Quick Facts or Beliefs about Ghosts
- Most are invisible to the human eye. When they appear it is often in a mist, haze or ball of energy.
- They will often appear as a human or in a humanoid form.
- Some ghosts, known as poltergeists, can throw or slam objects.
- Ghosts and spirits pre-date written history. There are mentions of them in almost every culture around the world and throughout history.
Ghosts differ a great deal in terms of appearance. The typical form isn't so much a form as a presence - ghosts are almost always reported to be invisible, at least to most people. In fact, there are many types that don't have a reported physical form at all.
This doesn't stop the ghost from interacting with the physical form in most stories, but it does go a long way towards explaining why average people aren't able to see spirits. When recorded, these ghosts may show up as balls of energy on film.
When a ghost does have a form, it will usually show up as something vaguely human. In some cases, the ghost will have a humanoid but indistinct form. In other cases, the ghost will look like a human but will appear in an ethereal or otherwise unearthly manner. In these cases, they are often referred to as apparitions.
In still other stories, ghosts look exactly the same as humans - they just tend to disappear when the observer is not looking. No matter what the case, ghosts tend to have variable appearances. Even the most humanoid of ghosts seem to be able to shroud himself or herself from sight.
There are several types of ghosts, and thus many different suites of powers that might be available to the spirits. The one unifying power that all ghosts seem to have is the ability to vanish out of sight. Some ghosts find invisibility to be a default form, while others simply disappear from view whenever appropriate. Invisibility seems to be the core conceit that unites all spirits.
Some ghosts seem to have the ability to interact with the environment. The degree to which this can be done varies, though. Some ghosts simply provide cold spots in rooms, while others seem capable of opening doors or moving around furniture. The most violent spirits seem to have the ability to toss heavy objects around a home, even hurting their hosts. These are commonly referred to as poltergeists.
There are also stories of ghosts who can interact directly with humans. Some of these ghosts are able to talk, while others send messages through less direct methods. Some ghosts are even able to compel humans to do their bidding, though this seems to be a fairly rare power in ghost tales. Ghosts who interact with humans seem to be rarer than their cousins but tend to get more focus.
Ghosts have been around longer than virtually any other type of monster. Spirits of the dead definitely predate written language. Many early civilizations both revered their dead and feared their spirits. Written ghost stories can be traced back to Rome, and stories of spirits can be found across the world.
The modern version of the ghost story can probably be traced back to Victorian England. Spirtualists and seances were all the rage during that era and many of the tropes associated with modern hauntings were codified during that age. These social events combined with the dissemination of literature through the middle and lower classes made the ghost story a part of the bedrock of society.
20 thoughts on “Ghost”
True story: In the early 2000’s while visiting New Orleans, my husband and I did one of those corny but entertaining ghost tours one night. After walking around the French Quarter and hearing all kinds of local lore, we met up with some other tour groups at a bar called the Whirling Dervish. While waiting for everyone to arrive, I was standing in between the bar and dance floor when I felt a very distinct tap on my right shoulder. I turned to a friend standing nearby, expecting that she was trying to get my attention. She had no idea what I was talking about and claimed she did not touch me. My husband was watching the entire exchange from a nearby table, and also swore that no one and nothing had touched me. We made a pact a long time ago never to mess with each other about this sort of thing, and I absolutely believe him.
It was odd, but I shook it off and we assembled upstairs for the second part of the ghost tour. An investigator told us the story of the bar owner who had been murdered there a few years prior. Among other things, he claimed that women sometimes report being tapped on the shoulder near the bar area. All our jaws dropped in unison. We had not shared my experience with anyone outside our group. I am very analytical and have thought through any possible explanation for the nights events, but I’ve got nothing. We also were not drinking that night, as we’d overdone it a bit the night before. I never would have expected that a corny ghost tour would actually be the place I’d have an experience that I couldn’t explain.
When I was 10 years old I had an interesting experience that I haven’t been able to forget. At the time, I thought that it had to be a ghost of some kind but as time goes on I’ve tried to find other explanations for it.
