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Ghosts (Original)

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Jennie McGrath
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« on: February 04, 2008, 10:49:29 pm »

Author  Topic: Ghosts 
Jennie McGrath

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   posted 08-18-2005 08:28 PM                       
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I promised us a topic on ghosts, and so I have delivered. Before we get into all the various ghost stories out there (and there are a lot of them), I thought we might examine the idea of just what ghosts actually are first.


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Ghosts: What Are They?

You've seen them depicted in movies, read stories of their unnerving activities and have seen television shows and documentaries sensationalizing them. You have probably seen rare photos of them and have likely heard of first-hand ghostly encounters from friends and relatives. I receive dozens of reports from readers every month. Perhaps you have even seen a ghost yourself.

But what are ghosts? I'll give you the answer straight out: No one knows for certain.

There are, however, many theories to explain the thousands upon thousands of documented experiences that people around the world have had since the beginning of recorded history. Ghosts and hauntings seem to be a relatively common part of the human experience. And there appear to be several types of ghosts or hauntings, and more than one theory may be needed to explain them all.

Dead people
The traditional view of ghosts is that they are the spirits of dead people that for some reason are "stuck" between this plane of existence and the next, often as a result of some tragedy or trauma. Many ghost hunters and psychics believe that such earth-bound spirits don't know they are dead. Veteran ghost hunter Hans Holzer says, "A ghost is a human being who has passed out of the physical body, usually in a traumatic state and is not aware usually of his true condition. We are all spirits encased in a physical body. At the time of passing, our spirit body continues into the next dimension. A ghost, on the other hand, due to trauma, is stuck in our physical world and needs to be released to go on."

Ghosts exist in a kind of limbo in which they haunt the scenes of their deaths or locations that were pleasant to them in life. Very often, these types of ghosts are able to interact with the living. They are, on some level, aware of the living and react to being seen on the occasions that they materialize. Some psychics claim to be able to communicate with them. And when they do, they often try to help these spirits to understand that they are dead and to move on to the next stage of their existence.

Residual Hauntings or Recordings
Some ghosts appear to be mere recordings on the environment in which they once existed. A civil war soldier is seen on repeated occasions staring out a window at a house where he once stood guard. A dead child's laughter is heard echoing in a hallway where she often played. There are even cases of ghost cars and trains that can still be heard and sometimes seen, even though they are long gone. These types of ghosts do not interact with or seem to be aware of the living. Their appearance and actions are always the same. They are like spirit-level recordings - residual energies - that replay over and over again.

"A traumatic moment in time leaves an indelible impression on the building or area," says Strange Nation in "What Is a Ghost?," "replaying itself for eternity. This could be anything from a 'glimpse of the past' - a recreation of some traumatic or emotion-laden event - to footsteps up and down a hallway."

What causes these recordings to be made and how and why they are played back is a mystery. "How and why past events are recorded and replayed repetitiously is not understood," writes Lauren Forcella. "Whatever the actual mechanism, it apparently possesses longevity as the encore performances of a haunting can continue for decades or longer. Generally, the haunting is a fragment or portion of an actual event."

Messengers
These kinds of ghosts may be the most common. These spirits usually appear shortly after their deaths to people close to them. They are aware of their deaths and can interact with the living. They most often bring messages of comfort to their loved ones, to say that they are well and happy, and not to grieve for them. These ghosts appear briefly and usually only once. It is as if they intentionally return with their messages for the express purpose of helping the living cope with their loss.

"This category commonly involves one-time visits to someone with whom the apparition has close emotional ties," says Lauren Forcella at Paranormal Investigations, who calls these ghosts "crisis apparitions." "Though the encounter usually seems to be a type of farewell, sometimes important and useful information is relayed to the 'viewer.' Though dying is the most common crisis, other life-threatening situations can also trigger apparitional visits."

Poltergeists
This type of haunting is the most feared by people because it has the greatest ability to affect our physical world. Poltergeists are blamed for unexplained noises, such as wall-banging, rapping, footsteps and even music. They take our possessions and hide them, only to return them later. They turn on faucets, slam doors, turn lights on and off, and flush toilets. They throw things across rooms. They have been known to pull on people's clothing or hair. The malevolent ones even slap and scratch the living. It is because of these sometimes "mean-spirited" manifestations that poltergeists are considered by some investigators to be demonic in nature.

