Stan Rice asked the title question, and got me wondering about that myself. We’ve all told scary stories around the old camp fire, dressed as ghosts at Halloween, and laughed at “Ghost Busters”. Many of us believe we have had ghostly encounters of various kinds, close or otherwise. But what exactly IS a ghost? What’s the thinking about that age old question now, in the new millenium?
Well, the quick answer is, nobody know for sure. But reports of hauntings, apparitions, ghosts, and other “supernatural” experiences occur so commonly that many theories have been developed, and these occurrences have even been categorized.
Many religions tell us that we are all spirits, or souls, residing within a physical body. Perhaps the most prevalent theory today is the view that ghosts are the spirits of the dead that, because of some trauma, such as murder or significant loss, are trapped between the earthly plane of existence and the other, the place where souls are thought to go after departing the body. Many paranormalists think that ghosts don’t realize they are dead and simply hang around locations where they died in an untimely fashion, or where they were happiest during life. Psychics and ghost hunters say that these spirits need to understand that there is another place for them now, and when they achieve that realization, they will find “release” from earth.
Countless people through the ages have viewed death as a welcome release. Anne Boleyn, 2nd and ill fated wife of Henry VIII, is quoted as saying:
“O death, rock me asleep, bring me to quiet rest, let pass my weary guiltless ghost out of my careful breast.” Poor Anne.
In future posts, I’ll be writing about other ghost theories and maybe even telling some true stories and events.
Link to parts 2 and 3: