"I keep thinking someone is going to jump out on me "
Some background information and frequently asked questions.
These answers are only our interpretation based on experience and research - they are in no way a definitive answer. We just don't know, but this page is an educated guess !
TYPES OF GHOST
The first is really a type of mass hysteria, brought on by 'forest fear'. Spend time watching a spooky film on a windy night and you'll experience every terror known to mankind. It is part of the natural defence mechanism from early days - fear of the unknown. There could be an enemy or predator round the next corner so there is safety in numbers and no need to explore a dangerous place alone. This has carried on to modern times. It is no less frightening, but doesn't really concern us here.
However, a word of warning; watching scary films or playing with 'psychic toys' can allow you to open yourself up and become more sensitive to spiritual activity. If you ar enot aware how to deal with this, the advice is simple - don't !
This is a fairly spooky photo - the sort of thing you might find in a book on ghosts . Quite frightening if you dwell on it .....
but it is actually this this picture - taken on a sunny summer day - the people having the picnic are just out of sight !
Likewise if someone 'sees' something and then mentions it, others are predisposed and fully expecting to experience a similar sight or sensation. The more people who 'see' something, the more expect to, and off we go again! Try to see a face in a patch of gravel or a carpet. Tell others - soon you'll all see faces everywhere. The same is true with many 'ghosts', but that doesn't make them any less real to the person who is experiencing the sensations!
If you are concerned, just recite the Lord's Prayer which is the most wonderful antidote to anything unpleasant.
Ghosts walking through walls and roman legions in cellars, headless monks and riderless horses are supposed to be part of the fabric of a place. You can see, and you may sense the emotions. Visit Marston Moor, fly over the Ruhr or visit the Somme trenches - the emotions are still there.
Often found on ley lines and where there are electro magnetic anomalies in the earth, they seem to be visible to certain types of people. Like a film, the image will run to the same pattern when triggered but seems to have no influence or effect on the surroundings other than frightening the living daylights out of those who see it! Difficult to deal with and a potential tourist attraction, although the arrival of many people seems to dilute and finally dispel the energy.
The film effect seems to be caused by emotions and images that have become trapped in a place or building. There may be feelings and conditions that help a replay, often heavy and humid conditions before a thunder storm. Traditional sightings such as roman soldiers walking through walls and monks with no feet where the floor has been raised fit this type of experience. There is no interaction with the ghost which is like a film projection - if no less alarming to the viewer. Often these images are embellished by folklore and again people expect to see something.
There is the famous case of a 'haunted house' in Devon that now runs ghost weekends. In the 1960's the guide book described one room as 'believed at one time to have been haunted' . In the 1970's this was the haunted room. The 1980's it was the 'haunted bed chamber' - and now there are regular ghost weekends and a 'haunted house' with spooks coming out of the floorboards. All good marketing!
There are many cases of people seeing the sentient image of a person who has just died or who is in danger of death. The apparition can act as if real, the image lasts for a few minutes and seems to be able to open doors and behave quite normally although there is usually a marked refusal to make physical contact or communicate. These cases have been extensively researched and go back hundreds of years - for instance Admiral Tryon was seen during a reception in his London house in the 1880's when he was actually drowning on his flagship HMS Victoria after a collision with HMS Camperdown in the Mediterranean Sea. He was clearly seen walking up the stairs by a number of ambassadors, dignitaries and gentry when he was over a thousand miles away.
There are reports of airmen killed in the war being seen in their parent's house at the moment they were shot down, of loved ones being woken at night and told that someone needs help - and a host of similar experiences.
There seems to be an emotional link in most cases, the recipient often being a relative or close friend and usually it seems to be a way of saying goodbye or passing information that is of direct relevance to the people involved. Once the message has been given, the apparition seems to vanish, not suddenly, it is just 'not there any more'. These incidents are never frightening and only later the recipient finds that the 'ghost' has died. It is as if they return to say goodbye or to help when there is an unanticipated danger.
Other similar experiences can come by telephone when a distant voice will provide information which can save a life. A notable case took place at Gibraltar in 1943 when a priest was about to board a civilian 'KLM' passenger Dakota for London along with Leslie Howard and a group of passengers and children. He was called back to the local mission by a strange phone call and a voice he did not recognise. When he arrived no one had any knowledge of making the call, at a time when these were all logged. He missed the plane and this was deliberately shot down in a pre planned attack by German fighter planes in the Bay of Biscay, with no survivors.