Other investigators, however, believe that poltergeist activity is not caused by ghosts at all, but by certain living people under stress. "During a poltergeist experience," writes Lauren Forcella, "the agent, in an attempt to relieve emotional stress, unknowingly causes the physical disturbances using mental forces. The mental mechanism that allows the poltergeist agent to unconsciously cause these physical disturbances is called psychokinesis."

Projections
The skeptics' point of view - if they are willing to admit there is anything to haunting experiences at all - is that they are all in our minds, or are products of our own minds. Ghosts, they say, are psychological phenomena: we see them because we expect to or want to see them. A grieving widow sees her dead husband because she needs to; she needs the comfort of knowing that he is alright and happy in the next world. Her mind produces the experience to help itself cope with the stress of the loss. Since we know so little about the power and capacity of our own minds, it's possible that they can even produce physical manifestations, such as apparitions and noises - projections that even others may be able to see and hear. But they are not "real" in any sense, say the skeptics, just the conjurings of powerful imaginations.

Are there such things as ghosts? The phenomena of ghosts and hauntings are very real experiences. It is their true cause and nature that is the ongoing mystery.
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2008, 10:49:58 pm »

Jennie McGrath

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Unexplained Sounds

Mysterious booms, annoyingly persistent hums, and underground mechanical rumblings that defy explanation.
Mystery Booms

In January, 1999, a loud boom at 12:15 a.m. disturbed the residents of Colorado Springs and Denver. Some witnesses said the noise was accompanied by a flash of light in the sky. There was no electrical storm. Although it could have been a sonic boom, the military denied any military activity in the area.
On January 10, 1999, dozens of people in Fairfield, Ohio reported a stunning, explosive sound. No cause was ever discovered.
Thousands of homes were rattled by two huge, mysterious booms 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles just before 10 p.m. in May of 1998. Residents described the sounds as explosions, earthquake noises, and thuds. The two booms occurred about five minutes apart.
Two very loud skyquakes startled hundreds of people on the beaches of Ocean City, Md. on July 30, 1998. No planes were in sight, and the sounds seemed to be coming from some miles offshore.
A mysterious boom reverberated through Narragansett Bay, R.I. on August 1, 1998 at 9:30 p.m. Investigating officials could not find the source of the noise.
On Sept. 16, 1997, the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was rocked by a boom that shook the ground and registered 1.1 on the Richter scale. Readings from ground-monitoring equipment showed that the energy did not come from the air, ruling out a sonic boom.
On December 17, 1997, a huge aerial blast rattled windows and blew open storm doors in Rogersville, Mo., a town 13 miles east of Springfield. Again, the Air Force denied the possibility of a sonic boom caused by one of its aircraft.
These are just a few recent examples of a fairly common phenomenon - loud, earth-shaking booms with no apparent cause. They are often labeled as mystery booms, sky booms, or skyquakes, and although there could be quite prosaic explanations for the explosive sounds - sonic booms, small earthquakes, even exploding meteors -- investigations always come up short for conclusive explanations.

The Taos Hum
The Taos Hum is a faint, low-frequency humming noise heard in and near the town of Taos, New Mexico. Not only is the hum's source a mystery, but its peculiar qualities are as well: only about 2 percent of Taos residents - about 1,400 people - can hear it. The low hum - between 30 and 80 Hz on the frequency scale - has been described by hearers as sounding like a diesel engine idling in the distance or having a slow beat-note sound. Some people perceive it as being louder indoors than outdoors. More mysterious still, some hearers who are bothered by the sound have tried earplugs and other acoustic quieting devices to block it out - to no effect. Investigations by scientists, including some from the prestigious Sandia National Laboratories, have failed to find a source or even a plausible explanation for the phenomenon. One theory is that the source is the U.S. Navy's ELF (extra-low frequency) communications system that is used to communicate with its submarine fleet. The Navy, of course, accepts no such responsibility.

