All About Ghosts!

Ghosts have always been with us; since the beginning of human kind, we have experienced the unknown, and passed on our stories. This phenomenon has spanned every culture, race, age, and region of the world. So what is a ghost anyway?

Etymology
The dictionary tells us that a ghost is the spirit of a dead person, especially one believed to appear in bodily likeness to living persons or to haunt former habitats. Parapsychologists are in favor of the term ‘apparition’, because it's purportedly more precise. An apparition is considered immaterial, but it can seem real and tangible. There are other uses of the term which refer to angels or demons, or even as a synonym for a living person's immaterial spirit, whether or not they're presenting themselves to others. Other terms include spectre (from Latin spectrum), the Scottish wraith (of obscure origin), Phantom (via French, ultimately from Greek phantasma, compare to fantasy). The synonym spook is a Dutch loanword, akin to Low German ''spôk'' (of uncertain etymology); it entered the English language via the United States in the 19th century. '''Haint''' is a synonym for ghost used in regional English of the southern United States. The term '''poltergeist''' is a German word, literally a "noisy ghost", for a spirit said to manifest itself by invisibly moving and influencing objects. A revenant is a deceased person returning from the dead to haunt the living, either as a disembodied ghost or alternatively as an animated ("undead") corpse. Also related is the concept of a fetch, the visible ghost or spirit of a person yet alive. Apparition is from the Latin word apparere (meaning “to show oneself”); there is Old English 'gást', from a hypothetical Common Germanic '*gaistoz'. It is common to West Germanic, but lacking in North and East Germanic (the equivalent word in Gothic is 'ahma'.)

Kinds of Phenomenon

(1) A Ghost; a person who has died but their aura/soul still remains (as Einstein demonstrated, energy cannot be destroyed; only transformed). A ghost will stay at or near the place of their passing, due to emotional ties or trauma. These entities are people in trouble, seeking to understand their predicament and usually not aware of their passing. People often use term ghost and spirit as synonyms, but the 2 are actually quite different. Ghosts are similar to psychotic humans in the fact that they are incapable of reasoning or taking much action, while spirits are the surviving personality of humans who have passed in a relatively normal fashion. A spirit is able to continue full existence in the next dimension, and can think, reason, feel and act. Ghosts can’t do any of these things; all he can do is repeat his final movements (unfinished business). Basically the only time a ghost can cause us trouble  is when they had a connection to somebody living, or perhaps mistake someone for a person they were connected to; for example we may look or act like their loved one, or perhaps their murderer; either case may cause them to try and interact with us. Ghost manifestations draw on energy of the living, so to penetrate the 3D world. These manifestations can be subjective to those of us who are more aware or sensitive to such things; they may perceive a clear apparition while others experience nothing. Ghosts make themselves known infrequently, and for any number of reasons, night or day.

(2)
Residual Haunting, or Psychic Impressions. This is a ghostly manifestation which seems to only reoccur on anniversaries of events. This is because the anniversary is when the memories of a significant event are strongest; this can create more energy for manifestation. The event does not always have to be big, just significant to the ghost. Think of it like a photograph of an event in time. The ghosts aren’t necessarily absent the rest of the time, just less capable of manifesting. Remember, ghosts are electromagnetic fields too, not just memories imprinted in time and space.


(3)
Spirits. These are people who’ve passed to the next world intact. They are not “trapped” or tied to this world, but may have some emotional interests (such as friends and family) or have other business to be taken care of, and so they linger for some time before moving on.


(4) Astral Projection, or Astral Travel. This is an interpretation of out-of-body experience (OBE). Astral projection or travel denotes the astral body (your spirit) leaving the physical body to travel in the astral plane. This usually occurs during an emergency, (an example, near death experience or things like surgery) and is usually involuntary/not controlled. Skilled persons may be able to do deliberate projections through activities like meditation, but those are quite rare.

What all these kinds of phenomenon have in common is appearance. They are light, are energy. To make themselves seen, they cloak or clothe their etheric bodies in an ectoplasm or teleplasm (albumin substance) they can draw from mediums, or spontaneously from places where strong emotion occurred. However, no matter how real and full the materialization is, it can only be sustained for so long before the ectoplasm has to be returned from whence it came to avoid shock or illness to the spirit.

