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What Are Ghosts Really? 5 Paranormal Theories

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With interests in science and nature, the author explores topics from a unique and sometimes controversial perspective.

What are ghosts, and do they really exist in our world?

What are ghosts, and do they really exist in our world?

Ghost stories and tales of human spirits who return after death have been part of human culture for thousands of years. No doubt, even ancient humans had tales of ancestors returned from the grave in shocking and terrifying ways.

Back then, as today, some people likely dismissed those tales as the products of overactive imaginations or outright lies. That’s probably true in many cases, but with thousands of reported sightings, we eventually have to ask ourselves if there is more to this phenomenon.

Is it possible that ghosts are real?

I like to think of the paranormal as science we just don’t understand yet. When we look back at many of the discoveries throughout human history, it is interesting to note that many of them were considered impossible or outlandish just a few years before they were proven. In a couple of decades, will science be able to prove the existence of ghosts?

Or, are ghosts entities of the spiritual realm, the inhabitants of a world that can’t be measured or quantified with science or math? Are they part of the fabric of another universe we will never understand?

There is plenty of evidence of ghosts and the paranormal to suggest something is going on that defies our understanding of the known universe. This article attempts to present some theories about ghosts, and why they are so mysterious. In the end, we attempt to answer the question: What are ghosts, really?

Here are five common theories held by paranormal researchers.

1. Ghost Are the Spirits of Dead People

It is a widely-held belief supported by many major religions: When we die, our spirit continues on. However, not all religions agree on what that spirit does after death.

In most Christian faiths, the spirit heads off to Heaven or Hell and doesn't stick around to bother the living. Still, despite the Judeo-Christian influence in much of Western culture, many of us cling to the idea that human spirits walk the earth.

Maybe this is a coping mechanism of sorts, perhaps born of our need to hold on to our relatives after they are gone.

On the other hand, witnessing a spirit you did not know in the living world is hardly comforting. There are countless eyewitness stories of human spirits haunting houses, and they aren't all there to make us feel better.

But how is this possible? While we really don't know what happens to us when we die, some people theorize that basic physics plays a part.

The Law of Conservation of Energy says energy can't be created or destroyed but can only change form. So, what happens to our energy after we're dead? Is it converted to another form? Believers say this is proof enough that spirits live on.

Is it possible we can end up stuck in this world, wandering around forever after death? Perhaps it would be because we are afraid to move on, or maybe because something is preventing us. Even worse, what if there is simply no place to go after death, and we are all meant to reside on this earth in spiritual form until the end of time?

2. Apparitions Are Interdimensional Beings

Perhaps ghosts aren’t the spirits of dead people as many of us are prone to believe. Maybe they are interdimensional beings, people, or entities who are living in another time and place. It's a wild theory, but not totally unsupported by science.

The concept of a multiverse is contemplated by many theoretical physicists. This idea says there are many universes besides our own, all humming along in parallel with ours. In some other universe, the Beatles may all be alive and still together, the Cleveland Browns may be Super Bowl Champions four years running, and you may be a rich and famous moon-rock baron.

Other physicists theorize there may be many different dimensions besides ours, as well as many different timelines.

Of course, it’s all theory, but what if those timelines or dimensions get crossed up and we catch a glimpse of the other side? Perhaps ghost sightings occur when the fabric of these many universes or dimensions gets twisted up temporarily.

So this begs the question: If other beings are accidentally crossing into our dimension, do we ever cross into theirs? Maybe occurrences such as astral projection and lucid dreaming can be linked to short trips into separate but similar dimensions.

2. Ghosts Are Angels and Demons

There's another school of thought that says there is no such thing as ghosts. This is comforting news until you hear the second part of the theory: Ghosts are actually demons or angels manifesting in a manner understandable to humans.

That's right, that ghost of Grandpa beside your bed at night might actually be a guardian angel looking down on you, making sure you are safe.

Or, those ghosts you see wandering around your house, Grandpa included, could be demons masquerading as human spirits in order to gain your confidence.

Yow! That is not a happy thought! Demons are supposedly particularly fond of portraying little children in order to befriend human children. Hey, if they were nice they wouldn’t be demons.

An offshoot of this idea says that demonic spirits are able to control human apparitions and make them do all kinds of horrific deeds.

For example, a demon may hold human spirits in this world, gain power from them, and prevent them from passing to the next realm--whatever that is.

Of the five theories in this article, I think it’s safe to say that number four here is the least desirable for any homeowner.

4. Ghost Are Recordings of the Past

Another theory says that ghost sightings can be explained by past events somehow recording themselves into the environment. What we recognize as a ghost is really just history playing back. There is no spirit present at all. It is like watching a movie. For paranormal investigators, this is what they would call a residual haunting.

Some investigators speculate that different types of natural geology or geography such as certain rocks or large bodies of water above or below ground may be conducive to residual hauntings.

This idea is reinforced by reports of apparitions who appear to walk straight through walls in places where there were once old doorways. Occasionally, like on battlefields such as Gettysburg, ghosts are reported to be seen going about their business just as though the war was still raging.

It’s a fascinating idea, and it might console people who fear their home is haunted, but this theory falls flat when spirits start talking to and interacting with the living.

Ghosts may be remnants of the past, somehow stamped into the environment.