My families house was an old corner store that had two doors that faced the street. We only used one of the doors, the other was in our bedroom with a dresser in front of it. One night, there was a knock at this door while we were sleeping. It was a quiet knock at first and then became more intense. My brother and I didn’t know what to do and were frozen with fear for a while. After several knocks, it suddenly stopped. Then a tapping on the window in the room started. I got up and pulled back the curtain, but there wasn’t anyone there. Then the tapping started on the other window in the room. My brother ran to that window, pulled back the curtain and still saw nothing. By this time we were both very scared and crawled back in bed. I pulled the covers over my head and waited.
Nothing happened for a long time. Finally getting up enough courage, I went to the window near my bed to close the curtain and there was a face looking at me. It was a very old looking man. He had his hand in a fist and was just going to knock again. I opened my mouth to scream but nothing came out. He opened his hand and waved to me with a big toothless grin and while I looked at him, he very slowly disappeared. It took about ten seconds and he didn’t move away from the window, he was just gone.
I told my brother what I saw but he didn’t believe me and now that forty years have gone by, I’ve almost convinced myself that it didn’t really happen, but deep down I know that it did.
This happened in a small village not far from mine, way back in the 1600s or 1700s:
So this village is in an old estate, so it has a big manor house, church, woodland for game etc. and in this village, the lady of the manor was found dead on her balcony.
Upon finding the body they called the doctor and they all agreed that she had no pulse, so went about organising the funeral. Fast forward a couple of days to the funeral and she was laid to rest with all her jewellery on and other trinkets of importance. The priest had obviously spotted this as that night, he returned to the grave site with a spade and set about exhuming the body in order to take the gold brooches, rings and necklaces that were buried alongside her.
One ring he wanted in particular was stuck on her ring finger and wouldn’t come off, so he decided the only way would be to bite through her finger! He began gnawing away at the finger until suddenly, the body of the lady of the manor sat up and screamed in agony! The priest screamed in shock of seeing the deceased woman staring back at him. The priest leapt from the grave and ran into the nearby woodland.
As it turns out, the woman hadn’t died, but she had fainted and her pulse had slowed so much due to the cold of the balcony, that her pulse was almost non-existent.
The disgraced priest was never seen again, but locals still say that his ghost can be heard screaming throughout the woodland and churchyard to this day, never at rest and always shamed for his crimes.
One cold winter night, 10 years ago, I was home alone. It had been snowing all that afternoon but had just recently stopped. After studying for a few hours I decided to relax a little. The television was positioned in front of one side of the glass sliding door that leads to a patio and the backyard. By midnight, my parents hadn’t come home and I was gripped with fear, because out of the front corner of my eye I could have sworn I caught a glimpse of a very strange looking man staring at me standing outside the glass door behind the television. I called the police and soon a patrol car arrived at my home. The police opened the glass sliding door and looked around. They explained to me that there could not have been anyone standing out there, as there would have been footprints in the snow. As they were about to leave, one of the cops noticed something behind the couch. There were wet footprints on the carpet behind the couch. I hadn’t seen the man outside the door, I’d seen his reflection when he was standing behind me. That was a nightmare for me that I can’t forget.
I can vividly remember a true encounter I had with a spirit as I started my sophomore year in college. I had moved all of my things into my dorm room and was excited to start my freshman year. I was glad to be on my own after transferring from a local college at home.
Once I got settled in that night as I lay in my bed, I began to feel an evil presence hover over me. I can remember it like it was yesterday. I knew it was something there although I couldn’t see it because I could feel the hair rise on my arms and something was breathing on me, yet nothing was there. I was afraid and was finally able to go off to sleep.
However, when I finally got to sleep, I remembered being woke up from being smothered and paralyzed in my bed as if I was being pinned down by something or someone and I couldn’t move no matter how hard I tried.
This happened over and over again, night after night, and I hated to go to sleep. I remember telling my mentor about it and she said she believed it was an antique spirit that had been left on the grounds for years to torment people and I had to command it to leave. I was surprised when she told me that. But I did what she said the next night after I spoke with her. I began to speak to the spirit and tell it that it had no right in my room and I forbade it to come again to torment me and unbelievably I didn’t have any more problems the entire time I was in college.