Signs of Ghosts: Sensory Perceptions
The diversity of experiencing ghostly phenomenon covers nearly all of the human senses; sight, sound, smell, and touch. Visually, ghosts are seen as ethereal or almost mist-like, appear fuzzy, luminous and wispy, loosely resembling the person they once were. Some are only seen as shadows, while others seem to be very solid, with features as sharp as if they are actual people, to the point they are mistaken beyond a doubt as the living; that is until the disappear. Sometimes they are only described as strange lights, orbs, rods, streaks blobs or patches of light. Other times, only the sound or the smell of a ghost is reported. Apparitions seem to materialize at will and disappear just as quickly, but some are known to just softly fade away. They can sometimes appear as animals; whatever form they may be, they can still move through solid objects or walk around them, and be seen as reflections in mirrors; and some can even move objects and touch humans, be it gently or harshly. Feelings of "magnetism" are often reported, as are sensations of goosebumps or that your hair is "standing on end," a common occurrence around fields of high electricity. Temperature fluctuations have become the litmus test for detecting activity, as have vague feelings of the area being "energized" by some unknown process.

Cold and Hot spots
Some ghosts occasionally suck energy in from their locality, creating what is known as "cold spots". If you are feeling overly tired or depressed, wanting to keep your drapes and shades drawn and be in the dark, and you are feeling withdrawn and tired all the time, with no good reason, you may be having your energy being sapped by an attention craving ghost. In the case of hot spots which have no other explanation, a ghost with a lot of energy may be heating up the spot. Some people believe that hot spots are associated with demons, but that is not necessarily so.

Odors
It is said that some ghosts have developed the ability to rearrange the molecules in the local area to correspond with a structure discernible by the olfactory glands. In this way they create smells familiar/significant to them, which we smell.

Electromagnetic Fields
Defying Ohm's law of resistance, ghosts are able to maintain a distinct electromagnetic field in a defined yet apparently homeostatic area of the atmosphere. If you get readings of electricity where there is no reason to be any, then you’ve got a ghost.

Dreams

When one has especially clear or vivid dreams of ghosts or spirits, especially of past loved ones, these aren’t just your typical ordinary dreams; likely, you are not just dreaming of your loved one because they have passed, they are actually visiting you from the other side, via the dream (note this is just one example, the most common I believe). These dreams are usually just as real and meaningful of an encounter as one is when you’re awake. We should pay attention to these dreams for sometimes its in our sleep state, when our consciousness is altered, that our mind is more quiet/still that its easier for spirits to contact us and get noticed. When we’re awake our conscious/rational mind is very noisy and as such it is harder for ghosts to get noticed, and pass on their message.

Conclusion
Do not fear ghosts and spirits, they will not harm you, only your fear can do that. As is the case for us ghost hunters, the only times we do get harmed are the times we provoke or ask for it, and they oblige. It is good to keep in mind the fact, or if nothing else the possibility, that there are other ethereal entities out there as well, other than ghosts and spirits; ones we do and don’t know about. The two most popular examples would be angels and demons; but also remember these tend to show up a lot more rarely. It is also worthy to note that the larger percentage of reported haunted cases likely have logical scientific explanations; be it the house settling, pipes and electrical wires causing ‘anomalies’, pests, rodents, and other living creatures, chemicals, weather, and so forth; all of these things and more can cause people to experience ghostly images, sounds, and feelings. After the explainable variables have been gone through and set aside, we are left with the real unexplained phenomenon, and there is a lot of it.

Believers vs. Skeptics    
There are 3 kinds of people when it comes to the paranormal:


(1) Those who ridicule any idea of life after death. Their will to disbelieve is far stronger than the will to believe; its out of their comfort zone and they don’t want to see anything that will change their minds; they will block it out.
(2) Those who accept proof /evidence of continued existence, through either science or personal experiences, or both. This is the most respectable group because they aren’t blind believers; they question the evidence but have no problem accepting it when its valid.
(3) The third group of people are aware of paranormal existence, and the evidence that supports it, but are still skeptical; they are resistant of fundamental changes of philosophies to their take on life and death. They need proof that is fully verifiable with acceptable explanations for the occurrence.

     In the end, everyone must find their own explanations for paranormal experiences; belief has nothing to do with it. Beliefs are emotional, not rational; belief is uncritical acceptance of something you cannot prove one way or another. But the evidence of ghosts/spirits is so overwhelming, large, and well documented that arguing its existence would be foolish indeed. Its not a matter of speculation in need of further proof; those who look for evidence can find it easily. It is more of a mission to contribute to this knowledge and spread understanding to those who are unclear, frightened and so forth, who have unfortunate attitudes; to support the people and spirits where needed, in understanding; to show  that what we do now in life counts to our existence as a whole. Those who fear this proof of continued existence are short-changing themselves. If you experience things, know you’re a normal human with natural abilities which are not harmful or dangerous, and may even prove to be useful and informative.