Ghosts may be remnants of the past, somehow stamped into the environment.

5. Ghost Are Products of the Mind

It's all in your head, man! The simplest explanation for ghosts is that they are purely imagined. It’s nice to wrap the whole phenomenon up in a neat little package like this, and some people just prefer to dismiss the idea altogether. Less comforting is the realization that maybe the ghosts you are seeing aren’t real, but perhaps you have greater psychological issues at hand which are causing you to hallucinate.

But ghosts can be in your head without your being ill, and without a runaway imagination. Perhaps ghosts and ghostly activities are extensions of the subconscious, either yours or someone else’s.

Or, maybe, even of a collective consciousness shared by the entire human race. Science has yet to fully understand the powers of the human mind. Who knows what kinds of crazy things we all might be projecting into the world?

But does this make things any better? Are you more or less comforted to know that the apparition you've been seeing wandering about your home is a projection of a family member's subconsciousness rather than a real ghost? Thank about that one for a few minutes.

Does human energy live on beyond the grave?

Does human energy live on beyond the grave?

Ghosts in Your House

If you have ghosts in your house you have a few choices:

  1. You can get on the phone with Dr. Venkman and bring in some professionals to deal with the problem.
  2. You can pick one or several of the theories above and accept the situation.
  3. You can cower under your bed every night and make plans to sell your home.

Personally, I think number two makes to most sense. However, if you are particularly troubled there is nothing wrong with contacting a local and reputable paranormal investigator and having them come by to check things out.

But which of these five theories is correct? I suppose that’s a matter of opinion, based on an individual’s personal view of the world.

Until science can come up with some answers, the fact is we just don’t know. It seems like paranormal investigation organizations are popping up everywhere now that shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures have become so popular.

Are we at the dawn of a new age of understanding when it comes to the paranormal? It’s an exciting idea, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Your Opinion: What are Ghosts, Really?

Comment on Do Ghosts Really Exist

elizabeth on July 30, 2020:

interdimensional, residual AND projections, I believe they can be any of those 3, depending. It's not either/or, to me.

john mccloskey on April 08, 2020:

Check out a book called Ghost Physics. Its our consciousness that survives death and can go between energy and mater with Higgs/Boson as we remember back as a spirit.

Jennet Humphrey on January 05, 2020:

To my mind, there is no definitive theory which explains all paranormal experiences. I think that in fact each theory has a small grain of truth within its assumptions. What's more, in my opinion these theories might explain each paranormal experience differently depends on our point of view. It's possible that ,for example, if you see a shadowy phantom in your room at night it may be an angelic image of your grandma but it maybe also a kind of residual hunting when your grandma is simply checking on her grandson/granddaughter as she used to do when she was alive or it might not be your grandma at all ... The point is that some paranormal events can be explain by the second theory or the third or the fourth one simultaneously. In conclusion, I believe that there is no one explanation of these situations because they are so complex that all these theories might contribute to our understanding of them. I think that it is advisable, however, to search for more explanations because each of them can make the whole picture clearer.

Jennet Humphrey on January 05, 2020:

'I like to think of the paranormal as science we just don't understand yet.' To my mind, the best summary of the paranormal I've ever read.

Ms. Toya on November 27, 2019:

I don't necessarily believe ghost or spirits are trapped here on earth. Any less or more than us thinking we are just gone after death or lost energy or even a imprint of pass events. Our minds are powerful,we can make our ourselves believe a lie from the truth when we experiencing this thing called "DENIAL". So if you tell yourself you don't believe anything else than what you were taught from others.that death is the end but yet let's just say you die and your energy finds out after death .."it was a lie I was taught" why wouldn't your very spirit you had and still have handle the truth the same you did in breath? So, I believe some stay some leave and some observe and some regret and alot get angry and most of them all have alot if questions.. the question to a spirit would probably be. "What is next?" well it would be mine. So probably energy of fear of unknown makes the spirit stay in this demention of the unknown they only knew . So, no their not trapped, why not after death we couldn't be able tobmake our minds believe it's still interacting as we are after death of the body. After all we are just energy. Basically, yes I believe there is life after lost of your body. No I don't believe spirits are trapped but I do believe in energy and dementions that us as a human aren't able to wrap our way of life around. Maybe the biggest reason of why we don't know.. and why we are not able to come back and tell all the TRUTH. ALL MINDS ARE NOT CAPABLE OF SUCH TRUTH...

cryptid (author) from USA on November 01, 2019:

@jay - That's actually the first law of thermodynamics. It fails to help us explain the paranormal to a large extent because, as you said, you must first assume the existence of the soul. All of the other biological energy of/in the body is accounted for during the death process.

jay32672 on October 30, 2019:

Residual hauntings may be explained by the theory proposed here, but I prescribe to the theory put forth by Dr. Stephen Hawking, who stated that energy is neither created nor destroyed, it simply changes forms. The human soul is merely energy, and when we die, that energy escapes the body and transforms into something else, however, the energy is still there, and still able to be picked up on by some individuals with the ability to detect it. Most of us aren't even aware of it, but some people can detect it, and that is where ghosts come from.

