Ghosts are the soul of the dead, usually believed to have stayed in the living realm because of their unfulfilled work or wish. We have all heard folklore since ancient times about how ghosts appeared and haunted the living. Cultures across the world believe in the existence of ghosts. Different people have different perceptions of how ghosts may appear, shape up, and behave.
Even though most people personally have never encountered a spirit, a huge population believes and fears these ghastly beings. Today, we talk all about ghosts, their history and origin, popular sightings and stories, and especially discuss if they exist. Stay with us as we take on one of the most controversial questions of all time, are ghosts real? And do they really exist?
History of Ghost Sightings
We are familiar with the stories of ghost sightings from our early childhood days. The belief in ghosts and the supernatural has been around since the existence of the human race. We had heard from people around us about how, where, and when they encountered an unexplained presence. It turns out we’re not alone. Many famous personalities and celebrities have shared their stories on ghost sightings and experiences. And we’re sure you’d love to read them.
Celebrities Share Their Horror Stories
The world’s highest-paid American actress in 2012 has talked about her experience with the weird power. Kristen not only believes in ghosts but also talks to them. She told about the strange presence and energy she sensed around her whenever she was out to unknown and isolated places for shoots. The actress says she is susceptible to spirits and even people at times.
The famous American model has spoken of her otherworldly experience several times. She does not claim to have seen a ghost; however, she has come across some moments that convinced her of a ghostly presence. She once said, “In the house that my mom lives in, Kylie and I heard footsteps on the roof while no one was home.” In addition, Kylie’s shower turning on itself every time in that house added to her belief.
Kate Hudson is another famous American actress and fashion entrepreneur who believes in ghosts and unreal energy. She also claims to see ghosts a number of times. “I saw a ghost of a woman with no face,” she said. She added, she did not always see the dead, but it was the feeling of being around the spirit.
The American actress/ singer claims that she has a ghost in her house. She has come across many pieces of evidence of someone’s presence that assured her it was a ghost. “My coffee maker came on by itself at 1 am”, she said. She added, “I have a motion sensor that lights up in my apartment and I swear it lights up sometimes when there is nothing under it.” These instances have freaked her out multiple times.
The reality TV star Lisa Rinna said she has always believed in supernatural powers and the spirit realm. She said that she felt a strange feeling of spiritual presence in the new house she and her husband moved to. After delivering her first baby, she said, “I felt like my 6-week old baby was talking to someone that wasn’t in my room.”
John Wick‘s superstar Keanu Reeves claims he has seen a ghost as a child. He said he was probably seven years old when he saw a ghost. “There was a doorway in my nanny room and suddenly a jacket came flying, empty jacket without a body and legs,” John said. This incident left his nanny terrified, and thus he believes in the ghost.
The celebrities mentioned above are just a few of the many famous personalities who had the experience of ghost sightings. Some actually believe in having seen a ghost, while others heard a voice and had the sensation of unexplained presence. Moreover, the sightings of ghosts by these people are still difficult to believe due to a lack of convincing proof.
Famous Historical Ghosts
While discussing the existence of ghosts, it makes sense to sketch out the most famous ghosts we have feared for ages. They made our childhood full of terror and thrill. As written in folklore, the ghost is the dead spirit that appears to the living in different forms. There are various tales on the appearance of ghosts and how the ghosts seem to the living. To this day, many of us might have heard of different ghosts stories. Moreover, we have also seen movies based on famous ghosts which are thought to be real. Here are some famous historical ghosts of all time.
Bloody Mary is a ghost legend who haunts our bathrooms. She is a ghost of a lady who once killed all her children. As written in the folklore, Bloody Mary appears to anyone brave enough to chant “Bloody Mary” three times while facing a mirror. Some conditions to be met are, it must be nighttime, the lights must be off, or just a candle should be lit, and you must stare directly at your reflection while chanting the words.