If you'd like to hear the Taos Hum, here are some recordings in .wav format (click icon to listen):


Taos isn't the only town afflicted with an annoying hum. According to The Taos Hum Homepage, "Nearly every state in the U.S. has at least one 'hum hearer' report, including Alaska and Hawaii. The largest number of reports come from the southwestern U.S., the Pacific Northwest, and southeastern states. Worldwide, the hum has caused such problems in the U.K. and Sweden that hum-hearer support groups have formed there. There are hum-hearer reports from Italy and from Mexico." The Bristol Hum is the most widely reported hum in the U.K.

A long list of hum reports from around the U.S. can be read here, and you can even add your own to the list.

Underground Mechanical Sounds
An article by Greg Long for Northwest Mysteries [link no longer works] reports on strange sounds seemingly coming from underground in the south-central region of the state of Washington. Those who have heard the mysterious machine-like sounds, including loggers, liken the noise to "several large turbines" starting up and running, or a "loaded truck pulling up a long hill and never reaching the top." The article also examines similar noises reported in England, Italy, Colorado, Texas, Puerto Rico, New Jersey, California, and other states. Among these accounts are what sounded like underground drilling and construction work, motor-like sounds, or generators. Explanations? Long wonders if the noises can be attributed to seismic activity and speculates on the correlation with sightings of UFOs sometimes reported in the same areas.

Are they sure it wasn't the National Enquirer or some such "newspaper" that this story came from? Do they actually believe that Hell is literally inside the bowels of the Earth? At any rate, here's the recording, in streaming RealPlayer format (click icon to listen):


The Sounds of Hell?
And speaking of weird underground sounds... have scientists actually recorded the sounds of people suffering in Hell? This sound file comes from Art Bell's Web site which was submitted by one of his listeners in response to following story, allegedly quoting a scientist as excerpted from Ammenusastia, a Finnish newspaper. It seems the researchers had drilled a nine-mile-deep hole and were astonished at what they heard down there:

"As a communist I don't believe in heaven or the Bible, but as a scientist I now believe in hell," said Dr. Azzacove. "Needless to say we were shocked to make such a discovery. But we know what we saw and we know what we heard. And we are absolutely convinced that we drilled through the gates of hell!" Dr. Azzacove continued, "...the drill suddenly began to rotate wildly, indicating that we had reached a large empty pocket or cavern. Temperature sensors showed a dramatic increase in heat to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. We lowered a microphone, designed to detect the sounds of plate movements down the shaft. But instead of plate movements we heard a human voice screaming in pain! At first we thought the sound was coming from our own equipment. But when we made adjustments our worst suspicions were confirmed. The screams weren't those of a single human, they were the screams of millions of humans!"

http://paranormal.about.com/library/weekly/aa031599.htm
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2008, 10:50:30 pm »

Jennie McGrath

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Here's where I really wish I could post some pictures!


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The Best Ghost Photos Ever Taken
Part 1

They say seeing is believing. And while in this day of digital image manipulation that might not be as true as it once was, these photographs are considered by many to be the real deal - photographic evidence of ghosts. Faking ghost photos through double exposure and in-the-lab trickery has been around as long as photography itself; and today, computer graphics programs can easily and convincingly create ghost images. But these photos are generally thought to be untouched, genuine portraits of the unexplained.


The Brown Lady
This portrait of "The Brown Lady" ghost is arguably the most famous and well-regarded ghost photograph ever taken. The ghost is thought to be that of Lady Dorothy Townshend, wife of Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount of Raynham, residents of Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England in the early 1700s. The Raynham Hall mansion was the home of the Townshend family for over 300 years. Dorothy was the sister of Sir Robert Walpole, Charles' one-time partner with whom he had a falling-out. It was also rumored that Dorothy, before her marriage to Charles, had been the mistress of Lord Wharton, "whose character was so infamous, and his lady's complaisant subserviency so notorious, that no young woman could be four and twenty hours under their roof with safety to her reputation." Charles suspected Dorothy of infidelity. And although according to legal records she died and was buried in 1726, it was suspected that the funeral was a sham and that Charles had locked his wife away in a remote corner of the house until her death many years later.

