality does not change. If you were nice in life, you will be nice in death – and vice versa!

It is very possible to encounter a loving ghost, as well as a mean, nasty one. But again, mean and nasty does not mean “evil.”

Evil spirits are typically not human; they are demonic. As I said above, they are extremely rare, and most people will not encounter them in their lifetimes. What most people refer to as an “evil spirit” is really just an unpleasant, or dark, human spirit.

The difference between dark spirits and evil spirits is this: evil spirits are usually demonic in form, not human. They are evil because they are not “of God.” They were not created by God. They are spiritual manifestations of darkness, destruction, chaos and suffering. They serve only one purpose: to create more darkness in this world.

Dark spirits are typically human, but they are distant from God. They were created by God as Light beings (like all of us), but then transitioned to darkness and they are now separated from God. (Either by choice or circumstance) But they always have the choice to return to the Light.

How can you tell the difference between an evil spirit and a dark spirit? Dark spirits usually feel very cold and “dark” (as in, not good), but they do feel human, and may appear as human if you see them. You may feel frightened of them, or even threatened, like you need to leave the area immediately.

Evil spirits, on the other hand, may be accompanied by a horrible, rancid stench. (not always, but often) They *emanate* evil. You can really feel it, it’s a black, dank, empty feeling that seems to soak right into you. Believe me when I tell you that you wouldn’t easily forget it if you’d ever come face to face with one of these beings (and most of us never will).

It can be difficult to tell the difference between truly evil spirits, and those that are just “dark,” because our fears can be triggered even by dark spirits, making us think that we are dealing with an evil spirit.

Residual Hauntings

Residual hauntings are not really “hauntings” in the usual sense, because there is no spiritual consciousness attached to the ghostly happenings. Buildings and land can absorb emotional life energy from the beings that live there, and when atmospheric conditions are right, those energies can be re-released, causing all sorts of strange phenomena.

You may see apparitions, hear voices, music, or footsteps. But unlike traditional hauntings, there will be no interaction between you and the “ghost”. There is no ghost really, just a series of events “replaying” themselves, much like watching a movie. Often, spiritual cleansings can eliminate this type of haunting, since there is no actual entity causing them.


There is a lot of debate about what Poltergeists really are.

“Poltergeist” comes from the German words, “Poltern” – which means “to rumble”, and “geist” – which means “ghost”.

In other words, a poltergeist is a noisy, troublesome ghost.

My personal opinion is that poltergeists are the manifestation of a living person’s emotional energy. They enjoy causing trouble, scaring people, and generally making our lives miserable! These types of ghosts can be extremely difficult to remove, simply because they are not conscious entities on their own; they are just a collection of strong energy.

Poltergeists tend to draw much of their strength from our emotions. It is very common to have poltergeist activity when you have a child entering (or already in) puberty, or a woman undergoing menopause. These people give off massive amounts of emotional energy, which creates the “entity.”

Likewise, they can feed off of OUR emotional energy. It is highly advisable to remain calm when dealing with a poltergeist. Getting angry or extremely frightened only makes matters worse (easier said than done, I know). I also advise that you do not try to remove a poltergeist yourself unless you are very experienced in spiritual matters.

Parasitic Entities

There are certain spirits that will latch onto the living, and actually drain a person’s life energy. (usually a very gradual process) Like a tick, these spirits thrive at their hosts expense.

There are many types of parasitic entities (sometimes called Spirit Attachments). Some are human, some are not. But all of them are equally dangerous.

So, what happens if a parasitic entity latches onto you? Do you just drop dead because they sucked all of your energy away?

No, not at all. But you may start feeling a lot of symptoms such as extreme fatigue and weakness, dizziness, clouded thoughts, lack of motivation and will, tendencies toward addictive substances/activities, poor sleep, nightmares, etc.

(Note: just because you have some of these symptoms does not automatically mean that you have a parasitic entity. Get checked by a doctor immediately, it could very well be an illness or physical condition that is causing the symptoms.)

Having said that, if a parasitic entity hangs on long enough, draining your energy away, illness will likely result, because the body no longer has the strength to fight it off. In some cases you can remove parasitic entities yourself, but sometimes you may need the help of a qualified spiritual practitioner.