Other cases are experienced as a voice over the shoulder, often as a one liner, sometimes in a dismissive almost bored tone, predicting an event, often the death of a pet or a new baby. However at other times it is forceful and urgent. Ignore those at your peril - subject always to common sense !
Don't panic, they are not like the films and while they can be alarming there is no reason to be scared - although the encounter can be very disconcerting!
This type of ghost is the 'intelligent' one and many seem to be actively associated with a building or artifact. Some are distressed, and we will deal with those later, but others seem to love where they are and just enjoy being there. Some actually seem to look after a house or building and can give warnings and summon help when there is a problem. There are stories of ghosts waking crewmen on sinking ships so that pumps can be switched on, mysterious phone calls delaying passengers on aircraft that subsequently come down, and all manner of warnings and happenings - we even know of a JCB being 'diverted' to help with the installation of a memorial stone ! If you have one of these 'ghosts' hang on to it! Some even have a sense of humour !
While some people can sense and may even be able to contact the 'ghost', this sort of communication is like using a string and tin toy telephone with a brass band playing next to you - difficult and open to serious misinterpretation. Some - a very few - can make clear contact but many others who claim to be mediums are not as good as they might like to hope - sadly many are in the business for the money. If they claim to be able to contact the spirit of your choice, be cautious - that's like guaranteeing someone will answer a telephone !
There is a fine line between imagination and communication. You rarely mistake a genuine message, but it is all too easy to confuse 'mind chatter' caused by previous information or a desire to help, as information 'from spirit'.
There are very few 'nasty' ghosts - most are distressed, sad and don't understand why they are apparently still very much on the Earth yet invisible and disregarded. They may be angry, they may want to be left alone, but that doesn't make them bad. These spirits may need help, not to be the focus of media attention and TV entertainment. Commercial or recreational ghost hunting has as much benefit as factory farming or visiting a zoo - don't confuse this silly commercial carry on with a genuine paranormal investigation !
Often a 'ghost' you see on TV is either a fake when mediums go ghost hunting and psychics 'make contact', but very occasionally it can be an enraged ghostly occupant of a normally peaceful place - with a good amount of off camera additions like throwing stones and banging doors and screaming commentators to spice up the action. Rather than helping the resident ghost to progress to a higher place, the aim of most TV Programs seems to be to cause sufficient disruption to get a reaction - and if that fails, just to make it up - akin to annoying a sleepy dog and then being surprised when you get bitten. However one TV series we do recommend is 'Shadow Chasers' filmed by Bazooka Bunny Productions. We have seen them work and they don't fake anything - what you see is what happens.
These can generate some very nasty feelings but are not dangerous, although they can make life pretty miserable. This is usually the reason for people asking for a 'clearance' as a property can become infused with a heavy and stagnant energy that makes everyone tired and depressed.
These ghosts are usually associated with a place or thing. They often appear after a change and can sometimes show a degree of intelligence, together with the generation of sudden waves of emotion, strange smells, hot and cold spots. The traditional report is 'it felt as if someone was going to jump out at me'. This is the most personal type of haunting but may only affect certain people or happen at specific times or after an event or date.
Old industrial sites often seem to have confused spirits who don't realise they have died !
Imagine a fatal accident - well not literally - just in the abstract. One moment someone is alive and well and the next moment, possibly without even knowing what happened, they are dead. Now that comes as a bit of a surprise to the 'soul' who suddenly finds itself outside the body and not really knowing what to do or where to go. If it has a strong belief in the afterlife, it is in a better position to deal with this, but if it believes that the light is turned out at death and now it finds the light , so to speak, is still on, there is a serious problem to reconcile.
The theory is that any recently departed soul hangs around the body for a while and is able to see what is happening, blue lights, paramedics, trauma teams etc, but is unable to make contact. This can go on for several days before it gradually accepts what has happened and becomes aware that there are other souls who are trying to persuade it to join them and 'come home'. Depending on what has happened, it may accept this or hang about waiting to regain consciousness, not appreciating that the physical attachment has ended. As time is not supposed to exist as we know it, what may seem a short time to a soul can be many years to those in the 'real' world....and so we have a good old fashioned haunting.
