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Are There More Ghosts From Certain Periods In History?

Tunn11

Justified & Ancient
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I've had a quick search on this but didn't turn up anything but I may be using the wrong terms, so please merge (with my apologies) if this is covered elsewhere.

I've seen posts on ghosts "fading" as they recede into history but I'm not sure I've seen any speculation on certain periods of history producing more ghosts.
The size of the population or numbers involved in a war or similar may impact, but are certain periods more likely to produce ghosts and if so what does that say about ghosts and our perception of them?

For Example, the American Civil War has supposedly produced a lot of ghosts and haunted battlefields. The American War of Independence although older and less bloody, far fewer.

What is the ratio of "civilian" ghosts from say 1850-1900 compared to 1750-1800?

Why are there legends about "Indian burial grounds" but few if any ghosts from sites of battles or even massacres like Sand Creek?

Does our perception of history or even knowledge of it affect what ghosts we see?

Obviously the definition of a ghost impscts on this, but perhaps this also impacts on the definition of a ghost?
 
Perhaps it has something to do with expectation.
A bloody battlefield of a particular period would be expected to have military ghosts of that period. A monastery would be expected to have clerical apparitions. Which is why certain cases of the unexpected ghost, such as the Black Monk haunting a modern-ish semi-detatched, really strike a chord.
However, there might be a problem with identification.
Certain periods of history have easily identified - even cliche - costumes, uniforms etc. A Roman trooper looks, well, Roman; a chainmailed medieval soldier looks as they should. But what if said 'uniform' actually spanned a long period. I don't know for sure but the airforce uniform of the 1930's seems to have remained fairly unchanged up until the 50's or 60's. So seeing a uniformed spook on an airbase used during the last war might indicate it's a ghost from WW2 but considering the high mortality rate, peaking during open warfare but still high during the ante-war period throws this in to doubt.
In short ...
"What is the ratio of "civilian" ghosts from say 1850-1900 compared to 1750-1800?" is difficult to say unless there's some positive identifier between these periods.
 
Good points, a ghost in lorica armour would be a Roman (or a re enactor) but not many Romans wore lorica so someone in a tunic could be from any point in a long time span.

But, for example, why in the US does almost every major battlefield from the American Civil War have ghost stories associated but very few from, the French and Indian Wars, American War of Independence, various battles/massacres of Native Americans, e.g. Wounded Knee, Greasy Grass, have associated stories? Are there any stories about the Alamo? Does the Civil War have more resonance for more people than the others?

In the UK Culloden and Glencoe are said to have "atmospheres" but what about Towton?

I guess what I'm getting at is as @Stormkhan said our expectation. Does our expectation create the ghost or re inforce the haunting or do certain hauntings capture popular imagination and that in some way enhance the phenomenon?

I'd also argue that in general people's knowledge of history now is nowhere as good as it was 30 to 40 years ago and does that affect their perception of what they see or maybe what they actually see?
 
As with other threads about ghosts, without any of us knowing for sure what a ghost actually is, or if several different but similar phenomena are all under the umbrella labelled as "ghosts", it is hard to give a definitive answer.

Might the detonation of nuclear weapons have affected the frequency and clarity of ghost sightings?

Might radio waves, television signals, or wi fi.
X rays machines and MRI scanners too?
 
I'd like to see it (once we have nailed down what it is!) compared with how ghosts are seen in fiction at the same dates. How could we tell if sightings drove fictional portrayal or the other way around?

AFAIK medieval european ghosts are of the time in which they are seen - maybe 50 years earlier if that. The Black Monk trope is very common in England, possibly/probably as part of anti-Catholic sentiment, and a parallel attraction to the mysterious forbidden..
 
Unless you are a clothing historian, a 'woman in a long dress' could be from pretty much any era in history up until the 1930s. Or even a young boy, before he was breeched. How would an onlooker know?
 
The most common in my largish collection of local ghost books seem to be Roman, English Civil War, and Regency onwards to present, plus the ubiquitous undateable phantom monk/phantom lady that seem more to be a "spirit of place" than deceased people. Plus, witnesseses may be wrongly identifying "monks" based on a long robe and hood, which may have been quite common peasant-wear.

Odd though, that the Roman ghosts are the only ones cropping up from antiquity - we don't even tend to get Saxons, Vikings or Normans.
 
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Every time I have some sort of quite minor stress in my life, I dream I'm back teaching, having some sort of problem
e,g. unprepared, have omitted some essential part of the curriculum etc etc.

I believe -well, 90%of me believes, in life after death and progression.
BUT I joke with my daughter that if ever a ghost is seen in Red Class cupboard, it'll be me, stuck forever where I taught.

Perhaps most of me will move on, but a little bit be left behind to fade out gradually.
 
I've been thinking about nuns in wimples.

Anyway, there seem to be a lot of them reported in ghostly sightings - can anyone tell me what the Catholic stand is on spookinatural manifestations (outside those in official dogma) ?
 