Gerald Jackson on October 11, 2019:

In my opinion I think a lot of ghost images are being produced by the cosmic web because of the fact it very closely resembles neuron structure in a brain it could mean the cosmic web is remebering someone or is showing you someone form the past of that location it think the cosmic web has been trying to comunicate things and no one getting it.thinking the cosmic web is sentiant.

Fayleen on May 26, 2019:

Ive experienced kettle going on without anyone doing it taps/ flucet in the bathroom going on with out anyone doing it. Footsteps on the floor in the hall. A jar falling of a shelf without a person knocking it of. Doors moving without a person doing it. Clairsentience which as far as i know is clear feeling is the best guide to what kind of spirit it is. Most of the time its the good ones trying to protect. Movies try and convince us other wise but dont let that scare us. Science cant prove the existence of ghosts/ spirits cause its two totally different things one is about proof and fact he other is about belief and intuition. There are ways to prove the existence of the paranormal eg: divination. my belief and intuition tell me it is a spirit world co living with ours. I considered telekineses but my belief in good spirits is stronger.

Harry on April 30, 2019:

I believe that ghost and spirits are all or some of those things you mentioned or mixtures of them..... I'll also include....

Manifestations of Energy, entities created from nature, kinetic energy, the earth, the climate, electromagnetism, energy of life and death in all living things, the savagery of nature etc

Manifestations of Emotions

Manifestations of Energy AND emotions

telekinetic energy breaking away from a human (or multiple human) agent and becoming its own consciousness.

Conjured entities through ritual, will, desire, 'magic', channelling of energy in a collective 'thought form'.

Deities/gods etc - who exist in a different 'realm' - perhaps whole races of non-corporeal or semi-corporeal beings such as 'fairies'

Interdimensional beings - who come 'through space' as apposed to 'outer space'

non-corporeal 'wildlife' who exist on different vibrations and frequencies.

disembodied personalities or detached 'egos' from a human, multiple humans, other energies/a mixture.

replaying of history or 'time slips', projections from different timelines.

Places/things that are so ancient/old they develop some kind or consciousness or 'soul'.

Entities formed of multiple human or human/animal 'souls'.

Spiritual energies from ancient man/ early humanoids why no 'cave men' ghosts? and not so much 'evil' as savage and hostile to modern humans.

Julian Jones on January 26, 2019:

i believe in post - materialist science which teaches that consciousness is non-local and therefore can survive bodily death without being trapped anywhere.

Mr c on January 22, 2019:

My family and I had spiritual encounters spanning over 3 months that I remember to this day. Ever since the experiences which led to us to bring in a priest, involve a medium and then move house, I have tried to understand how something could be both visible and see through, how something which is not made up of any (currently known) physical particle or state (which in theory suggests it can not exist) can also interact with physical objects???

My best theory so far and I've read watched and pondered many, is that there could be unexplored particles such as the Neutrino / ghost particle or dark matter / that could be manipulated or controlled by a supernatural consciousness.

I seen an apparition of a nun, I started screaming, and the Nun done the *shush* gester to me?! - HOW DID SHE SEE ME HEAR ME AND HOW DID SHE KNOW I COULD HEAR HER?

The Nun then hoverd towards me and as I covered my eyes she dropped a ball on my foot!!! I FELT IT !!!! I HEARD IT ROLL UNDER MY DRAWERS!!!

That was my first experience.

When my mum let me stop in her room her door handle went beserk and there was a banging on the door, the whole family heard and witnessed this at the same time.... how on earth did something with allegedly no memory of its life and without a conscious know where the door was, what room we were in, and WHY DIDN'T IT JUST WALK THROUGH THE CLOSED DOOR OR OPEN IT IF IT COULD BANG THE DOOR?

To me all of the experiences only had one thing that remained consistent, and that was the contradictions.

Not solid but yet Visible, visible but no shadow and see through, which suggest photons (light partices) pass right through it... yet to be visible it must reflect light particles for the naked eye to see it, but yet it is not solid.

But it can bang on a solid object.

It had a consciousness and thoughts to be able to see me and hover towards me yet the person was dead so allegedly unable to have a conscious thought, yet there it was cheekily telling me to shush in my own bedroom.

If a ghost has a consciousness and no physical state or mass then it clearly goes without saying that without a doubt there is actually a state of existence that we do not and may never know about, especially if scientists and paraphycholgist insist on basing theories on quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity which can only be applicable to particles and states of existence currently known to man. Scientists need to be looking outside the supernormal box and comprehending that if there is a supernatural box the there may be a whole new box of discoveries to go with it like understanding consciousness or the existence of the soul or a new state of semi-existence.

mount pleasant high school student on October 25, 2018:

neurological residue or astronomical neurons leave the body and takes their desires, ideas, and last motives and with a very basic "programming" they are left behind and decay

Mike Kennedy on October 12, 2018:

