What is a ghost?

What exactly is a ghost? Is it the spirit of a person that once lived, is it a shift in time or even an alternative dimension? What if a ghost is really just us? Maybe its psychology or our body reacting to the environment around us. Here are some of the theories as to what a ghost actually is. What are your thoughts? What do you think a ghost is?
Sarah Chumacero
20th July 2018.
General, Paranormal Investigation.
1035 page views.

Table of Contents

Spirit, ghost, entity …. Are just some of the words that people use to describe the beings or energy that paranormal investigators believe they are communicating with. What are they exactly? We know that nothing is proven and we only know what we know based on our own experiences, and belief systems which is why I find it intriguing to hear some of the other explanations as to what a ‘ghost’ could actually be. In the ‘spirit’ of this topic, lets look at a few of the theories as to what people think a ghost really is!

A person that once lived

The most popular theory out there. When we die, what happens to our soul? We are highly intelligent creatures and we tend to believe that there has to be something more to us than just our bodies. So where does this energy or soul go when we die? Religion often tells us that we go to a place like heaven. But what if you don’t believe in that? Perhaps it was a theory that was coined in order to comfort us. Grief is a horrible thing. I am lucky that I haven’t yet had to deal with a lot of grief. When I have it has been awful and it is comforting to think that someone who has passed is now happy or at peace. No longer in pain and no longer restricted by the physical constraints of their failing body.

We communicate with what we believe to be the spirit world and talk to the spirits as if they were a living person standing in front of us. Quite often I find myself telling people on public tours to be nice and respectful as they were once people. (I don’t know if I even fully believe this, but it is what I find myself saying.). When we receive intelligent answers to our questions, we believe it to be true. Mediums and sensitive people often receive messages to this effect. They may hear or see someone who once lived and are on occasion able to give some scarily accurate information that they couldn’t have known. Does this add weight to the theory that a ghost Is is the spirit of someone that once lived? It is within this sentence that we don’t even refer to them as ghosts as it seems disrespectful. We refer to them as spirits out of the respect. Why are they here and not in some sort of heaven? The theory is that they may have some unfinished business or they died so traumatically that they did not even know they died. Some are thought just to be some family who have come to visit and can come and go as they play. But what if they are not the soul or energy of someone who once lived. What could they be?

Temporal Shift

While some people may think this is really out there, we have to remain open minded because we do sit in the dark talking to ourselves all night. Why is one thing possible and not another? I have heard this theory thrown around a lot more in the last couple of years. A temporal shift is an event which a person is transported from their time to another point within the space-time continuum. When we are speaking to a spirit from 100 years ago sometimes we will ask the question ,’do you know you are dead?’. They swear that they are not. Is it because they are not, they are very much alive but caught in some kind of dimensional time shift. Is this why people have reported to see full bodied apparitions of someone in full period dress for a faction a second. They are not see through like a typical description of a ‘ghost’, but they appear as a sold living person. Perhaps they are appearing momentarily as a slip in time.

Fringe Theories – alternative dimensions

I recently posted an article about parallel dimensions and the butterfly effect. This is a theory that has been gaining a lot of traction over the last couple of years. What if a spirit is the energy of someone from an alternate dimension. This alternate reality is somehow bleeding into our own. It is thought this explains the doppelganger theory as it allows one person to exist in many places and times. We may not be able to see into this dimension, but we can perhaps feel or hear parts of it.

Psychic projection

I have talked about this possibility more and more over the last few months as I have looked into PSI, You have English blogger Ashley Knibb to thank for that and if you haven’t already please go and check out his blog to have your mind challenged – ashleyknibb.com. What if a ghost is not a spirit or entity at all. What if it was all a product of our mind? Not in the sense that we are making it up or our brain is tricking us, but what if we are projecting our thoughts to create a ghost? In the 1970’s, parapsychologists worked with this idea and created the Philip Experiment. Over the course of a year they created a fictional character with a tragic backstory and would meet to focus their collective energy on his story and his fake picture to see if they could get his ‘ghost’ to appear. They believed this worked and went on to try and create further experiments. Think about it and I will use Black Rock House as an example here. I take you into a room in the servants quarters. I tell you about a beautiful spirit called Annie. I tell you how she loves to communicate with people and wants people to acknowledge that she is there. We are as a group, completely focused on Annie and getting her to come forward. We start to talk about her story and suddenly we notice some activity on equipment. Is Annie really there making her presence known or have we created her in that moment with our collective conscious? Often when someone is in a dark place mentally in their life, they report that they are being harassed by an evil spirit. Another theory here again is that they are projecting this dark cloud of energy and creating this negative energy or ‘evil ghost’. Some sensitive people can’t even be around people that are projecting this negative energy all the time because they feel it, so in this vein it is possible that they are creating their very own ghost.

Infrasound and Frequency

I have spoken about infrasound in the past. These sound waves react with our bodies causing us to feel the same sensations that replicate a haunting. The world is made up different vibrations, frequencies and infrasound. Could a ghost simply be our body reacting to this? We even know how our body can react to high levels of EMF. If you don’t believe me, turn on a EM pump and sit next to it for a while and you will start to feel the effects. It can make you feel very ill. There is also toxic mould – a very common element in old buildings. Again the way our body reacts to this mimics the symptoms of a haunting.


If you ready my stuff investigators need to know series, you will find a number of articles talking about how unreliable our brains are. They trick all of our senses when they are lacking information. The brain has an overwhelming need to fill in the blanks. If we are looking at a random pattern, the brain tries to make sense of it and we can see a face where there is only a blotch. If we hear a constant humming or mumbling, our brain tries to dissect it and again fills in these blanks so we can understand a word that wasn’t really said at all. We can smell things that are not really there and we can feel temperature changes when there is no change of temperature at all. It is all a part of the way the human body and the human mind works. This is pretty much the stance that skeptics will take. They don't believe that hauntings exist, that it is merely a product of the mind or some sort of rational natural explanation.

We all investigate and work in different ways. Some of us are sensitive to the paranormal, some are mediums and believe they have special gifts, then there is me who can’t even get one Zener card correct in the whole damn deck! So I base my theories and thought processes on the experiences that I have had. This is all we can base it on, so it makes sense that we would all think differently in this area as our experiences and our perception of the experiences are different. What is a ghost is a question that I guess again we will never know for sure - like many things in the paranormal. Whatever the answer is, there is no denying that close to half of the world’s population believes in spirits and the afterlife and that connection. Keep researching, experiencing and most of all ask questions. Ask the important questions, not can you light up the K2? If you have the privilege to be able to communicate with whatever it is we are talking to, ask the important questions and get YOUR answers, the answer YOU are seeking.

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