Dorothy's ghost is said to haunt the oak staircase and other areas of Raynham Hall. In the early 1800s, King George IV, while staying at Raynham, saw the figure of a woman in a brown dress standing beside his bed, noting that her face was pale and hair disheveled. She was seen again standing in the hall in 1835 by Colonel Loftus, who was visiting for the Christmas holidays. He saw her again a week later and described her as wearing a brown satin dress, her skin glowing with a pale luminescence. It also seemed to him that her eyes had been gouged out. A few years later, Captain Frederick Marryat and two friends saw "the brown lady" gliding along an upstairs hallway, carrying a lantern. As she passed, Marryat said, she grinned at the men in a "diabolical manner." Marryat fired a pistol at the apparition, but the bullet simply passed through.

The famous photo above was taken in September, 1936 by Captain Provand and Indre Shira, two photographers who were assigned to photograph Raynham Hall for Country Life magazine. This is what happened, according to Shira:

"Captain Provand took one photograph while I flashed the light. He was focusing for another exposure; I was standing by his side just behind the camera with the flashlight pistol in my hand, looking directly up the staircase. All at once I detected an ethereal veiled form coming slowly down the stairs. Rather excitedly, I called out sharply: 'Quick, quick, there's something.' I pressed the trigger of the flashlight pistol. After the flash and on closing the shutter, Captain Provand removed the focusing cloth from his head and turning to me said: 'What's all the excitement about?'"

Upon developing the film, the image of The Brown Lady ghost was seen for the first time. It was published in the December 16, 1936 issue of Country Life. The ghost has been seen occasionally since.

Interesting side note: Charles Townshend is the ancestor of Thomas Townsend Brown, an American physicist who experimented with anti-gravity and flying saucers in the 1930s, and whose name has been connected to The Philadelphia Experiment.


Lord Combermere
This photograph of the Combermere Abbey library was taken in 1891 by Sybell Corbet. The figure of a man can faintly be seen sitting in the chair to the left. His head, collar and right arm on the armrest are clearly discernable. It is believed to be the ghost of Lord Combermere.

Lord Combermere was a British cavalry commander in the early 1800s, who distinguished himself in several military campaigns. Combermere Abbey, located in Cheshire, England, was founded by Benedictine monks in 1133. In 1540, King Henry VII kicked out the Benedictines, and the Abbey later became the Seat of Sir George Cotton KT, Vice Chamberlain to the household of Prince Edward, son of Henry VIII. In 1814, Sir Stapleton Cotton, a descendent of Sir George, took the title "Lord Combermere" and in 1817 became became the Governor of Barbados. Today the Abbey is a tourist attraction and hotel.

Lord Combermere died in 1891, having been struck and killed by a horse-drawn carriage. At the time Sybell Corbet took the above photo, Combermere's funeral was taking place some four miles away. The photographic exposure, Corbet recorded, took about an hour. It is thought by some that during that time a servant might have come into the room and sat briefly in the chair, creating the transparent image. This idea was refuted by members of the household, however, testifying that all were attending Lord Combermere's funeral.

Interesting side note: Lord Combermere is connected to another well-known paranormal story: the famous "Moving Coffins" of Barbados. The coffins inside the sealed vault of the Chase family are said to have been moved about by unnatural forces. The heavy coffins were repeatedly put in proper order, but often when a new coffin was added to the vault, the coffins were found strewn about. Lord Combermere, while governor of Barbados, had ordered a professional investigation of the mystery.
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2008, 10:50:53 pm »

Jennie McGrath

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Anyway, follow the links and you can see the pictures!