Over the years, I've occasionally experienced some unusual incidents that seemed to be of a ghostly nature, and I came to look on them as residual haunting. It involved my late grandparents' home, which had been built in 1920. Numerous times, the sound of footsteps followed the same path from the front door to the kitchen. There were also distinct knocking sounds on the walls when no one else was in the home. But it was the footsteps, always the same pattern, always the same number of steps, that convinced me it is simply a "replaying" of earlier everyday actions. However, at another home, over 20 years ago, a 20-something cousin of mine died in his sleep of a heart attack in his room. A year or so later, his grandma, who owned the home where he passed, hired a painter to paint the room. The painter knew nothing about my cousin passing away in the room; to him, it was simply a job. While the painter worked, a young man came by and started chatting with him as he worked, explaining that he was the grandson of his grandma's and stopped by to visit her. However, the painter told him she had left the home on an errand. The young man made small talk for a few minutes and then said he had to leave, bu said to let his grandma know he came by. Later, when the grandma returned, the painter said her grandson stopped by, but he didn't mention his name. When the painter described him, the grandma was puzzled. She retrieved a photo of her late grandson and showed it to the painter. Yes, he said, that's him. Then she became emotional as she told the painter her grandson passed away over a year ago, and in the room he was painting. The painter got scared, said that the grandson's appearance was normal and he carried on a routine conversation. It freaked the painter out so much that he stopped working, packed up his tools and told the grandma that he couldn't finish the job and would not return. I knew my cousin and he was a very kind, decent guy. In a way, it was very touching that he (his spirit) came by to visit his grandma, but I was also concerned and wondering if he knew that he had died, since he had passed away peacefully in his sleep. I first heard of this incident at a big family gathering shortly after it occurred, and that branch of the family is not the type to be making stories up and they would certainly not joke about loved ones who had passed. We were all shocked and saddened when he died without warning, and at such a young age. Think of it what you will, but it did happen and it can't be explained. The painter had never previously met my cousin nor did he know before hand that my cousin had passed away in that room.

John Poe on September 27, 2018:

I don't think they are interdimensional begins as it sounds. With some quantum physics theories time is seen as a loop and can fall onto itself having two different times occur together but just out of phase with each other with one appearing "ghostly". Also Residual does occur there are several minerals in the earth that can record and replay energy signatures that can be thought of as "ghost".

Anony-mouse on September 14, 2018:

Some people believe that all timelines are happenening atthe sam time. We are aware of some layers of this and we call it the past. Because all things have a set speed of slight vibration (lile particles and stuff) anything thay either speeds up or slows down in vibration, can be seen on difgerent layers of time. This is when people see 'ghosts'.

Ryan Knight on May 25, 2018:

I feel that spirits are most active when no one is around. I also feel like there being hunted by other unseen forces or entities and a lot of investigative teams are leading these forces to trapped spirits unknowingly.

kramit on April 30, 2018:

The dark forces that possibly rule this earth as Non-living entities are a being not to become confused or concerned about. Unless your life was for nothing!

mark on April 30, 2018:

My 3 investigations demonstrated three attributes I was not aware of!

A) Every entity I became aware of was dark (energy?)

B) I was not prepared or teamed up with an experienced investigator

C) And that after the 3rd encounter, this would be MY LAST investigation!

What do I believe? Well they are there...And some can hurt you! I feel that the ones on earth are in hell (their creation) and that this draws the dark forces of non-living beings. I KNOW what I saw, as a trained scientific observer I documented (visually/audio) what I already understood.Driving home after the 3rd investigation summed it all up. A tire I purchased that day blew apart and almost cause a serious accident! I then understood that this field is not a game you can play!

dagreencat on March 20, 2018:

it's a little of all and always depends on the experiencer's outlook. all is subjective and connected

Stingray on March 19, 2018:

My theory: They don’t exist.

Otherwise there would be more evidence.


Beelzebub on February 27, 2018:

Ghosts aren't people trapped, you could say they are Angels, fallen angels. Ghosts are demons who want to use you to commit acts that other wise you aren't willing to commit :)

Amy on January 27, 2018:

Whatever they are, they're REAL. My recently deceased yorkie-poo has "visited" a couple of times a week since he died at T-giving. My other two dogs SEE HIM TOO--which is what convinces me, an all-in science believer, that this is damned real. This whole experience has been life-altering for me. Half of the time I don't know whether to laugh (he was a funny little guy) or hide in sheer terror. But one thing I do know is that I absolutely do not fear death anymore.

Chris on January 26, 2018:

I think they’re all correct. Inter dimensional ghosts, demons, angels, residual hauntings, subconscious projections, spirits, even aliens!

Seeing as I’m not the only one who believes the same, this option should be listed as well.

cryptid (author) from USA on December 29, 2017:

@Anne - Good catch. Thank you. :-)

Anne on December 28, 2017:


3853 on December 22, 2017:

Distracted past echos. Displaced energy. Static. Why they never have feet and clinge to energy sources. A light or an aora.

Robert B Paul on October 22, 2017:

Ghosts and Poltergeists; Angels and Demons: My pseudoscientific theory. Electromagnetic energy field is all around us, in us, through us, through everything and in everything. It is a fluid, almost, and ever changing environment. Our stability/existence/survival throughout human evolution (and animal evoultion) perhaps depended upon or was strengthened in part by establishing a internal mechanism to create a stable electromagnetic force or patterned mobile imprint of ourselves within this force (perhaps through our brain and nervous system as the acting organ/agent). Perhaps, in the case of ghosts, this force or mobile patterned imprint lives on in a full or limited capacity. Poltergeist may be angry ghosts and they may be able to feed on fear energy. Maybe demons are a negative living force or imprint whether they once lived or not. Or more eerily, maybe demons and angels are an organized being that may never have lived but instead evolved within the electromagnetic force. Demons that feed/prey on other forces to maintain there patterned existence or, in the case of angels, perhaps they thrive or maintain their patterned existence from the positive energy they receive from acts of good.