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Below is a story from my grandmother in Ukraine that she says is true:
“Summer. Nothing foretold trouble, it should have been a quiet night. But apparently not this one. I woke up abruptly from the noise of broken glass. Shock! I looked at the clock – 3 am! I couldn’t understand what was going on. The rumble was very loud and woke up the children. I calmed them down and tried to understand what happened. I went to the window, opened the curtains, and didn’t see anybody. I found a small hole from an object thrown into the window. I had many questions and was totally frightened. But I went out to check and wanted to find the responsible person. What is necessary to know is that the window from this room was not located close to the carriageway.This window was located in my private yard which was fenced off on all sides. This fence is a bit high and would require a lot of effort to get over it. So had somebody snuck into my yard?! If someone wanted to play a prank like that, maybe kids, but I remind you that time of day is the night! I went around the house a few times, but I never saw anybody. Once again, I checked the door that led to the locked courtyard. That was weird. I went back to the house and found a small stone with a very strange triangular shape in the room on the floor. That morning I threw it away, but I couldn’t get it out of my head…Who and how they did it so far is a mystery. Was it a living person or maybe some… ghost, it’snot clear either. But it’s been so many years now, and I have chills from this mystery story”.
And as for me, in my almost 30 years, when I come to visit her, I’m still afraid to sleep alone in this room. And every time around 3 a.m. I hear a rustle from the yard… I wake up, I look out the window already glazed and nobody.
When I was a child, I would have nightmares of a scary old man sitting in a rocking chair in our living room. I was so convinced it was real…. but my parents kept telling me it was a dream. In fact, all of my grandparents had passed before I was born and we didn’t we own a rocking chair. It took me a while, but even I realized that what I saw must have been a dream.
Couple years ago however, we decided to sell the house. I helped my Mom sift through the many many things my parents had collected over the years. The basement was the hardest. It was almost a dump of things my family had had since before I was born. I helped my Mom through the pile of stuff and we were almost done when we found it… the same rocking chair. My mom, was shocked to see it… she thought it had been sold. “After all, why would we want to keep the chair your grandfather passed away in?” She said.
If you are interested in some interesting ghost legends, you should look up Captain “Baba” Harbhajan from India.
While serving as a soldier in the Indian Army at the border in the Himalayas, he drowned in a glacier. Legend has it that the search party that found his body three days after, was actually assisted by his spirit. His uniform that has been preserved apparently cleans itself, his shoes polish themselves. In fact, soldiers who slack off during duty are reportedly slapped in the face at night by an unseen entity.
A shrine has been created for him near the border between India and China and the Chinese (during flag meetings between the two nations) would also set aside a chair for him. It is said, that during the Indo-China war, the Baba would warn the Indian Army of attacks by the Chinese army way days in advance.
I grew up having weird interactions and experiences with the “unseen” but by far the worst one I had experienced was when I was staying at my cousin’s house. I was maybe 16 or 17 at the time and I had been having trouble sleeping. I slept on the sofa when I spent the night that and the room faced the dining area that led into the kitchen. Anyways, I was having a very weird dream about a black figure trying to pull me off the sofa into a large fire place. He had the lower have body of a horse and a demonic face with horns. I woke up with my heart racing and I saw a large black cloaked figure float away from the sofa and into the kitchen away from me. I was terrified! I managed to fall back asleep after a while. When I woke up the next day, I had a HUGE swollen lump on the foot the being was grabbing at, the size of a golf ball. Later that evening after I had gone home my cousin called and told me he had found a very large, very creepy looking spider in the sofa where I was sleeping. I had been bit by a spider during that whole ordeal. How nuts is that!?
Picture this. I’m in Jamaica standing at a bus stop at 5pm. I’m tired and a little bit frustrated. I had a crappy day at work. So I’m standing there , waiting for a taxi to stop at my feet. After about 5 minutes, a tall lady, about 25 years old walks up to me and smiles. “Going home?” she asks
“Hmm hmm”, I respond.
Now we’re just standing there….waiting.