"THE BEST GHOST PHOTOS EVER TAKEN - Part 1" > Page 1, 2

Freddy Jackson
This intriguing photo, taken in 1919, was first published in 1975 by Sir Victor Goddard, a retired R.A.F. officer. The photo is a group portrait of Goddard's squadron, which had served in World War I aboard the HMS Daedalus. (Click the photo at left to see the entire photograph.) An extra ghostly face appears in the photo. In back of the airman positioned on the top row, fourth from the left, can clearly be seen the face of another man. It is said to be the face of Freddy Jackson, an air mechanic who had been accidentally killed by an airplane propeller two days earlier. His funeral had taken place on the day this photograph was snapped. Members of the squadron easily recognized the face as Jackson's. It has been suggested that Jackson, unaware of his death, decided to show up for the group photo.

Interesting side note: In 1935, Sir Victor Goddard, now a Wing Commander, had another brush with the unexplained. While on a flight from Edinburgh, Scotland to his home base in Andover, England, he encountered a strange storm that seemed to transport him through time into the future. You can read more about his experience in the article "Time Travelers" under the section "Flight Into the Future."


Tulip Staircase Ghost
Rev. Ralph Hardy, a retired clergyman from White Rock, British Columbia, took this now-famous photograph in 1966. He intended merely to photograph the elegant spiral staircase (known as the "Tulip Staircase") in the Queen's House section of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. Upon development, however, the photo revealed a shrouded figure climbing the stairs, seeming to hold the railing with both hands. Experts, including some from Kodak, who examined the original negative concluded that it had not been tampered with. It's been said that unexplained figures have been seen on occasion in the vicinity of the staircase, and unexplained footsteps have also been heard.

Interesting side note: This photo isn't the only evidence of ghostly activity at the Queen's House. The 400-year-old building is credited with several other apparitions and phantom footsteps even today. Recently, a Gallery Assistant was discussing a tea break with two colleagues when he saw one of the doors to the Bridge Room close by itself. At first he thought it was one of the lecturers. "Then I saw a woman glide across the balcony, and pass through the wall on the west balcony," he said. "I couldn't believe what I saw. I went very cold and the hair on my arms and my neck stood on end. We all dashed through to the Queen's Presents Room and looked down towards the Queen's Bedroom. Something passed through the ante-room and out through the wall. Then my colleagues all froze too. The lady was dressed in a white-grey colour crinoline type dress."

Other ghostly goings-on include the unexplained choral chanting of children, the figure of a pale woman frantically mopping blood at the bottom of the Tulip Staircase (it's said that 300 years ago a maid was thrown from the highest banister, plunging 50 feet to her death), slamming doors, and even tourists being pinched by unseen fingers.

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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2008, 10:51:22 pm »

Jennie McGrath

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The Best Ghost Photos Ever Taken
Part 3

GHOSTS HAVE INTRIGUED mankind for millennia, for there have been sightings for that long. For those who did not experience the phenomenon, however, proof was always wanted. It wasn't until the invention of photography and recording devices (both audio and video) that tangible proof was possible. Are they definitive proof? Of course not, since photos and recordings can be hoaxed, and many are open to interpretation. But the photos in this article, and in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, are considered to be authentic; that is, not deliberately hoaxed or fabricated digitally. The compelling aspect of these photos is that, like the ghost or spirit phenomenon itself, they happened spontaneously. The photographers were not trying to take pictures of ghosts. Rather, the photos were taken and quite unexpectedly, the apparitions were there.

The Specter of Newby Church
This photograph was taken in 1963 by Reverend K. F. Lord at Newby Church in North Yorkshire, England. It has been a controversial photo because it is just too good. The shrouded face and the way it is looking directly into the camera makes it look like it was posed a clever double exposure. Yet supposedly the photo has been scrutinized by photo experts who say the image is not the result of a double exposure.

The Reverend Lord has said of the photo that nothing was visible to the naked eye when he took the snapshot of his altar. Yet when the film was developed, standing there was this strange cowled figure.

The Newby Church was built in 1870 and, as far as anyone knows, did not have a history of ghosts, hauntings or other peculiar phenomena. Those why have carefully analyzed the proportions of the objects in the photo calculated that the specter is about nine feet tall!


Baby Ghost
A woman named Mrs. Andrews was visiting the grave of her daughter in a cemetery in Queensland, Australia in 1946 or 1947. Her daughter Joyce had died about a year earlier, in 1945, at the age of 17. Mrs. Andrews saw nothing unusual when she took this photo of Joyce's gravemarker.