In the UK Culloden and Glencoe are said to have "atmospheres" but what about Towton?
A friend of mine from work is married to a woman who is particularly sensitive to ghosts. They went for a wander around Towton, and she said she could hear the ghosts speaking - but they weren't talking in English. She thought that they might have been mercenaries, and indeed there were a few Scots and Flemish mercenaries involved in the Wars of the Roses.

But I suggested that they might just have been talking in Middle English, which would sound largely alien to our ears.
 
I've been thinking about nuns in wimples.

Anyway, there seem to be a lot of them reported in ghostly sightings - can anyone tell me what the Catholic stand is on spookinatural manifestations (outside those in official dogma) ?

Unified Old Catholic:

* there are more things in heaven and earth...

* the dead are dead and at peace.

* people do genuinely (believe) they see things and It is inappropriate to treat people as liars.

* whatever is being seen it isn't "the dead" (see above)

* possible explanations - leaving aside mental disturbance, trickery and weather balloons - include malevolent entities which the Church has procedures for dealing with.

Any help @Bad Bungle ? I can't say anything about other flavours of Catholicism.
 
Thanks Frides, I wasn't poking fun at Catholics unnecessarily. I read an article on visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary and essentially if you see the BVM and you're a Catholic, that could be regarded as a miracle. If you see the BVM and you're not a Catholic, it was suggested you seek psychiatric help. But not saying Mary is/was a ghost.
Monks and nuns feature heavily in ghostly sightings (misinterpretation of hoods and cloaks notwithstanding) and pre-Reformation I assume these to be Catholic. So I was curious as to why so many Catholic spirits would walk the Earth (if that's what the sightings are) and how they would be interpreted by Catholic observers as opposed to other observers - if that makes sense ?
 
Monks and nuns feature heavily in ghostly sightings (misinterpretation of hoods and cloaks notwithstanding)

If we proceed from the assumption that ghosts are "real", I think that modern ideas about mediaeval costume might influence people's attitudes about clothing. Here are some peasants from the Luttrell Psalter (~1330 AD):

7bbcfb03073a35b30b5c1b6b341f1ca1.jpg


luttrell-psalter.jpg


Luttrell_Archer.jpg


Simple garments with hoods or cowls weren't restricted to the clergy; a modern person seeing the adult in Image 1 might mistakenly ID his garb as that of a monk.

maximus otter
 
If we proceed from the assumption that ghosts are "real", I think that modern ideas about mediaeval costume might influence people's attitudes about clothing. Here are some peasants from the Luttrell Psalter (~1330 AD):

7bbcfb03073a35b30b5c1b6b341f1ca1.jpg


luttrell-psalter.jpg


Luttrell_Archer.jpg


Simple garments with hoods or cowls weren't restricted to the clergy; a modern person seeing the adult in Image 1 might mistakenly ID his garb as that of a monk.

maximus otter
Also, wimples weren't restricted to nuns, lots of 'fashionable' women wore wimples in early medieval times and right up until it stopped being 'wanton' for women to show their hair. So people seeing what they may take to be a nun from her garb, might be seeing a medieval figure.
 
Ah.

The first picture is of a couple of metal detectorists.

The second is of playing pig-golf.

Basically you hit the pig with a golf club until it runs into the hole.

(Banned these days as the pigs root up the green and no golf course wants that).

(Plus the pigs soon learned to score a hole in one.)
 
As @Tunn11 mentioned, what is the definition of ghost? Perhaps just the fact that we have a preconceived idea of what constitutes a ghost limits what we recognize.

If ghosts appear in current day garb, would we realize we are seeing a ghost? What if ghosts appear in daylight? Nothing says they don't, but again, would we recognize one outside of our preconceived notions?
 
Ah.

The first picture is of a couple of metal detectorists.

The second is of playing pig-golf.

Basically you hit the pig with a golf club until it runs into the hole.

(Banned these days as the pigs root up the green and no golf course wants that).

(Plus the pigs soon learned to score a hole in one.)
? Did you post to wrong thread? Oops, no. I see you were commenting on max's post :)
 
When I were a lass an' it were all fields round'ere, fictional representations of ghosts were as either figures draped in sheets or Elizabethan/Tudor men and women carrying their own severed heads.
 
When I were a lass an' it were all fields round'ere, fictional representations of ghosts were as either figures draped in sheets or Elizabethan/Tudor men and women carrying their own severed heads.
On YouTube, there does seem to be a large amount of headless horsemen manifestations. Which is peculiar, if ghosts are images of people doing what they did in life, then as far as I am aware, nobody has ever ridden a horse whilst lacking their head.

It's almost overkill (if you pardon the expression). It's a bit, "Look, I'm a GHOST!!!! You can see I'm a ghost because I HAVEN'T GOT A HEAD!!!"
 
I don't understand how the headless horsemen get their horses. Did whatever cost them their head kill the horse at the same time or is there a stock of horses, headless riders for the use of, in the afterlife.
 
