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Some Questions About Ghosts


Justified & Ancient
Nov 23, 2005
Under the highest tree top in Kent
These questions have been bugging me for a while so I’ll ask all you wise folk on here.

Is there a personality type likely to become a ghost?

If ghosts are spirits of the dead, are certain types more likely to become ghosts? Introverts, extroverts certain degrees of autism, mental illness etc.? If ghosts are an imprint of events are events involving certain personality types more likely to be imprinted? There are many people experiencing guilt, loss and a variety of tragedies but not all “make it” as ghosts. Has it anything to do with their personality when alive?

Do ghosts emit light?

Has any work been done on the science of the appearance of ghosts? Black shapes seen fleetingly in daylight may be optical effects but the edges of the retina are more sensitive (albeit not to colour) so are shadow people shadows because they can’t be detected by the middle, colour sensitive areas of the retina. (Averted vision is a technique used in astronomy to view faint objects)

Ghosts seen at night are presumably in many cases emitting light – white, grey or greenish would seem to be a usual perception of a low light object seen at night – but what of blue or red phantoms? If ghosts are emitting light has any work been done on obtaining a spectrum or analysing the light in any way? If they are emitting light what is the energy source?
I don't think ghosts are the spirits of the dead, so don't think any personalities are more or less likely to result in them.

My understanding is that most ghosts appear "normal" - like real people, rather than being white or translucent or something. Whether they emit light is an interesting question as many (but by no means all, or even necessarily a majority) are seen in relative darkness. I think those seen at the edge of sleep are likely to hypnogogic/hypnopompic phenomena.
I think some ghosts are spirits of the dead, and suicides are particularly likely to haunt. The ghost in the haunted house I lived in was that of a murderer/suicide; there was a powerful sense of presence, and I will never forget the sound of crying I heard.
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I don't think ghosts are the spirits of the dead, so don't think any personalities are more or less likely to result in them.

It's all theory, but I don't think ghosts being something other than 'spirits of the dead' precludes their existence or behaviour being caused or influenced by the nature of a once-living person's character.

If, for instance, ghosts turned out to be (somehow) the perceptible residue of a departed psyche, there might be some logic to the idea that the stronger the force of a mind, the more likely an impression is to be left, and the greater the impression, the more likely it is to be perceived by the living.

Similarly, if one were to take ghosts as a form of psychic projection from the mind of the percipient—a mirage formed from impressions and memories—there is some kind of logic that certain characters might be more likely to be assembled and projected: killers and victims for instance—the kind of figures whose extreme experiences cause most people to evoke strong emotions and judgments from others.
I'm agnostic regarding ghosts. However, if we assume the existence of some sort of all-pervasive, neutral, human-blind "Earth Energy" (for want of a better phrase), then might it not be possible that a sufficiently intense event might act as a type of lens, shaping and focusing a portion of said energy into a form perceptible by humans? A form destined to play and replay over the centuries, much as a creaking floorboard in a Tudor house might respond to human footfall for centuries?


maximus otter
Somewhere on this board I've said how a friend of my mum was visited by her soldier son in the night, and he said "I'm alrght Mum!" but in fact he'd just been killed.
I woudn't have said he was a ghost , at that point, just a young man who hadn't had a chance to move on to the spirit world .

Sorry to bring in a Christain reference ( :) ) but on Easter morning, Jesus said to Mary "Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father".
So even Jesus hadn't fully moved on.
Of course, if ghosts are timeslips, or existing in an alternate dimension, as opposed to being spirits of the dead, they could be anything or anyone.
One factor that comes up again and again in accounts from ordinary folk is ghostly (and poltergeist) activity after renovations/alterations to the fabric of a building. This seems to be a release of a memory in the stone tape theory sense that generates sightings of previous inhabitants. In the case of poltergeists, these works somehow allow an 'escape' from the building's past and often to then interact in a malevolent and often physically violent manner.

Then some ghost sightings seem to be of a time-slip nature, especially those Roman soldiers whose legs are below the present day level of the land.

The ghost cat of the old gatehouse lodge seems to be another in that two people knew who had lived in the same old lodge (but not at the same time) both told me it was haunted by a small black cat that they would see enter the kitchen and then disappear.* So, the spirit of a cat that perhaps died in the lodge and hasn't left? Or a stone tap memory of a previous feline inhabitant?

(both had thought it was an intruder but then realised all the doors, windows and the cat flap were locked on occasions it was seen and searches of the small property were in vain)