When the film was developed, Mrs. Andrews was astonished to see the image of a small child sitting happily at her daughter's grave. The ghost child seem to be aware of Mrs. Andrews since he or she is looking directly into the camera.

Is is possibly a double exposure? Mrs. Andrews said there were no such children nearby when she took the photograph and, moreover, did not recognize the child at all it was no one she would have taken a picture of. She remarked that she did not believe it was the ghost of her daughter as a child.

Investigating this case, Australian paranormal researcher Tony Healy visited the cemetery in the late 1990s. Near Joyce's grave he found the graves of two infant girls.


The Ghost of the Seven Gables
While touring the historic House of the Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts the birthplace of American author Nathaniel Hawthorne Lisa B. snapped this remarkable photo. The ghostly image of a small boy seems to be in the shrubbery, peering over the wooden fence.

The most amazing part of the story of this photograph is that she subsequently did some research about Hawthorne and the house. While looking through a library, she came across one of Hawthorne's books, Twenty Days with Julian & Little Bunny by Papa. On the cover of that book is a portrait of Hawthorne's five-year-old son, Julian. And as you'll see by clicking on the photo at left, the portrait of little Julian bears a striking resemblance to the ghost in Lisa's photograph.

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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2008, 10:51:45 pm »

Trevor Proffitt

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I am scared already.
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2008, 10:52:09 pm »

Jennie McGrath

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Figured you would be!
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2008, 10:52:38 pm »

Jennifer O'Dell

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Cool topic, Jennie, we can need to do more on the supernatural around here.

Here is what Wikipedia says about ghosts:

Beliefs about ghosts
Ghosts are often depicted of a human size and shape (although some accounts also mention animal ghosts), but typically described as "silvery", "shadowy", "semi-transparent", "fog-like", or similar. Ghosts do not have a gross physical body like human beings, only the subtle astral body. Sometimes they do not manifest themselves visually, but in terms of other phenomena, such as the movements of an object, spontaneous throwing of a lightswitch, noises etc., which supposedly have no natural explanation.

In the West, those who believe in ghosts sometimes hold them to be souls that could not find rest after death, and so linger on Earth. The inability to find rest is often explained by unfinished business, such as a victim seeking justice or revenge after death. Criminals sometimes supposedly linger to avoid Purgatory or Hell. It is sometimes held that ghosts reside in Limbo, a place, according to non-orthodox Catholic doctrine, between Heaven and Hell where the souls of unbaptized infants go. It is worth noting that while mainstream Protestants and Evangelical Christians believe in the existence of principalities, they do not believe in ghosts (as spiritual manifestations of the dead), and would generally attribute more violent ghosts, such as poltergeists, to the actions of demons.

In Asian cultures (such as China), many people believe in reincarnation. Ghosts are those souls that refused to be 'recycled' because they have unfinished business similar to those in the West. Exorcists can either help a ghost to be driven away or reincarnated. In Chinese tradition, apart from being reincarnated, a ghost can also become immortal and become a demigod, or it can go to hell and suffer for eternity, or it can die again and become "ghost of ghost". The Chinese also believe that some ghosts, especially those who died of drowning, kill people in order to rob them of their rights to reincarnation. The victims of such paranormal "murders" are called ti4si2gui3 (替死鬼) which in Chinese is a synonym for scapegoat.

Very detailed information about ghosts is given in Garuda Purana, a scripture from Vedic (Hindu) tradition.

Both the West and the East share some fundamentals about ghosts. They may wander around places where they frequent when alive, or where they have died. Such places are known as "haunted"; the rounds they go on are known as "hauntings". They often wear the sort of clothing in which they would have been seen when alive.

Buddhist Samsara includes the concept of the Hungry ghost realm. Sentient beings in that realm are referred to as Hungry Ghosts because of their attachment to this world. Asuras are also referred to as "fighting ghosts".

Skeptical analysis
While some accept ghosts as a reality, many others are skeptical of ghosts' actuality.

