History of Ghosts and Hauntings Part 2

History and information about ghosts and hauntings the psychic phenomenon of the dead returning from the afterlife in forms such as poltergeists.

Ghosts and Hauntings

It has been suggested that these haunts are not related to surviving entities at all, but are the result of a sort of vibration, absorbed by the locale as a result of very intense emotions at the time the original act (or battle) took place. An alternative explanation may be retrocognition in which one sees or hears the past psychically, by ESP.

Spiritualists believe that many ghosts are spirits who are bound to earth by strong emotional ties or a refusal to accept the fact that they have died. Some mediums specialize in "rescuing" such entities by persuading them that their place is on other planes, not on earth.

The word "poltergeist" refers to a boisterous ghost, and this is a different matter. A typical poltergeist case has objects flying around, bottles falling over, screw-top lids coming loose. Usually no one is harmed (although there are exceptions), but the events are frightening to any family that has to endure them. Occasionally showers of stones will rain onto and into a house. More horrifying is the "fire poltergeist," in which flammable objects keep bursting into flame for no apparent reason, but these cases are rare and are unlikely to be investigated while occurring. Some people believe these, and perhaps all poltergeist phenomena, are cases of possession by evil or demonic spirits.

However, investigators have managed to get to the scene of a number of "normal" poltergeist cases, and most of them think it unlikely that a ghost or spirit is responsible for the flying objects. Experience shows that poltergeists usually afflict groups within which there is considerable tension. The "center" of the activity is often a child or adolescent, although elderly centers have been reported. The person feels frustrated and inwardly angry, and these feelings seem to find expression through psychokinesis--mind over matter. When angry, it is normal to want to throw things, but usually we restrain ourselves. It is believed that the person central to poltergeist events actually does throw things--not physically, but by mentally causing objects to move. PK, like ESP, works subconsciously, so that even the person concerned is rarely aware of what he or she is doing.

Usually, as time goes by, tensions fade, and the phenomena gradually cease. However, poltergeists attract a lot of attention, and sometimes the people involved enjoy the attention so much that they use trickery to keep the activity going. A competent investigator usually discovers this, but he then has to decide whether all the events were hoaxes, or whether some of the original phenomena were genuine. Some cases have been very thoroughly observed and investigated, and it is clear that not all are due to trickery.

Similarly, many accounts of encounters with apparitions seem to be neither fraud nor psychological hallucination. Therefore, though we still have no clear understanding of just what a ghost is, there must be ghosts!

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