I don't understand how the headless horsemen get their horses. Did whatever cost them their head kill the horse at the same time or is there a stock of horses, headless riders for the use of, in the afterlife.
And does the horse count as a ghost? Or just the horseman? Or is the one entity 'a ghost'?
 
If we proceed from the assumption that ghosts are "real", I think that modern ideas about mediaeval costume might influence people's attitudes about clothing. Here are some peasants from the Luttrell Psalter (~1330 AD):

7bbcfb03073a35b30b5c1b6b341f1ca1.jpg


luttrell-psalter.jpg


Luttrell_Archer.jpg


Simple garments with hoods or cowls weren't restricted to the clergy; a modern person seeing the adult in Image 1 might mistakenly ID his garb as that of a monk.

maximus otter
Author @RuthRoperWylde has made this very observation that there are a multitude of ghostly monk encounters from the UK but that was essentially how all folk dressed in pre-industrial times and so not necessarily monks at all
 
And does the horse count as a ghost? Or just the horseman? Or is the one entity 'a ghost'?
But then we still don't know why ice is slippery:

"It’s widely accepted that the reason ice is so slippery is due to a thin film of liquid on its surface. The mystery is why this layer forms at all. For many years, it was thought this was due to external pressure (such as an ice skater moving across it) melting the top of the icy surface.

However, further research suggests that an ice skater would not be able to apply the appropriate amount of pressure to do this, even if their weight was concentrated on one skate. Recent studies suggest that surface ice does not fully transform into liquid water, but instead ends up in a mixed state between ice and water. The mystery of sliding on ice could thus be attributed to the viscous (or slimy) nature of this film. It could be - but it’s by no means a fact."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/zjfpm39

Are we ever destined to understand ghosts...?
 
It might well be that many ghostly figures are basically vague or indistinct and so the brain maps in a figure of the stereotypical hooded monk or nun.
In many cases, perhaps so. But there have been some ghost sightings that have appeared to be solid human beings and some such sightings have had multiple witnesses. Sometimes the arms or legs may be indistinct or absent (especially lower legs) but there are by no means amorphous.

One case that comes to mind was reported to Andy Gilbert (Credible Witness books) by a serving British Police officer who had parked up in a seemingly abandoned farmyard entrance to wait for a stolen car to pass. he then clearly saw a ruddy faced, ginger haired farmer or farm hand wearing a checked shirt come striding towards him and expected to get moaned at for blocking the drive. However this man clearly didn't see the police car and strode straight past and through a stone wall.

There are other cases with multiple witnesses where the seemingly solid 'person' vanishes into thin air, one case that comes to mind was a women in old-fashioned clothing who was seen at the boundary of a school playing field during a sports day and then vanished in front of a group of astonished parents (will have to find the source for this but remember reading it).
 
In many cases, perhaps so. But there have been some ghost sightings that have appeared to be solid human beings and some such sightings have had multiple witnesses. Sometimes the arms or legs may be indistinct or absent (especially lower legs) but there are by no means amorphous.

One case that comes to mind was reported to Andy Gilbert (Credible Witness books) by a serving British Police officer who had parked up in a seemingly abandoned farmyard entrance to wait for a stolen car to pass. he then clearly saw a ruddy faced, ginger haired farmer or farm hand wearing a checked shirt come striding towards him and expected to get moaned at for blocking the drive. However this man clearly didn't see the police car and strode straight past and through a stone wall.

There are other cases with multiple witnesses where the seemingly solid 'person' vanishes into thin air, one case that comes to mind was a women in old-fashioned clothing who was seen at the boundary of a school playing field during a sports day and then vanished in front of a group of astonished parents (will have to find the source for this but remember reading it).
Yep, I've seen a solid-looking one myself, blocking an aisle in a now-long-gone bookshop, thought it was a real person until she disappeared.
 
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One case that comes to mind was reported to Andy Gilbert (Credible Witness books) by a serving British Police officer who had parked up in a seemingly abandoned farmyard entrance to wait for a stolen car to pass. he then clearly saw a ruddy faced, ginger haired farmer or farm hand wearing a checked shirt come striding towards him and expected to get moaned at for blocking the drive. However this man clearly didn't see the police car and strode straight past and through a stone wall.
Way back in the mid-70s, my Dad experienced something similar. He was driving my sister back from a piano lesson. It was dark, but in the headlights he saw a human figure cross the road and go through the wall towards the house (see link below). My sister wasn't looking, so she didn't see it. It's a solid wall and has been there for as long as I can remember.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.4...cCKIjrkzQk-2THT86hug!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?hl=en
 
But I suggested that they might just have been talking in Middle English, which would sound largely alien to our ears.
Take a read of Canterbury Tales in the original middle English, unedited. You might pick out 3 out of 10 words you recognise but if you take the words as phonetic, you might recognise a couple more. But, yeah - it sounds like a really, really thick accent.

I'm afraid I've always doubted the existence of a "Unified Theory" of what a ghost is, considering the wide-range of phenomena claimed.
 
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