The importance of a funeral, or if there is no body a memorial service, is the traditional laying to rest, saying prayers for the departed soul in a way it understands, to help it realize that the body in the box is of no further use and that it can now go on to 'better' things. A funeral gives closure to living, and the dead. It shows the way to go with the assurance of a familiar religious service to guide it. This is one of the reasons that a funeral with the correct ritual is so important in many faiths.
Once the funeral is over, the spirit knows it is essentially free to go, rather like going through passport control! It can go before, but the service or memorial is a formal way to end and recognise the passing. Some spirits may return to 'visit' loved ones or a favourite place, a harmless and a pleasant experience for those involved, once understood.
Sadly for others who can't accept they are dead, or who have an overwhelming concern or sense of injustice, they either can't or won't proceed. This is particularly so for accident victims, those who have disappeared and those who have not had a memorial ( or funeral - it doesn't really matter if the 'body' is present ! ). The shock of a sudden death, accident or the desire to remain in a place of safety such as a family house, or the inability to move away from the spot where the accident happened may prevent the soul progressing. Instead it remains in the place of death or as a discarnate entity that is unable to proceed. It may wish to stay, or may just refuse to accept that there is an alternative to remaining in one earthly place.
This we believe is what gives rise to the traditional spirit presence, feelings and images, a sense of distress, happiness or a fleeting sideways image of a presence.
In many cases you can live in harmony, but if there are changes or alterations made to the surroundings, a new road, house alterations or modifications to a car or boat, even a piece of treasured jewelry being sold, then the perceived stability of the location can be affected and a soul can become very distressed, not knowing what to do or how to react. We believe that the consciousness available is in many cases like blurred tunnel vision - the spirit knows what is familiar, but if things are seriously altered, it is aware that there has been a change and may become agitated and confused.
Sometimes the spirit may just feel happy in a place where they spent their working life and
remain there to look after others - that is surprisingly frequent with ships and planes.
An earthbound spirit may try to 'warn off' people it perceives as a threat, or try to draw attention to itself as a cry for help. Most living people have no idea there is a spirit present and it becomes both frustrated and frightened, unable to communicate while seeing things happen that it doesn't understand and can't accept. One way of describing how the 'real' world is seen from the spirit side is to imagine looking through slightly frosted glass into a familiar room - if you know where the furniture and walls are, you understand the shapes and colours you see, but if the layout is altered, everything will be very confusing. The spirit becomes more and more desperate as it is unable to leave the place it is in, is unhappy with changes it can't understand and is unable to find a way forward.
The situation eventually boils over into what is known in politically correct speak as 'direct action' - an active haunting. Sometimes a protest, but usually a desperate cry for help. Unfortunately some people are more sensitive than others and can tune into the emotions, interpreting them as unpleasant, which they are, but not in the way many people fear.
SHOULD I BE FRIGHTENED OF A GHOSTLY PRESENCE?
NO! Very few 'ghosts' are in any way 'nasty'. Character doesn't change in the afterlife - there may be a few unpleasant characters who like frightening people, but it is usually for a reason and most disruptive entities are distressed, sad or don't understand why they are apparently 'on the earth' yet invisible and disregarded by living people who can't see them! Over time this becomes a major problem as possessions are sold and changes made to property. The spirit can sense what is happening but has no frame of reference and no influence on something that it believes it still owns. When it tries to make contact, it is ignored, visitors literally don't see it, and it has no influence. Imagine having unknown people take over your house, start knocking it about, selling your treasures and totally ignoring you. In almost every case, a haunting is simply someone who is really pi**ed off about what is happening, but as they are dead it is impossible for them to do anything -and the only way to get the message over is to use psychic energy.
Hauntings usually progress slowly and at first can be mistaken for natural events - which of course may well be the case ! Visible signs are usually very subtle - changes in emotions being particularly easy to influence, particularly for children and those who are reasonably open to the idea of spirit activity. Very rarely do things progress further than an occasional 'sighting', changes in temperature and emotion, smells such as perfume or cooking and other non physical events. If that has no effect, electrical equipment may be increasingly targeted, particularly fire alarm systems and computers as these are sensitive and can be 'messed up' easily with a minimum of physical energy required, while digital cameras can also pick up spurious images better than film. However the most common and defining comment made is that 'I felt someone was about to jump out at me'.