Helena on September 11, 2017:

Why can't multiple theories be plausible simultaneously? I liked the article and found a lot hard to dismiss...and in a universe as vast as ours anything can be possible!

Mick on June 15, 2017:

I think ghosts are those souls who are too bad that they are rejected by both hell and haven. And they somehow became powerful by time

Donna on June 01, 2017:

Crossed timelines from multiple parallel universes.

Madmedusa54 on May 17, 2017:

Ghost are real but they come to me in a ball of light and spoke to me On my iPhone 7 called live pic. I work at night n my daughters phone keep texting me. I came home no one was up a noise hit the wall when i started out the door. What is there is very real I have challenged many paranormal to come out . They are the ones that are full of crap that they really or just there for entertainment. Because if you came to my house you get the Hell scared out of you........

Reece. on May 13, 2017:

Our subconscious minds are actually being put through tests, at the moment America is being tested on with music and the entertainment industry at the moment, notice popular artists are mentioning evil, the devil, demons, and evil acts through songs and movies to see how the populations subconscious minds react, it has been going on for years now, many believe it is secret societies like the "illuminati" that are doings these subconscious mind control tests, read up and investigate for yourself, or even YouTube, google it. This also has something to do with dimensions and paranormal phenomenon

Rissarules on February 22, 2017:

That was really interesting! I hate non believers. Ghosts are like black holes, I mean you have pictures of it, but you don't have experimental information, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

stella on January 18, 2017:

i know that when people die there souls are still alive. so when some people either go up to heaven because they were done with their life. and some peoples souls go back on land just look different because they are not done with their lives.

Kirsten on January 05, 2017:

Ghosts are the spirit energy of humans but I don't think they are trapped on earth. I think, for instance, that cemetery spirits can come back here to earth to visit memorials and whatnot. The Asians practiced ancestor worship and I'm not so sure it's not based on truth. I can tell you that my work can debunk a portion of all theories except that one.

again420 on December 24, 2016:

Here is my theory and I'll try to explain as good as my words will allow.

We are here in this 'dimension' as spirits, humans, energy what have you. My theory postulates that ghosts are nothing more than what we are here. So just as ghosts do things to get our attention, don't we do the same thing? Aren't we scared at times and run? Just as they do when we look back and they are gone? So in a sense, yes we are seeing another side. One of many perhaps as time is not static. Infinite dimensions, infinite opportunities to see what lies on 'the other sides'. A glimpse of what they are doing and they are seeing a glimpse of what we are doing in their 'time' or whatever they call it. Interesting possibilities. This has always been one of my leading favorites.

power tower on October 26, 2016:

very interesting even tough I do not believe in ghosts

anonymous on October 14, 2016:

They are very high forms of energy particles clumped together...

delber on August 07, 2016:

mind boggling stuff!

I have so many thoughts on this subject but no particular "theory ". I do think that our spirt leaves the body after death, then makes the journey "home", perhaps in space, something to do with the planets anyway. I think spirtit's can visit earth perhaps for unfinished business or to communicate with us. I don't think time is relevant in the spirit world so this could explain why some ghosts appear to be from our past....and then.....I believe spirit can then reincarnate. That's about as far as my theorising goes. I have no idea if there is a god or what our spiritual purpose is. I also believe in the tarot :)

paul on August 03, 2016:

Double blind placebo controlled studies by a dr sam neil at ny presb hospital were done due to too many patients reporting near death, out of body experiences in the O.R.'s; they wanted to put the whole idea to hard , scientific scrutiny once and for all-they had witnesses watch while different geometrical block prints were placed on high shelves impossble to be seen, but they were accurately reported by patients 'floating to the o.r. ceiling during surgery,describing how many dr's & nurses were present,the instruments used, and asking why 'those funny shapes 'were on those shelves!!!!

Megan on July 23, 2016:

Ghosts are spiritual beings that have chosen to not move on, or have unfinished work. I personally believe that demons can pretend to be just ghosts, but not ALL ghosts are just demons in disguise. To differentiate the two, you will probably need professional help.

cryptid (author) from USA on July 07, 2016:

Hi John M! Thanks for the kind words. It sounds like you might have a particular sensitivity to the paranormal. If you are an otherwise mentally and physically healthy person it probably isn't cause for concern. If you are worried, there is no harm in talking to a counselor just to sort things out and ease your mind. It is a great gift, but I can see how it could be distressing. Take care of yourself!

John M on July 06, 2016:

Greetings and great article. Nice to find something written with interest and insight, rather than complete speculation and exaggeration.

I've never been able to figure out what is going on. I wish I knew. I know something is there because I've had a different perspective on the world since I was a kid. Hard to put into words, but I see things all the time.

Basically I can see my cat react to something my wife doesn't see, yet I can look where he is looking, and see the little bright ball (to me) that he is looking at, and we both track the same thing as it whisks on off out through the wall, ceiling, whatever.

Sometimes, although rarely, I do see things that have the general shape of a person. I've never been able to hear anything though. Mostly, I just see balls, lines, ovals, and other 'disturbances' in the overall field(?) of the world. It is sort of like a transparent, very faint, blue haze that everything has a slight effect on. Living things have a larger effect, especially people. It would take too much boring space in a post to go on, but I really wish I could put it all into words as well as this author does.

