The existence of ghosts and the paranormal is a question that we ask ourselves every day. We hear statements like, “Ghosts are a figment of our imagination, they are not real.” There are avid horror movie lovers who also refute this statement. Imagine a world where ghosts are real, communicating with normal people.
This is when a conflicting thought arises: What’s the point of death when ghosts can communicate with normal people?
There are various theories stipulated as to why ghosts still linger around even after death. It is speculated that they have some unfinished business, an act of revenge to complete. There is another theory that contradicts the same: Ghosts are unaware if they are dead or alive when they reappear on earth. How much of this is true? Let’s find out.
The “Existential Crisis” of Ghosts
According to NorthCarolinaGhosts, some of the earliest encounters with the dead start from the twelfth century in England. There were instances of corpses rising from their graves and roaming about the town. However, it is to be noted that these were merely faint spirits, and they didn’t look like souls awakened from the dead.
The 14th century was the era which the idea of ghosts permeated from. A monk describes a frightful experience and an unusual phenomenon of the paranormal. He talked about a shadow changing forms ranging from animal to a normal human. The idea of the supernatural started to unravel from this base.
The question postulated however keeps us on our toes and filled with curiosity. The above incident created a basis for how ghosts should be viewed. The media and the movies have created this illusion that ghosts are violent, harmful and revenge-seeking. Often there are movies to create dreadful scary images, and horrific gory faces to dramatize the effect.
The supernatural effect is unusual and unsettling. This might well be the reason for the dramatization. Ghosts aren’t generally harmful, they are shadows lurking in the dark, lonely and left to the woods. Often the ghost stories are portrayed to be scary and frightening involving a bloodbath with violence as its prime forte.
In Jodi Picoult’s Plain Truth, we see Katie’s sister is said to have died by drowning. Picoult vividly describes how Katie envisions the figure of her dead sister trying to claw out. The water was cutting the supply to her life. In conversation with another character, Adam Sinclair, we come to know exactly why her sister kept reappearing.
In the view of Adam, the ghost kept reappearing because of the energies. In the theory of physics, if a person dies, their energy gets captured in the residue which turns up as a ghost. The emotional energy released from a tragedy imprints itself on a place and this is why as a result of the leftover residue, Katie was able to see her dead sister.
The sad aftermath of the whole unusuality is that ghosts don’t know whether they are dead or alive. They merely exist on the sidelines, lonely and confused. While movies and media contradict this theory, this can’t be entirely taken at face value either.
True Paranormal Experiences
1. Haunting of the Perron Family.
This is one of the famous paranormal encounters that brought the idea of the supernatural into the public arena. It is described that a member of the family residing felt the smell of rotting flesh near her parent’s bedroom. She even recounted her experience of seeing her mother possessed by an entity albeit speaking in a foreign language and deep hallow voice.
This is what inspired media and movies to dramatize this strange, unusual incident in a horror movie named The Conjuring (2015).
2. Caught on Camera
The existence of ghosts and the stigma revolving around them is a hotly debated topic. However, there are a lot of instances where unusual images and shadows get caught in action. This phenomenon is attributed to ghosts and paranormal activity. Given this, let’s look at this particular incident.
In October 2015, Deerpark CBS, one of the oldest schools (1821), had the experience of spotting an unusual figure described to be a ghost resident. There were many instances of paranormal activity before this in the same place. In this case, lights were flickering behind closed doors, and chairs were flung across the room.
One may wonder, who was in such a rage to dislodge and ransack the entire place. Or was the supernatural spirit in here getting bored? Maybe both. Maybe neither.
3. Coincidental or Intentional?
Major tragic events happen. Sometimes, these events are used to identify the paranormal and point out their existence.
This was the case for the survivors of the 2011 earthquake in Japan which led to another disaster: a gigantic tsunami. This led to the death count rising to 20,000 people.
That was not the only consequence. This is when the paranormal context seeps through. Weeks after the impending tragedy, there were claims that there were sights of people lining up in a queue in a supermarket and agonizing voices of pain were heard in the night.
The exorcist had also claimed to have seen mutilated and headless bodies in sight. It’s eerie how a tragedy can invoke such havoc in the land and dismantle an already chaotic situation. These claims are not objectively proven, but these are troubling truths that loom over.
4. Strange Disappearances.
The paranormal is always associated with strange disappearances where the spirit vanishes unusually. There were also strange cases of humans disappearing without scientific explanations.
One such strange case was the disappearance of Elisa Lam. Her body was found later, and the events preceding this were eerie and ominous. Upon checking CCTV footage on the night of the disappearance, the woman was shown in the video trying to evade someone or escape from her pursuer.
Various theories emerged saying that maybe her strange behaviour may be attributed to the ghost possessing her causing her disappearance. This might be a heavy possibility. However, later it was known that Lam was suffering from bipolar disorder.
