Good question! And one we’ve been asked many times over the years. So what are ghosts? Well of course there has never been any real scientific proof of “ghosts”. Paranormal activity does not happen every day and when it does evidence is rarely conclusive. However, there are many theories out there and we will touch on the most widely known ones below.
Spirits of the Dead:
This is the most widely accepted theory, when someone says ghost most people think of a dead person’s spirit, trying to communicate with the living. For some reason this spirit is stuck on the plane between the living and the dead, often thought to be because of some sort of trauma or tragedy that happened at the time of death. There are two types of hauntings that are believed to be the result of a spirit:
1) The first is known as a residual haunting, which is where these spirits manifest as a recording, usually replaying the same scene over and over. For example, a woman walking through a wall where there was once a door, or ghostly music playing with no source. These spirits do not interact with the living and appear to be completely unaware of anything outside of their time.
to the the brink when a mutual loved one is stripped of her life.
2) Intelligent hauntings are really the opposite of residual. These spirits are aware of their surroundings and try to reach out and communicate. There are many different ways that Paranormal Investigators try to communicate with these spirits such as EVP, Automatic writing and the Ouija board. Under intelligent hauntings we can have some not so friendly spirits, such as poltergeists and demons, which I will go into more depth in a further post I think. These entities definitely deserve their own piece!
Another interesting theory is that ghosts are not dead people but people that are very much alive, but just in another dimension, in another time and place. Physicists theorize that the universe is full of many dimensions besides our own. With this in mind, it could be possible that these dimensions can cross over, making it possible to get a glimpse of the other side.
Which raises an interesting question, if we can see them can they see us? In another dimension another paranormal investigator could be writing a post on glimpsing us across the universe! Makes you think doesn’t it? This could also explain other paranormal phenomenon such as astral travel, big foot, the moth man, and lucid dreaming to name just a few.
The Power of the Subconscious Mind:
Of course there is always the possibility that ghosts are just a part of human’s very active imagination. This is the simplest explanation and quite comforting to a lot of people, to just dismiss the idea altogether. Less comforting though is thinking that what you are seeing in front of you is in your head, maybe highlighting a potential psychological issue.
Although ghosts can be in your head without hallucinating them, we are skimming the surface of the secrets of our brains, maybe our subconscious actually projects these entities into the real world. Or even a collection conscious is shared by the entire human race, imagine what all of us together could project into the world! I don’t know about you reader but this theory does not make me feel better, would you feel more comforted knowing the ghost you just saw walk through the wall was a projection of your other half’s subconscious?
The Playback Theory:
This theory is very similar to residual hauntings but minus the spirit! This theory depicts that the apparitions, sounds and sensations we can experience and class as paranormal activity is actually a playback of a past event that has somehow recorded into the environment. I remember how I was first introduced to this theory, a friend of mine pointed out why pubs, hotels, prisons and battlefields are very popular for paranormal activity, well a lot of people with strong emotions going through one place could possibly have these strong emotions soaked up somehow by the environment.
His example is of all of the pubs in Wiltshire that are made of limestone, a quartz heavy rock, and that it’s scientifically proven that quartz can take in and send out energy so maybe this is what is happening. The quartz or a different environment accepts the energy and when it’s quiet in these places, usually at night, this energy is released in the form of EVP’s and apparitions.
So what is WPI’s view? Well we don’t have one! We are completely neutral in our investigating. Until we see substantial evidence to support one theory or another then we cannot have a stance. Maybe all four theories are correct and paranormal activity has different sources, who knows? Maybe in our investigating we will get enough evidence to support one theory or another but until that happens we sit firmly on the bench.
What do you think readers? Do you have a theory that we have not discussed? Let us know in the comments below.
~W.P.I – Truth is both a passion and a science~