I wish I could find someone else that sees things like this too. If it weren't for my pets and some babies I've been around through the years that I notice looking right at the same things as me - I would write myself off as a loon! :)

Thanks again for a great read.

Tony on June 09, 2016:


My view is that they are not just one thing but a mixture. Let me explain.

Some physics theorists say that when we die our energy or consciousness moves into another energy level, another universe.

The time of transisition varies, some instantaneously and others a lot longer.

It's the energies that linger that we call ghosts, an analogy may be, when we walk into a room and some food has been made previously. Some of the smells disappear quickly while others longer for what seems like ages.

So are they energies...yes

Are they inter dimensional...yes

Are they in our minds....yes as not everyone detect the energies

I enjoy the paranormal and regularly attend investigations it is fun but I have never experienced anything I would say is a ghost.

cryptid (author) from USA on October 30, 2015:

Hi Civilclerk1! I think what you are saying is very interesting. In the few cases I have encountered (what I believed was) paranormal activity one of the most important things to me was trying to figure out what it was and why it was there. I did some historical research and talked to local people trying to figure out what would have caused the activity. I found this very helpful and it seemed like I could pin down the possible suspects. But of course you are right, you can't know for sure.

Do you do any of that in your research and investigations, and do you find it helpful? Or do you feel the that understanding the nature of the haunting doesn't really matter as much as collecting evidence?

Civilclerk1 on October 29, 2015:

From someone that does conduct these investigations and someone who has seen am apparition for the first time, you cannot pinpoint these things as being A, B, C, or D. They can be a mixture of things depending on what you are dealing with. They can be intelligent spirits that can interact with you, residual energy that just plays over and over like a recording and never interacts or acknowledges you, or demonic. Some could be guardian angels as well. Bottom lines this "vote" for one thing above is not inclusive because pinpointing it as this OR that cannot be done.

cryptid (author) from USA on October 27, 2015:

Interesting theories, Nickk! Good luck with your essay. Sounds like you are going to do fine.

nickk haas on October 26, 2015:

I believe ghosts are souls that are in purgatory. They are here to make up and learn from what they did wrong in their past life. This is why they often times relive experiences from their lives in 'residual hauntings'. Demons are also on earth, but that is a comletley different entity. I came here to do research for an essay I an writing about this very topic!!

cryptid (author) from USA on March 04, 2015:

Interesting, Average Joe, particularly about the aliens being humans from the future. I've always thought that was an intriguing idea.

Average Joe on March 03, 2015:

I believe there is something going on that we may not fully understand and could be related to what becomes of us when die. As humans, we struggle to comprehend what it means to die and there is blackness. I truly believe the government knows what is going on, but will not say due to what it could do to religious beliefs of the human population. I also believe that aliens are part of this somehow, not as little green men but humans from sometime in the future.

cryptid (author) from USA on February 21, 2015:

That's an interesting idea, Epicland, and we certainly can't rule it out!

Epicland on February 21, 2015:

I have a different theor. It combines some othets I have read. I thinkthatghosts come from a different world, one parallel to earth and when the earths magnetic field changes, an echo of a person comes through. This does not explain spirits with the ability to possess though.

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on November 26, 2014:

No worries, cryptid. Even among Muslims, some people and families seem to have that higher probability of encountering Jinns/Djinns.

This could depend on one's belief.

I am thinking that I have a higher probability of encountering genuinely loving and caring extra-terrestrials, who will put me to shame as to the persecution I am inflicting on our wildlife as a home sapiens sapiens :-)

cryptid (author) from USA on November 26, 2014:

Thank you Suhail! Very interesting perspective regarding the Islamic POV on the supernatural. Forgive me for not approving the comment as it contained a large amount of text from another website. :-(

cryptid (author) from USA on November 09, 2014:

Deep thoughts, Haplo. I appreciate you sharing them. High strangeness indeed, and I do share your hope that it will all make more sense to it someday.

Haplo on November 08, 2014:

I think that with all that I have seen throughout my life (I'm 41 so not that old I guess) I would venture to say that there is some kind of basic 'pool of energy' that just about anything can reside in and we are just one part of it and we live at the edge of being able to perceive it overall. That's the best way I can put it into words.

An example would be, a native american tribe 'creates' a guardian to protect a sacred site. It is still here centuries later. One of the 'people' that helped create it seems to be here as well. Why? I don't know

There seems to be a large 'spot' of intense energy in the forest near the river that anyone can feel when they walk through it. A positive and light-hearted feeling comes over anyone no matter how 'close-minded' they might think they are and having nno knowledge of it. What is it?

A little girl can be heard giggling around 4 headstones in the back of a field. Is it a spirit? A 'recording'?

A picture is consistently moved from one end of a table to the other each night and 'lined up' with others better. A past OCD person still here? A subconsciously OCD person doing it themselves unknowingly?

It is all 'high strangeness' if you look at it from the walking and talking perspective. I think one day it will become 'oh xyz from the x layer is messing with us again. Go grab the xyz spray. I need some sleep!'