Urban Legends and Conspiracy Theories.
Urban Legends of different countries constructed with various cultures are the basis of existing paranormal evidence. While they might not be fully conclusive, there are various myths which allude to this theory that ghosts indeed exist.
Here are some of the famous urban legends or myths:
1. Robert the Doll.
This took place in Florida. It is believed that the doll belonged to a younger boy named Robert Eugene Otto. The doll is said to be haunted and brings a lot of misfortune and death to those who encounter it or disrespect it.
2. The Black-eyed Children.
The location shifts to Texas. The prevalent presence of three terrifying creatures roaming around, asking to be let in is pretty popular. The stories told in various regions differ but hold the same common ground.
3. Area 51.
This is a place located in Nevada. Although this place is said to be a recreation place for aircraft and mechanisms, there is a legend which says it is used for mysterious purposes. These purposes include the examination of alien technology and the alien species themselves. This leads humanity to believe that an apocalypse of the human race is inevitable, although it is a mere urban legend.
This is a well-known urban legend. The root of its origins as its name suggests is Japan. This urban legend is about a woman who lurks in a dark with her “slit-faced mouth”. This story was widely popular in Japan and the woman walks around asking if she looked pretty. If the person agrees two times, she slits their mouth to match her fate. Yikes!
These urban legends might or might not hold. While it is rather a matter of subjectivity in the objective nature of our minds, to just dismiss these legends, we are probably most likely to be at fault. These urban legends as blood-thirsty and gruesome as it is, “irrational” as it is viewed hold some kind of significance based on where it originates.
These paranormal instances portray ghosts or spirits to be vengeful, horrifying, and scary, creating a bloodbath wherever they tread. It’s important to note that urban legends are evoked from the mythology of a region’s culture and values.
The relation that mythology has in terms of the paranormal is simple. It is often associated with the eerie phenomenon where strangely figured creatures with supernatural powers. Most of the popular legends arise from Greek and Roman.
Although this doesn’t directly allude to the paranormal, the celestial underworld might be a little relevant to this. The paranormal world is complex, it has dead spirits, vengeful spirits, and mythological creatures, but let’s look into the existence of demons.
Media and films have portrayed demons as evil, rather monstrous entities which are not even humane. In many films and even real paranormal cases, demons are said to take the form of children to draw individuals closer to them. They are also said to corrupt them into doing malicious things.
In hindsight, the harmless spirits which roam around with no intention of harming people physically are different from these entities. These entities do not have a soul, their malicious intent lurking beneath their souls like a vengeful predator. Ed Warren and Lorraine Warren who were the famous demonologist duo worked on a case which resembles this scenario.
The case “The Devil Made Me Do It” indicated that soulless demonic entities can enter the body of humans. In early 1981, Johnson and his girlfriend were living in a quaint and peaceful home, and it was believed that a heated exchange led to Johnson stabbing Alan who was the owner of the house.
Lorraine Warren took the case in her hands when Johnson claimed that he had never remembered killing someone. This made the world turn its heads when Johnson’s not-guilty plea was related to demonic possessions. Adding to this, it was known that almost 43 demons had possessed his body prompting the viciousness in his behaviour.
Although this might seem a little farfetched, demonic activity had been related to the existence of the unusual and paranormal. Many people believe preaching to the Lord might keep the demons at bay. That’s where the problem arises.
Even in places like the English communities where religion and God’s belief are heavily influenced, the existence of demonic possessions and cases where being a “demonologist” was popularized, we might want to rethink our notions.
The study of ghosts and their paranormal phenomenon is referred to as “parapsychology“. Until now we have looked into ghosts from a mythical and subjective point of view. This divulges more into the scientific basis of ghosts existing and some studies explored for proving their hypothesis right.
This is an interesting method to understand the nature of the paranormal. In this case, people go into a near-death state for a short period. It is believed that people try this for getting their hands on doing mischievous activities.
2. Reincarnation Research:
It is believed that souls become immortal after one’s death and transport themselves onto another individual’s body. It shows that the soul goes on to live lots of lives even after so many deaths lies the irony.
Scientific Reasoning and its Criticism
New methods are being furnished for the study of ghosts and the paranormal. Generally, talking about ghosts is viewed as a hoax and something to scare people about. It is a vague topic which holds no logical truth.
Scientific methods like psychokinesis, telekinesis, clairvoyance, astral projection and near-death experiences are popularizing the idea of the paranormal and its existence. The criticism behind these ideas is the faint existence of it, fraud documentation and strategic errors enforced.
Myth, legends, dead spirits, malignant demons, they do exist. Maybe someday. It is not just their eerie shadows which remain to be our evidence. With growing technology, it might even be possible to detect and prove the existence of ghosts. We never know, maybe the ghosts behind our backs just need some company!