Skeptics may seek to explain ghost sightings by applying the principle of Occam's razor, which argues that the simplest adequate explanation for any event or phenomenon is the most likely explanation.

This usually means that first, the sincerity and motive of the person reporting will be called into question. For example, lingering of ghosts is typically associated with seeking justice or revenge. Ascribing such motives and powers to dead people could be interpreted as a scare tactic directed at those who might consider murdering someone.

Second, the possibility of a hoax or con will be considered, with the reporting person assumed to be the victim. It seems possible that, sometimes, the telling of ghost stories might have been a way for secluded communities to scare off intruders. It is also conceivable that, when unsuccessful, this tactic could have been enhanced by more or less elaborate setups with members of that community playing ghosts. For example, Moti, the canine ghost of a Hamlet in the Himalayas, India [[1]]

Third, explanations grounded in knowledge about human physiology will be proffered. For instance, the appearance of ghosts is often associated with a chilling sensation and pale, semitransparent figures. But a natural animal response to fear is hair-raising, which could be mistaken for chill.

The visual aspects of ghost reports could also be accounted for by human physiology: the peripheral vision is very sensitive in detecting motion, but does not contain much color or provide focused shapes; therefore, a moving curtain or other movement outside the focused view can create a strong illusion of an eerie figure.

The natural occurrence of infrasound, which are sounds below human auditory frequencies (below 20 hertz), could possibly explain the notions of feeling a 'presence' in the room, or unexplained feelings of anxiety or dread, as certain infrasonic frequencies are known to have these effects on the body.

Psychological factors are also often cited as natural explanations for ghost sightings: susceptible people might be prone to exaggerated interpretations of perceptions when visiting a site of unpleasant historical events. Certain images such as paintings and movies might "program" a person to automatically associate a certain structure or area as haunted because of what they have seen in the movies.

Also, electromagnetic dispersion and natural recording can cause strange phenomena like floating and moving objects, air movment (cold spot), sounds (vibration of metals) and is believed to interact with the human mind by effecting the electric impulses in the brain. This theory can be proven by use of a Tesla coil at high power in a normal room with someone in.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghosts
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2008, 10:53:14 pm »

Jennifer O'Dell

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   posted 08-18-2005 08:59 PM                       
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Yep, it sure would be nice if we could post pictures...
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2008, 10:53:49 pm »

Jennie McGrath

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   posted 08-18-2005 09:37 PM                       
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Now, I know it is really tempting to add a lot of different ghost stories here, but let's make them good ghost stories.

I want this thread to be distinctive from "Communicating with the Dead," in that we'll look at what ghosts actually are as well as the reports of all their various sightings..!
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2008, 10:54:26 pm »

Trevor Proffitt

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   posted 08-18-2005 09:49 PM                       
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quote:
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Now, I know it is really tempting to add a lot of different ghost stories here, but let's make them good ghost stories.
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Only good ghost stories, you mean you don't want crappy ones, Jennie, like your "Haunted Barbie" thread?  Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2008, 10:54:53 pm »

Jennifer O'Dell

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   posted 08-18-2005 09:54 PM                       
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More from that article:

Famous ghosts
It seems likely that the building with the most distinguished ghosts as rumoured tenants is the Tower of London, which is reported to be haunted by:

The headless ghost of Anne Boleyn;
The ghost of Thomas Becket, which allegedly appeared during the construction of the Traitor's Gate;
The ghosts of King Edward V of England and Richard, Duke of York, the "Princes in the Tower";
The ghost of Lady Jane Grey;
The ghost of Sir Walter Raleigh;
A troupe of ghosts who re-enact the execution of Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury;
Several other ghosts are said to make the Tower their home; phantom troops of soldiers reportedly appear there, as well as a lady in mourning with no face.

The Ghost of Moti Corner, known simply as Moti [[2]] This Canine polstergiest from the Lower Himalayas has been known to have been around since 1857
The city of York in England is also reputed to be a centre of ghostly manifestations.

The White House in Washington, DC is said to be haunted by the ghost of Abraham Lincoln and by several lesser spectres.