Just some thoughts anyway! :)

cryptid (author) from USA on September 25, 2014:

Well said, Neoptolemus!

Neoptolemus on September 24, 2014:

I believe in a combination of all those theory's. Who is to say that there are not angel's and demons as well as supernatural entities, and portrayals of subconsciousness. I, for one have seen my fair share of supernatural experiences. I live in the surrounding area of Mount Diablo in California; this mountain was a ritualistic sight for the Native Americans. Specifically the Miwok tribes, they have many burial grounds in the surrounding areas so it's safe to say you can see some pretty intense stuff. Though I have never seen a demon thus far to which I'm thankful, I can not for certain say they are not out there. I have very close friends that I consider brothers, that have had demonic experiences so I believe them and I'll keep an open mind. That is the best thing any one person can do is always, always, Always keep an open mind to any and every idea, instance, and event that occurs in your daily life. Who really knows what's out there.?

Deborah Sexton on August 16, 2014:

Ghosts are the spirits of those who have died.

I have communicated with my mom and dad, and my brother for several years. They come to me, I do not call for them

I have had out of body experiences and went among some who have crossed over.

I have seen heard and felt an entity that plagued my sister, but I didn't feel he was a ghost...but of another realm.

Interesting hub

cryptid (author) from USA on August 15, 2014:

Thanks for sharing your story, GhostlyGrey!

GhostlyGrey on August 14, 2014:

I have seen the supernatural possibly my whole life. We realized when I was eleven and was talking to a church member who had died when I was two and couldn't possibly remember him...that I could see ghost. Carl is a very good friend of mine and I regard him as a second grandfather. I speak with him every Sunday and I find great peace doing so. He did pass of normal causes. Spirits are people. They are people who have passed on but choose to stay or need to stay on our realm for an assortment of reasons the spirits I encounter mostly stay due to violent death, family, scared to cross, or even because they simply enjoy staying with us. I have encountered angels and also the worst of demons.

cryptid (author) from USA on December 28, 2013:

Very weird, Mac31. I hope you can get to the bottom of it. Again, I think it wouldn't hurt to find a local group with a good reputation who can help you out.

Mac31 on December 26, 2013:

We'll the other thing is I have some kids books on his shelf and they fell off a few minutes ago. I do have them laying down but I have had them on the shelf for over a month and some how they fell off.

cryptid (author) from USA on December 26, 2013:

Hi Mac31. Sounds like you've got some crazy stuff going on there. Any one thing by itself can be explained away, but put together its tougher to call it all a coincidence. I had a similar situation in a house I lived in as a teenager.

I think it's important to keep things low key when kids are involved. As adults we can get freaked out on our own, but kids rely on us to make sense of it all, even if we can't. He may have an overactive imagination, or it could be something else. Either way, I'm sure you're already doing everything you can to reassure him that things will be okay and he will be fine.

I would go through the strange happenings one by one and see if you can find some reasonable explanations. There are all kinds of reasons houses might creak, doors might open and appliances may go on the fritz. I'd also consider contacting local experts who might be able to visit your home, such as a local paranormal investigation group. They may be able to debunk some of your experiences, or get to the bottom of it if you do have a visitor.

And most of all try to stay cool for the kid, even though it's tough. Hopefully he's just having some vivid nightmares that will go away soon enough.

Good luck. :-)

Mac31 from United States on December 24, 2013:

I have a question........I recently moved into a home, and ever since the first day I have heard some sounds that I think are normal for a house. The home was built in the 70's, but I am not so sure that a home continues to settle after so many years.

At night before we go to sleep I can hear footsteps in my hallway as if my kids are walking to my room and every time I have heard this I get up and check on my kids and they are asleep. My coffee pot has turned on several times on its own as well. I was thinking that my outlet was tripping, but my coffee pot is a Keurig, so there is no way possible for it turn on by itself. I also have a hallway closet that opens on its own from time to time and it happens more at night.

The interesting thing is that my sons room is the only room in the house that gets really cold and this is because we have our central heating unit going on and it seems to make no difference.

The other night my son woke up screaming and crying and he told my wife that there was a man standing by his bed and that the man was mad at him. He was so scared my wife could not control him and even asked my wife to close the door to her room, because the man was standing outside the door! Then last night he woke up with a cough and asked for water and laid back down with no problem. Seconds later he woke up screaming and I got back up to check on him and he was standing in the hallway. His eyes were really big and his face was really white and his body was really stiff like someone scared him.....while we were laying down he said the man was mad at him again!

I really need help! any advice?

Kitty on November 28, 2013:

A mix of all given options.

cryptid (author) from USA on September 16, 2013:

Thanks WiccanSage. I think you're right about more than one answer.

Mackenzie Sage Wright on September 15, 2013:

This is an awesome hub... I actually think there is more than one answer. Sometimes I think they're entities (of either deceased human or some other type of entity) and sometimes 'recordings' as in 'true hauntings'. And of course, sometimes it is in our heads, the mind is so good at tricking us. what an interesting read, voted up!

ghost1seeker on July 19, 2013:

The closest answer to - "Spirits trapped on Earth." I believe they are Spirits who chose to stay on earth. " Great Hub

cryptid (author) from USA on December 03, 2012:

Good point about the placebo effect. Thanks for commenting Dr. Barrie!