A taxi finally comes and we both get in the back. She puts her bag between us, rests back her head, closes her eyes and starts humming. I like the tune. It’s soothing. Then the taxi driver starts humming too. Soon, we’re all humming and she’s still smiling, eyes closed, bag between us.
Half way through my journey, she says with eyes still closed, “Driver, let me off at the next bend.”
“You want to stop there?” he asks. “Don’t you know that’s Rosie corner?”
She doesn’t answer.
“Driver, why shouldn’t she want to stop there?” I ask, “and who the heck is Rosie?”
“O, you didn’t know Rosie? She was crossing that bend on the road one morning about 5 years ago and some idiot just fly around the corner and killed her, right on the spot!” the driver replied.
“Mercy, poor Rosie,” I said as we neared the corner.
“You want it at the street light ma’am?” the driver asks.
She doesn’t answer, eyes still closed. I touch her gently.
“You’re almost there, wake up,” I say.
She then opens her eyes, touches my hand and says, “you take care now, tomorrow will be better”.
I smile. The driver slowly comes to a stop under the streetlight and I turn my head my head to look out my window.
I turn back immediately…. and there’s no one there.
I immediately feel sick. The driver is still humming. I’m sitting there, mouth open staring at the bag and the empty space beside me.
“Miss, you’re here, you can just pass me the fare and go,” the driver says, slowly turning, expecting his money.
All he sees is me, mouth wide open, touching the space beside me.
‘Where is she?!” the driver screams.
Without waiting for answer, he speeds off. None of us say anything. I get destination and without saying a word, I opened the door, and walked out, leaving the driver gripping his teeth and mumbling “where is she?”
I haven’t taken a taxi since.
I will have to be honest and say I really am afraid of ghosts. I’m not really sure if I can say I believe in them or what but I would be lying if I would say that I’ve not encountered some strange occurrences in my life ever. You know how there is always a ghost story in your school especially if it was been around for decades. Well… that’s where I got my first taste of paranormal! There’s this abandoned part of my high school that for some reason we were making use of for one of our classes at the time since they were renovating our usual classroom. I could blame the faulty wiring or years of disregard to that room but it was oddly chilly for a room that had no air conditioning in the middle of the summer. Not only that, a lot of weird injuries happened there. Such as a chair got broken while a student was simply sitting on it and another classmate had a weird scratch mark and he wasn’t sure where he got it. And when no one was talking, which would be usually during exams, it was really creepy and eerie kind of silence. It also doesn’t help that in that area of the school was where the alleged occurrence of a suicide of certain student of the past. It kind of creeps me out thinking about it and I am so glad after a month of weird stuff happening in that room our teacher decided we just make use of the library function rooms for class. Whew, what memories!
I worked in a school for a number of years and two nights a week I ran the homework club in the library. I used to get a feeling that there was something else there with us at times and sometimes a book would fall off a shelf when it should not have been possible. In that part of the library there was a spot that was always cold and sometimes the carpet would be wet as if there were wet child’s footprints. I’m used to ghostly goings on, so it didn’t faze me, but some of the staff and children were wary and surprised that I was so okay with the atmosphere in that room in the evenings.
One evening, the children had gone home and I was just clearing up when the caretaker came in to see me about something. He was a man who did not believe in ghosts. Would absolutely not have it that such things existed or where possible. The windows were all closed, I’d just closed them and the doors were all shut, he’d been locking up, when suddenly there was a really strong draught. We both stopped talking and looked around. There was no explanation, but I could feel the presence. Suddenly, behind the caretaker a few feet from him a movement caught my eye and it was a giant orb, flesh colored and buzzing with energy. As I focused on it, the caretaker seeing my gaze, turned and the orb took off across the other side of the room and then spiraled up to the ceiling. The caretaker turned to me and said “strange draught from somewhere” and then proceeded to continue our conversation. The orb floated around near the high ceiling and then took off towards the fire exit door at the back of the room.
The next day I was talking to the assistant caretaker who’d worked there for many years and told him what I’d experienced. He told me of a tragedy in the school many years ago when it was a boys grammar school and the boys used to be taken down to the river for swimming lessons. On one occasional eleven boys tragically lost their lives in a drowning incident and the bodies were brought back to the school and laid out in the gym.