The movie series Candyman features Bloody Mary in a new light. And in Japanese mythologies, the ghost is said to haunt school bathrooms. There are also confessions of people who saw the Bloody Mary. In reply, psychologists say that it is a condition induced by looking at the mirror in a dark room for a long time. Many experts call this a ‘strange face illusion’ or ‘self-hypnosis.’ Upon encounter, one may see the Bloody Mary covered in blood and her apparition screaming, strangling, and sucking out their soul.
The Flying Dutchman
The Flying Dutchman is a legendary non-human ghost ship cursed to sail the ocean forever. It was never able to make it to the port. According to the ocean lore, the Dutch captain refused to take safe harbor during a storm. Instead, he challenged God to stop them from sailing. As a result, the ship and its crew were doomed to sail the ocean for eternity. The last purported sighting of this ghostly ship was in the 20th century. It is said to glow in the ethereal light, and its sighting is considered the sign of doom.
The Bell Witch
The historical ghost ‘bell witch’ is said to have appeared between 1817 and 1821 in John Bell’s Tennessee farm. This legendary ghost was mostly invisible and capable of crossing long distances in a fraction of a second. This ghost tormented the Bell’s family and the locals. As said in legend, this ghost made terrifying sounds and was able to shapeshift. The Bell Witch tale is accounted as the true story in various books of records. However, there is very little evidence to prove its existence. Hence it is considered no more than a ghost story.
Casper the Friendly Ghost
As the name suggests, Casper is a friendly, pleasant ghost. Unlike other ghosts that scare people and children at night, Casper tries not to be scary. He would prefer to make friends with the living. This cute ghost is kind, understanding, and can shift shape at will.
King Hamlet is among the best ghosts of Shakespeare’s play. The historical ghost of King Hamlet mostly appears during the night to avenge his murder. He appears to different soldiers and finally to his son, young Hamlet. He tells him how his own brother Claudius poisoned and murdered him for his kingdom. Moreover, he tells the prince to avenge his father’s treacherous murder.
The Ghost of the Drury Lane
Drury Lane is a street in London’s west end where there are many theatres. This area is said to have produced multiple plays for more than three centuries. However, Drury Lane’s theatre was one of a kind, famous for ghostly appearance rather than for plays. The ghosts of several actors supposedly haunted this theatre. A ghost called “Man in Grey” was the most famous ghost of this theatre which was seen carrying a sword.
The Headless Nun
According to 18th-century folklore, some sailors beheaded Sister Marie when she denied them the treasure’s location. They never found her head, and her spirit kept roaming the area in search of it. Whoever goes to that area is scared by the spirit of the headless nun.
Some Popular Ghost Movies. Are They Really Fake?
Most of the time, movies are based on the imagination of a writer. All the characters and plots are fictional and are alive merely in books. This is even more accurate for ghost movies as the idea of ghosts existing seems unnatural to a sane person. However, not everything we see on TV is fiction. Some of the scariest titles you’ve seen on TV are actually based on real occurrences. And we have facts to back them up. Let’s discuss some of these movies and their background story.
The Conjuring is one of the most celebrated horror titles of all time. However, it goes beyond just movie theatres. In 1970, Roger Perrons, his wife Carolyn Perrons, and their five children moved into a new home. The Perrons family had recently bought Old Arnold State. But just after some days of moving, they witnessed some paranormal activities. Strange things like floating and moving furniture and random windows and doors closing started to happen. In addition, they also heard strange disoriented noises and felt being in the presence of invisible spirits.
Following the incident, they invited paranormal investigators. Ed Warren and his partner Lorraine investigated the house and found that many ghosts haunted the property. According to their findings, a lady named Bathsheba lived in the house before the Perrons family. People believed her to be a Satanist who killed her first child. The same ghost of ‘Bathsheba’ haunted the house, and hence, the story of Conjuring began.
Annabelle is another famous movie that we all have scary experiences with. Upon some research, we found that this movie is also based on a real story back in the 1970s. The paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine, got a call from a nurse who told them that her doll was haunted. According to the nurse, the doll shifted positions and places and came up with strange messages like ‘help me.’ The nurse ignored earlier signs but freaked out as one day she saw the doll leaking blood. Furthermore, she told the investigators that her mother had gifted the doll to her.
