What is a Ghost?

We all know what a ghost is right?

It seems quite a strange blog to post on Halloween I’m sure considering that surely we all know what a ghost is right? Oddly in reality the answer to that question still doesn’t have a true answer and we are still seeking out what a ghost might be.

As it has become quite a popular book recently since the re-print, as it was when it was originally released, I thought perhaps I should consult the book; “The World of the Unknown All About Ghosts” about this question. The book addresses this straight away, stating from the outset; “Ghosts are supposed to be the appearances of the spirits of the dead in a form visible to the living.” It goes onto explain probably how they may look if we saw them and even how they may act in our physical environment. Something which it then clarifies with the story of Tom Colley’s Ghost.

The same couple of pages in the book also explains some types of ghost too, which is also kind of interesting. The book provides us with haunting ghosts, ghosts of the living, purposeful ghosts and poltergeists. When we ask what a ghost is, this concept of types of ghosts often comes into play too. This got me thinking, what was my own understanding of what a ghost actually might be? In order to do this I needed to take a small trip down memory lane.

When I first started reading about ghosts in books all those years ago, often what a ghost might be was actually a little vague. In most cases the representation of what a ghost was fell inline with classical ghost stories, as in someone would experience what they would describe as a localised visual and audible entity that is likely to be someone that has died. In most cases this was often described in quite a romantic format in order to maintain the ghost story aspect.

my understanding evolved…

Personally for me my understanding of what a ghost is soon evolved into what I now refer to as the paranormal communities comprehension of a ghost. This was a very simple concept, ghosts are pretty much recordings that are present perhaps in an environment and are somehow triggered. A trigger which could be related to us being present in that environment. This also had an additional element though bound to the ghostly explanation, which was that if ‘intelligent communication’ was identified then you were likely dealing with a spirit. So, a ghost is a simple (well maybe not simple) recording of someone when they were alive, perhaps their energy or a moment in time. In fact, I remember reading years back that Andrew Green noted a case where he investigated an instance of a ghost in someone’s garden. Whilst it is commonly understood that ghosts are likely to be related to people that have died, Green discovered the ghost in the garden to be a representation of someone that was still alive. I know when I read this information from Green, it began stand my own understanding on its head.

For years my understanding of what a ghost was had remained set, but as this changed so did my perception of the entire paranormal. It is often not as simple as we may think and it certainly requires much more research to allow us to understand more about ghosts.

The great thing about realising that ghosts may be more than what we first thought is that you become immediately aware of the numerous possibilities out there that could explain them. Beyond ghosts being those recordings of the dead or perhaps not according to Green, there are other theories to explore. These range dramatically from ideas about echoes of the past to the wonders of our minds. Personally at the moment my particular favourite is based in aspects of telepathy and that information is picked up by our mind, then processed in such a way that makes us think something is present in our local environment. Which means our minds are pretty powerful and also very cool.

a couple of my ghost stories…

Of course it wouldn’t be right to finish this post off without even a short ghost story or two. So, here goes, I hope you’re sitting comfortably. Over the years of investigation I have experienced a few probable ghosts. Although I would probably refer to them as apparitions. One was an apparitional arm, which I experienced at the Royal Oak Pub. As my team and a few locals held a séance in the dining room, I noticed an illuminated arm behind my sister. She was sat opposite me at the time. As soon as I mentioned I could see something, another team member also advised they could see something. They then proceeded to identify the same location and exactly what I could see. Did this mean the apparitional arm was present in the room? Personally I don’t think so, but do believe it to be some kind of shared hallucination. Which means we had similar information and processed it to the same result. The question then becomes what was the source of that information.

The final ghost story occurred at Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker, where on the lower level I saw an apparition walk past the door. Now I only observed the head and shoulders of the apparition pass a small square window in the door, but I have always felt it to be a woman. That said there were no real defining features I saw that would provide such a conclusion. So, perhaps just a feeling on that part.

Over the years and though many investigations my actual paranormal experiences are really quite few. Perhaps I miss all the action generally I don’t know, but often a paranormal experience may only occur pretty infrequently. I am glad I have had some experiences to keep me interested in continuing to discover more.

So, what is a ghost? In all fairness that’s for us all to decide now depending on what we now discover. So, if you’ve had any experiences or have an idea to what you think a ghost is then please add it to the comments below.

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