He then proceeded to tell me that the library was converted from the old gym when the new one was built.
I’m so glad u posted. I’d like to share my own experience. I sometimes work extra jobs at home and I was logged into work site. My son was still asleep. It was around 8:00 am and I had checked on him right before I started. I had my head down until I felt someone looking at me. I looked up and my son retreated around the corner quickly. I saw his arm as he was leaving. He definitely did not want me to see him. So I asked my eldest to check on him. My eldest said the son in question was in the bed asleep. I said, “he was just standing there looking at me.” So when my son awakened, I asked him if he remembered getting up and coming into the hallway + he said no. He said he didn’t get up. There have been other times I’ve seen his doppelgänger and he never wants me to see him. He was standing outside the restroom door sniffing recently. My son has seasonal allergies and his nose was stuffy. Before I went into the restroom, I had given him his medicine and he was watching television in his room. So I was surprised when I heard him sniffing right outside my door. Except it wasn’t him. I knew it wasn’t because could hear my son in his room. What would a doppelgänger want?
I love your story, Gloria. If you’ve never heard the story of Emilie Sagee, you might find it interesting.
When i was a little girl, somewhere between 5 and 7 years old, I saw a tall dark haired woman dressed in a long black dress standing in my doorway. I’d seen her at least twice as a kid standing in my bedroom doorway. It really creeped me out.
Has anyone visiting the White Tower at the Tower of London seen the ghosts in the well? I was there on my honeymoon. I’ve always seen ghosts since I was about 10, but not quite like this.
I’m from Texas, where you don’t put anything into your wells, so I never imagined I’d see what I saw. The well is in what is now a gift shop. I saw it, covered in clear plexiglass, and said to my husband, “Oh look! A well!” And I leaned over to look down into it, and to my surprise and horror, I saw three men down there! They themselves were grey, but their beautifully coloured clothing in silks and velvets was clearly evident. I reared back up immediately and exclaimed, “OMG, THEY THREW PEOPLE DOWN THERE!” And my British husband just nodded matter-of-factly and said, “Oh yes, they often threw people down there,” and explained that it was a tidal well and anyone stuck down there would be sucked out when the tide went out. The very idea horrified me!
I wish that was the end of the experience, but as we tried to shop for gifts, I kept hearing them crying for help! It was heartbreaking to me because there was nothing I could do for them. After about ten minutes of hearing their plaintive calls for help, I had to get out of there.
I’ve never heard any stories of other people seeing these ghosts so I’m dead curious if anyone else has seen them, if you’ll pardon the pun.
My old high school is haunted by a student who drowned in the school pool. I saw him several times hanging out in the school theatre. He apparently enjoyed watching us to perform. One day I was alone in the theatre before class started and was practicing a soliloquy when suddenly I spotted someone sitting in the back row of the seats. I thought it was another classmate but when I shaded my eyes from the stage lights to see who it was, they were gone! I thought whoever it was was messing with me, so I hauled back there to catch them, but there was no one there. It was the first time I’d seen an actual ghost instead of just sensing them. But if I was a ghost, I sure as heck wouldn’t spend my afterlife hanging out in my old high school.
If you have Facebook check out our group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/hairraising. Lots of people have shared some good stories so far. I’m not sure if they are exactly the same, but a lot are similar!
When I was about 13, we already knew the house was haunted, my mother decided to have the house blessed. My grandmother knew a lady and called her. My mother, my grandmother the woman and 2 other people came to the house to bless it. The woman and her helpers blessed my sister and my room, the living room, around the window seals all that good stuff. They came down the hall to my mother and daddy’s room. Now this is where most of the activity was happening. The door to the bedroom was shut, the woman starts praying and lays her hand on the door and quickly draws them back! Her hands looked as if they were burnt! My grandmother told me the woman looked at my mother and her and says “What ever is in that room I can not help you with!” And her and her helpers very swiftly leave. 3 days later my grandmother gets a call, the woman who had tried to bless our house had passed away, supposedly from a heart attack.
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