Ed and Lorraine concluded that some malicious spirit manipulated the doll. They cleaned everything in the nurse’s house and took the haunted doll back to their museum in Monroe, Connecticut. To this day, the museum features the haunted ‘Annabelle’ doll among its other artifacts. However, it is not as creepy as the movie version of the doll that we are familiar with.
The Conjuring 2
Conjuring 2 is based on a real-life incident in London. In Aug 1977, unusual occurrences started in the house of the Hodgson family. Some evil spirit took hold of their daughter named ‘Janet’ who frequently told them that a man by the name Bill Wilkins haunted her. In addition, the family reported many other occurrences like flying furniture; some of them were hurled at the eyewitnesses. The Warren duo investigators reached and studied the scene. They later concluded that spirits haunted the house. They also verified the name Bill Wilkins who had died in the same house due to a Brain Hemorrhage.
The Amityville Horror
The Amityville Horror is a popular horror movie released in 2005. The film is based on the same-titled book in 1977. According to the author and our internet findings, the story in the book is far from fiction. The story started when a young guy named Ronald Defeo murdered his entire family on November 13, 1974. In the middle of the night, at 3:15 am, he commanded his father’s shotgun and acted in a subconscious state.
According to Defeo, the evil spirits guided him through voices and told him to make the killing in sub-conscious. The court sentenced Ronald Defeo to 25 years of prison. After the incident, the owner rented the house to a family. And immediate after moving in, the family heard strange noises at 3:15 that included gunshots and people screaming. Their youngest daughter Missie made a friend Jodie who was the daughter of the DeFeo family. Out of terror, the family evacuated the house in less than a month. This also gave rise to one of the most significant ghost controversies. The movie ‘Amityville Horror’ asked permission to shoot in the house. However, the local authorities declined them.
Controversies in the Church
There is a widespread controversy that Church actually led people to believe in ghosts since early times. As strange as it seems, we’ve found that Bible has never mentioned if Ghosts exist or not. So, why do the holy churches perform exorcisms and cleanse the evil spirits in the name of the lord? Hear our opinions on some of the controversies relating to ghosts.
Fear Sells Faster Than Faith
There is nothing that sells faster than fear. Faith takes a long time to settle in the hearts of people, while fear takes seconds. By using the ghosts as a medium of fear, the Church sold faith as the only medicine. As a result, many people would come under the fellowship to be blessed by Christ.
How many times have we seen a Christian pastor defeating a ghost holding just a cross in his hand? The answer is countless times. No matter how overpowered the ghost is, it cannot cross the boundary of the cross sign and harm the believer. The forces of evil spirits would never dare to touch a priest. We have seen many of these ghastly beings perish just because they touched the Bible. And we have seen pastors get perished as soon as they lost their cross sign. This is a direct indication to hold on to the Church for dear life.
Why Believing in Ghosts Can be a Good Thing?
To believe in ghosts is to believe in the afterlife and everything that follows. As we turn the pages of history, we observe that people have turned atheists and more immoral for several centuries. You might wonder why anyone would benefit from believing in a thing that doesn’t exist scientifically. Let us talk about some reasons.
What is the cure to a haunted house? You certainly can’t fight an invisible spirit with a rusted sword. However, for a Christian, a cross with the name of Jesus Christ would unerringly scare the ghost away. It would be chanting the ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ for Hindus and similar mantras for other religions. If people start believing in ghosts, they’ll turn more religious and believe in the power of God. Furthermore, if they follow the scriptures with passion, they’ll undoubtedly live a good and holy life.
Encourages Humans to Behave Ethically
If everyone starts believing in ghosts, they also start believing in the presence of God. For them, heaven and hell would exist. As a result, they’ll start doing good deeds in hopes of going to heaven. In scriptures, ghosts and demons are beings with evil intentions which led to not-so-religious life. Thus, believing in ghosts would automatically encourage them to lead a better life with good deeds.