This sums up the limit of most 'hauntings' despite what you see on TV! If matters get really serious it is possible to find items being moved slightly, tilted pictures are a classic example, and we have heard of heavier items being moved although this is usually told via a friend of someone who knew the person involved, with very little documented proof - although the author of this website has had personal and direct experience - with a witness ! Usually however it is just the 'atmosphere' that feels unwelcoming and heavy.
HOW DO YOU CLEAR A GHOST ?
The key to the problem is to make contact with the spirit, determine why it is unable to progress and to help it on its way, or if that is not required, literally to broker a settlement so that both sides can live in harmony. A number of us live quite happily in 'haunted' houses and far from considering this as a problem actually welcome having unseen ( for the most part ) inhabitants about.
To understand this aspect, you have to believe that the body and the soul are separate things that combine at birth - or conception which ever you prefer - and at death they separate. This is not a religious concept, merely one that seems to hold good in many cases. On death, the soul returns to a 'better place', possibly for reincarnation if that idea appeals to you, or to heaven, or to eternal peace and rest. The destination doesn't matter, but getting there does. If the death has been sudden in an accident or if natural, that the person had a very strong emotional attachment to a place or thing or has been wronged then there may be emotional ties. Some people show an almost unhealthy materialistic connection with houses or possessions and others just refuse to accept any possibility of an afterlife and are completely closed to the whole idea.
In our belief structure, and we make no claims to be correct, following death, the body is as much use as a scrap car, but it remains a social focus for grief and religious activity before the final act of burial, cremation or service of thanksgiving. The soul's emotions, memories, learning and basic 'self' live on as an independent entity which is capable of thought, movement and existence in a different dimension that can sometimes interact with our existence in a limited way. When you hear of 'out of body' and 'near death' experiences, this gives some idea of what we mean. The thinking mind - the 'soul' - leaves the body and hopefully goes off to greater and better things, whatever you believe them to be. There is often a period of preparation immediately after death, some people who are very ill say they hear their parents calling them or see a friend of religious figure coming to meet them, others just go to the 'light' and peace. There are as many 'final destinations' as there are religions, but the main point with almost every one is that the soul leaves the body and progresses to a new stage. This seems to be confirmed by those who have been resuscitated and can provide information that they could not have known if they had merely been physically unconscious but somehow aware of events. People with religious convictions may be slightly better prepared as they expect an 'afterlife' but regardless, there seems to be a facility for reception and rehabilitation of recently departed souls - if those who have died and been re-sussed are to be believed!
The aim of spirit rescue, ghost clearing, exorcism and other techniques is to create a bridge so that the soul of the deceased person can understand that it can now leave and progress to the next stage. This may be asking other spirits to make contact, it may mean researching the reason for the injustice and in some way acknowledging the issue, or it may require persuasion to leave and an explanation. In a very few cases the spirit may refuse to leave or be unreachable and in this case exorcism may be needed, but in nearly all cases a calm and rational approach is usually all that is needed. Most earthbound spirits don't want to be here and are delighted to be shown the way home.
WHO ARE 'THE WATCHERS'
There is a lot of debate about the shadow figures that many people see either out of the corner of their eye or as full on figures, often appearing to be in a dark cloak. They seem to do no harm and while some are considered to be a sign that something is going to change, especially if they appear closer on every visit, there is absolutely no evidence at all that they are in any way negative or unpleasant. The best suggestion is that they are someone looking out for you who is offering support and help. No need for concern !
ARE GHOSTS EVIL
Certainly yes - Hollywood is full of them ! As for the rest - we have yet to find one that is! Angry, fed up, irritated, trying to give a message, or unpleasant characters - perhaps. Just like real life ! Evil - no more so than they were in life, but with far less ability to do anything unpleasant !
Specs of dust, energy cells,light anomalies. It is very difficult to determine. Some of the photos we have are very clearly light refracted off rain drops or dust particles, but others that are photographed from different angles and appear in all the shots and thus are very hard to explain. There does see to be some correlation between unexplained activity, sensor activation and the appearance of orbs, but these are never seen by the human eye, only on electronic cameras. Some of the 'orbs' claimed to be ghostly in TV shows are very clearly insects!
'Orbs' seem to be a popular phenomenon - but are they just dust grains?