Dr. Devyn Barrie on December 03, 2012:

Either residual activity from past or trapped spirits or both. I have also observed some "experiences" are also under the placebo effect from their mind

cryptid (author) from USA on July 16, 2012:

Thanks Dancing Water! I appreciate your kind comment.

Dancing Water on July 16, 2012:

Very cool hub! Insightful and written with humour and panache! I like the way you think, and I like the way you write! I look forward to reading all of your hubs. I happen to be a ghost tour guide, and I agree with what you have deducted from your reason, research, and experience. Many thanks, cryptid!

cryptid (author) from USA on May 21, 2012:

Thanks for offering a great perspecitive, Raevyn. I really appreciate your comment!

Raevyn14 from Tecumseh, Oklahoma on May 21, 2012:

ghosts are only real if you've had an experience. Others that haven't had an experience but still believe, they want an experience to say that they truly believe. Some ghosts are angry and they can throw things at the living but attacking the living the only ones that are capable of doing that are demons, there are ghosts that don't even know that you're there, that's called a residual haunt.

cryptid (author) from USA on May 20, 2012:

librate: I didn't want to get into the religious aspects too deeply, but I think what you are saying has a lot of possibilities. The idea that all ghosts are demons is quite chilling, especially for people who have had expereinces.

Natashalh: That sounds like an interesting house! I'd be curious to read a Hub about it!

Thanks for reading everyone!

Natasha from Hawaii on May 20, 2012:

I'm not saying I believe in ghosts....but a house I used to live in was haunted.

Interesting read - thanks for sharing this hub with us!

librate on May 20, 2012:

The bible backs up the most unpopular theory, which is interesting in itself as by backing up this concept, Satan and his minions are the great deceivers of mankind and here is the perfect example of how simple it is to fool us. On much research over a period of time the one thing that became apparent to me was how many books and stories are published and the extent so many people seeking an explanation will go to but will not turn to the bible for an insight or answer, and yet Angels belong in Gods world, fallen or otherwise. It is a conflicted subject especially for those who have had a first hand experience with this phenomenon.

cryptid (author) from USA on May 19, 2012:

Thanks for your thoughts everyone! Some really great insights here on an elusive topic. The great thing about the paranomal is that pretty much anything is possible!

Anne from United Kingdom on May 19, 2012:

Hi cryptid. Great hub. Interesting and arresting. Like one of your other comments I also like the way you "Theorise" I do believe in ghosts and spirits but wonder how so called experts can give you step by step instructions on what happens when the dead pass on to another plane..How do they know ? No one I know of goes there, stays a week or two, and then comes back with an idiots guide to the other side !!! My own theory is that sometimes ghosts are residual energy left behind, or you have had such a bond with someone on this plane that they hang about in spirit and drop in when you need a bit of help. Anyway voted you up and just about everything else on the tick list.

Jewels from Australia on May 19, 2012:

There is a great book Entity Possession that will shed light on this topic for you. It's a great read with case studies from people who've had them cleared.

Understanding 'ghosts' or 'entities' as fragments helps to fathom the concept of the phenomena. The layer is quite easy to perceive but is widely misunderstood. Additionally people play in this realm and more often than not get effected by them. This is likely because they have picked up a fragment themselves. It's not a playground you want to play in unless you know what you're doing. But this doesn't seem to register with those who use the phenomena for entertainment purposes.

Pavlo Badovskyi from Kyiv, Ukraine on May 19, 2012:

Good hub. None would actually know the truth because they are paranormal, while we are normal :-)

cryptid (author) from USA on May 18, 2012:

Thanks for reading everyone!

HP: I thoroughly agree that everything in the realm of the paranormal must be treated as theoretical. Until science can back it up that's all we've got.

CR: That sounds like an interesting book. I've have to look it up.

Pamela Hutson from Moonlight Maine on May 18, 2012:

I like your list of options. I think there is a hunger for this dimension of life, whatever it is or isn't, and that we might learn some things by approaching it with an open mind. I read a great book about it recently called "Fringe-ology." It's one of the most sensible essays I've read on the topic of the paranormal--not debunking, not 'true believer' but a treatise on how polarizing the issue this way obscures our understand of it. Thumbs up on your hub!

Haunted Places from Virginia on May 18, 2012:

"Theories" - fantastic word. Since there is no scientific proof ghosts exist, how can anyone say for certain what they are. So many teams talk about this type of haunting or that type of ghost when there is no proof to back it up. Terrific hub!

cryptid (author) from USA on May 18, 2012:

Thanks Rock and Emer420. This is obviously a subject that really fascinates me too. So many unexplained things in this world!

Emer420 on May 18, 2012:

This hub is fascinating and very well written and informational. I am very interested in the paranormal and can't get enough of new information and understanding of the topic. :)

John Coviello from New Jersey on May 18, 2012:

That was really interesting! I have always been fascinated by the paranormal and ghosts. You did a great job laying out the options. From what I understand of ghosts, both #1s and #3s inhabit this earth. Some ghosts seem to haunt with some kind of thought behind their actions (#1). While some appear to just repeat the same motions over and over again (#3).

Although I have never seen a ghost myself, I know many people who claimed to have seen ghosts. Some of the stories are quite convincing. Definitely makes me go hmmm when ordinary people tell such specific ghostly tales.