A Hope After Death
Nobody wants to die. We’d bet some people would even take the offer of being a ghost rather than disappear from existence entirely, especially because some movies portray ghosts as a kind and free spirit too. The presence of ghosts means that death isn’t the end of everything. As a result, people would be less afraid of dying and do good deeds to pass the test of purgatory. Believing in ghosts makes one dream of living happily ever after in the afterlife.
What do the Psychologists Have to Say on Paranormal Activities?
Different psychologists give different logic for paranormal activities. While some psychologists are skeptical, some actually believe that ghosts do exist. Let us discuss what the mind experts say on the matter.
The Mind Game
The nature of the human mind is such that it searches for meaning. At the same time, many things exist but can’t be seen with our naked eyes. There are many facts and knowledge about nature that even science hasn’t discovered. Therefore, when a person encounters any incidents beyond his logic, his mind strives for meaning. In the absence of information, that particular incident is regarded to be paranormal. A simple example of it is, suppose you had a cell phone in the Stone Age, then the caveman would see you talking on the phone as paranormal. Thus, People regarded anything beyond the logic of the human mind as paranormal.
A Believer Believes in Paranormal Activity
It does not matter whether you believe some scriptures, religion, fiction, or some controversy that is not proved. Once a person starts to believe something without being skeptical, he begins to see paranormal things. So, if he experiences rare and new natural phenomena instantly, his mindset regards it as paranormal activity. They will either blame God, devils, aliens, or some supernatural forces. Its best example is Bermuda Triangle, as even famous influencer, critics, YouTubers, and educated scholars explained it as paranormal activity. Accordingly, the People named the Bermuda triangle “The Devils Triangle.” Thus, low skeptical IQ is the reason why people experience paranormal activity.
If a person is emotionally unstable, they will see bizarre dreams. They are naturally good at overreacting to small things and fearful of insects, darkness, etc. Thus, if they see a bushy shadow with a familiar shape, it is natural for them to wet themselves with sweat. In addition to it, they have intense imagination. Such intense imagination combined to fear may lead to hallucination. In most cases, they dream bizarre and have fearful imaginations in darkness. Thus, emotionally weak people are prone to experience paranormal incidents and believe in the existence of ghosts.
Mystery of Life and Death
Death is the greatest mystery afterlife. Once a child is born, he does not care about any other thing but to enjoy life. However, when the concept of death enters his mind, it’s natural to have curiosity. Death is not a simple thing to understand because people give various meanings to it. Some groups are trying to avoid death while same take death as natural. At the same time, there is suffering in life. Thus, with death comes a tsunami of questions. When these questions are unsolved, then automatically, people see the world filled with paranormal activity. In a survey, 3 out of 5 people believed in life after death. Even an atheist remembers God or asks questions to God when he doesn’t find the answer to his suffering.
Thus, a lack of clear scientific logic to death helps people to imagine paranormal activity.
Superstition & Traditional Belief
Society is not only a group of people but their superstition, tradition, and belief as well. The running principle of most of the society is goodness and evil, happiness and sorrow, and gods and devils. Society carries all the superstition and traditional beliefs held by their ancestors. Very few societies have the scientific knowledge granted to their next generation. But the majority of social groups depend upon the concept of supernatural forces. There are many scriptures where the ancestors talk about ghosts. Ancestors have also written how to impress the goddess and save their life from devils. Thus, they automatically fill our intellect with belief. People start to imagine things. They pray from time to time, holding these beliefs. These kinds of thoughts and emotions also make them readily believe in paranormal activities.
The Science Behind Ghost Sightings
The question of ghosts being reality or illusion has still remained a mystery in the 21st century. Studies have suggested that 54% of the world population believes in ghosts. Research also suggests that cultures around the world have faith in life after death. They believe that a person’s spirit survives death to reside in the spirit realm. The controversy of whether the ghosts are real or not is unsolved to date. Sightings of the ghosts by many, including some famous personalities, support the existence of ghosts, while the inability of experts to provide authentic evidence questions its existence. Though there are debates around this topic, many scientists have tried to explain the science behind the ghost’s sightings. However, modern science has failed to spot spirits flying or ghosts walking on the wall. Here we shall discover some of the science related to ghosts and their sightings by people.