The ghost of the Roman Emperor Caligula was said to haunt the Lamian Gardens of Rome, where his body had been hastily and unceremoniously buried after his assassination.

In the Biblical account of the Witch of Endor, King Saul of Israel has the witch conjure up the ghost of the prophet Samuel to consult him on his precarious situation. The prophet's spirit gives the king no assistance, and foretells his doom instead.

Ghost messengers
A popular genre of literature from the early Renaissance to the early twentieth century was the Dialogues of the Dead. These were based upon the Witch of Endor story and the visions of Hades found in both Homer's Odyssey and Virgil's Aeneid.

In Odyssey, Odysseus travels to Hades and sees the shades of his former colleagues, including some he did not know were dead, and pours out fresh blood, which the dead hunger for, until he can find Tiresias and get guidance on his voyages. In the Dialogues of the Dead genre, authors would somehow contrive a device for summoning the dead to a character who would then speak with them and ask them questions about philosophy or current events. These "ghosts" were under control of a great sorceror or otherwise compelled to speak. The genre was most popular in the 18th century, and examples were written by many. Jonathan Swift satirized the genre in the third book of Gulliver's Travels by having Gulliver summon the ghosts of former kings and great conquerors and finding, instead of nobility, petty, childish, and stupid people who possessed no wisdom and who accomplished their great deeds for mean and selfish reasons. Further, he finds that the ancestors of many great lords and ladies of his day were stable boys, servants, etc.

In each of these cases, the fictional ghost offers counsel to the living and thus acts as a messenger from the implicitly greater world beyond. However, the ghost messenger can also act as a way reminiscent of the guardian angel in fiction. In some fictions, a departed relative (usually) or friend guides the living to either a moral or material benefit. Such ghosts can either act as a deus ex machina by resolving plot points with supernatural power or as a mentor who offers sagacity to the characters with a limited point of view.

Finally, the ghost messenger features in fiction as a ghost in disguise. A character otherwise regarded as living turns out, in the fiction's denouement, to be a supernatural agent. In folk music, there are songs featuring lovers and objects of affection who must leave before dawn (a variant on the Cupid and Psyche story) because they are ghosts. Additionally, some urban legends, such as the "Hitchhiking ghost," turn upon an anonymous stranger (or Elvis Presley in a common variant) who is revealed to be a ghost in the clinch of the story. Such a ghost in disguise usually, in fiction, offers statements or visions that are relevant to the plot, but not in a way comprehensible to the characters. Such gnomic or oracular statements reward the reader with knowledge greater than the fiction's participants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghosts
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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2008, 10:55:33 pm »

Jennie McGrath

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   posted 08-18-2005 10:01 PM                       
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You remembered, Trevor, I guess I'll never live that down.
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« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2008, 10:55:58 pm »

rockessence

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   posted 08-18-2005 11:57 PM                       
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I put up the announcement about the Ghost Conference in my town.

One of my customers yesterday told me about two experiences she had many years ago. She volunteers cleaning up around grave sites at a local cemetary.

She had been cleaning up one grave and walked to her truck to toss the pile of weeds into the back. When she turned back towards the grave, the pad she had been kneeling on was hovering about a foot off the ground and she could see a sort of whirlwind spinning underneath it. As she watched in astonishment, the pad shot about 12 or 15 feet into the air and then dropped back to the ground. She said she chuckled and said "Well, you're welcome!!"

The other incident, she was pulling up a lot of brush off one grave....at one point she looked over at her heavy leather gloves which she had tossed aside. They were standing up on end together like praying hands. When she finished cleaning the rest of the brush away, she saw that the name was "Reverend somebody".

Good little stories....

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"Illigitimi non carborundum!"
All knowledge is to be used in the manner that will give help and assistance to others, and the desire is that the laws of the Creator be manifested in the physical world. E.Cayce 254-17

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« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2008, 10:56:25 pm »

 
Jade Hellene

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   posted 08-21-2005 01:36 AM                       
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Cool story, Rockessence.
Do you have your own store?

[ 08-21-2005, 01:37 AM: Message edited by: Jade Hellene ]

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Sort through the media disinformation:
http://mediamatters.org/

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