Ghost Hunters

Personally, I do not like the terms “ghost hunter” or “ghost buster” – simply because ghosts are people. Our society tends to view them as some strange, unwanted pest, and I feel that is disrespectful. “Spirit Rescue” is a much more preferable term, in my opinion. However, ghost hunters are typically out to prove the existence of ghosts, not rescue them.

So, what does that mean, “Spirit rescue?” It means helping the spirit to move on into the Light, and not be a “ghost” anymore. The added bonus, of course, is that the live people dealing with the ghost will be free of the fear and discomfort also.

Part of me wants to say that anyone can be a Spirit Rescuer. But at the same time, I feel that is not true. I believe that a person who feels drawn to this type of work will have some abilities as a medium (Mediumship = communicating with Spirits). In order to fully help a spirit move on, there are several factors to consider.

Does the spirit want to move on? If not, why not? They may have issues they want to resolve first. They may be afraid of eternal damnation, and it is the Spirit Rescuer’s job to convince the spirit that that will not happen. Basically, we need to alter that spirit’s perception of God. Not an easy task if they are set in their ways!

They may not even realize they are “dead”, and will need this explained to them. Some may realize they are “dead”, but not realize that they can move on, into the Light. They just don’t see it as an option.

Some may not see the Light, and it will need to be pointed out to them. Often the Spirit Rescuer can call in the spirit’s family members or Angels/Guides to help the process along.

It is not unusual for a Rescuer to need to work with a spirit over time, to help convince them that it would be in their best interests to move along. It’s not usually an instantaneous thing.


What about calling in a Priest to do an exorcism? Well, sometimes it isn’t that simple. In my opinion, exorcisms are usually effective on non-human (demonic) spirits. But not always, at that! Some of these spirits (human and non-human alike) can be incredibly stubborn. It doesn’t usually play out like the movie, “Ghostbusters” — we can’t just pop them into a little box and store them away somewhere. Which brings me to…

Free Will

What many people fail to realize is that these spirits DO have the right to stay exactly where they are. How would you feel if someone came along and told you you had to leave your home or wherever you happened to be? If you refused, they could pick you up and bodily remove you, but we cannot do that with spirits because they don’t have bodies.

These spirits can choose to stay exactly where they are, for as long as they desire, and there isn’t a thing we can do about it. Now, having said that, if we are being terrorized by an entity, that begins to infringe on OUR free will, and we do not have to put up with that.

There are a lot of spiritual protection measures we can perform to protect ourselves and our families.

My strongest advice is: if you are being terrorized by a ghost/spirit in your home and you feel threatened by it, remove yourself from the situation. I know that isn’t an easy thing to do, but really, when it comes right down to it, homes and material possessions can be replaced, people cannot. You and your family are much more important than anything else. I cannot stress that enough.

Once you are safe, consult a qualified spiritual practitioner. They can still work on removing the spirit from your home, even if you are no longer residing there. This type of work can also be done at a distance, they don’t have to physically be at your house, though it does often help.

How Do I Know Who Is Qualified?

Well, that’s a tough question. There are a lot of “ghost hunters” who will charge astronomical fees to come “cleanse” your house. There are also people who will only charge for their travel, and maybe a modest fee for their time.

But how do you know if they are “qualified”? It’s not like you can look them up in the Yellow Pages, and as far as I know, there isn’t a governing agency for spiritual practitioners (nor should there be, probably!).

My best advice is to research, research, research! Ask a lot of questions about their level of experience. Have they had any formal education on spiritual subjects? How long have they been practicing? Do they have any references? Don’t be afraid to check around until you find someone you feel comfortable with.

Use your best judgment, and most importantly, trust your intuition!

In closing, the most important point I hope to get across on this page is that “ghosts” are simply people. There is nothing spooky or mysterious about them. We are all spirits at our core. The only difference between “us” and “ghosts” is that we are still inhabiting human bodies. They are not.

Treat them with respect and compassion. Protect yourself when necessary, but remember that they have feelings and they are only human. They feel fear too. They likely miss their loved ones, like you would in their place. Most of them are lost and simply need some help in finding their way to the “other side”.

It kind of removes the fear when you think about it that way, doesn’t it? 🙂

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