Reasons for Ghost Sightings
There can be multiple reasons as to why people might have mentioned sighting ghosts. According to science, the following can be few grounds on which people claim to have seen or heard ghosts:
- Sounds below 20Hz frequency, i.e., low-frequency sound
- Toxic molds that cause illusion or say irrational fears
- Breathing in the presence of Carbon Monoxide
- Changes in earth’s geomagnetic field
- An unwell brain
Infrasound or Low-frequency sound
There have been instances of people having heard uneasy sounds that give you a chill down your spine. Studies suggest that they mainly found this case in people who go to concerts frequently, where they are exposed to sounds below 17Hz. They tend to hear shallow frequency sounds produced by volcanoes, unnoticeable earthquakes, and even some animals. These sounds are unusual to human ears and give chilling sensations, which many people confuse for a ghost noise.
According to science, breathing in the presence of toxic molds affects our respiration and sends false signals to our brains. These signals can then lead to illusions, delirium, and irrational fears. These fears, in return, can affect human imagination and make them sight the things they fear. This fear for some might be of ghosts, leading to ghosts sightings for them.
Just like the mold, breathing in too much carbon monoxide could lead us to see, hear and feel things that don’t really exist. Science has successfully proven that the poison from carbon monoxide causes auditory hallucinations and builds pressure on our chest. Hence, keeping carbon monoxide detectors in every home is suggested to ensure that you do not breathe this colorless and odorless poisonous gas. Moreover, this explains the reason why people might have heard footsteps or sighted unusual shapes that they portray as ghosts.
Unusual Change in Geomagnetic Fields
Geomagnetic or electromagnetic fields surround the earth. It is the property that the motion of charges induces. When there are sudden changes in the motion of these electric charges, it creates specific changes in the environment. Moreover, scientific research has found that when these unusual changes in the electromagnetic field occur around people, they tend to feel “an unexplained presence in the room.” This so-called unexplained presence can be the ghost that many people refer to. Neuroscientist Michael Persinger has tested this theory in the 1980s and found that eighty percent of his test subjects felt this unfamiliar presence.
An Unwell and Tired Brain
Ghost sightings can also result from problems in our brain’s gray matter, as suggested by scientific studies. A medical condition known as schizophrenia is one such disease wherein, in its initial stage, people tend to hear voices and also experience ghostly visions. Furthermore, there is evidence that people tend to have paranormal confrontations with ghosts in their imaginations. However, people without any mental conditions too have reported sighting ghosts. The use of psychoactive drugs and magic mushrooms frequently can cause these hallucinations even in healthy minds.
Despite all the reporting of ghost’s sightings, hearing of unusual sounds, and sensations of a ghostly presence, there is still no single evidence that proves the existence of ghosts. The lack of authentic evidence frequently questions the reality of ghosts and life after death. The question has remained unanswered for centuries.
Do Ghosts Really Exist? Conclusion
Time and again, reports of sighting ghosts take surface. However, their existence is as questionable as it was ages ago. Hearing voices, seeing spirits, and sensing an unexplained presence in the room, these occurrences surface from time to time. Additionally, physical encounter with the unreal power has always found their way in the news. However, only people with medical conditions that involved the brain reported these incidents.
While a part of the population says the ghosts are real, the other remaining part thinks differently. More than half the world has believed in the presence of the soul and spirit realm, and the other half claims it’s just a paranormal belief.
Likewise, if we have to answer the question on the existence of ghosts and whether if they are real, we would fall on the part of the world that says the ghost is just a paranormal belief. The study of research on ghosts and their sightings suggests the science behind why ghosts appear or seem to appear to many people. It is clear from those studies that ghosts are just hallucinations and illusions that our minds and various environmental factors create.
Despite all the reporting of ghost’s sightings, hearing of unusual sounds, and sensations of a ghostly presence, there is still no single evidence that proves the existence of ghosts. The lack of authentic evidence frequently questions the reality of ghosts and life after death. The question has remained unanswered for centuries, and we wonder if that will change in the future.