What is a Ghost….
gōst/Noun: An apparition of a dead person that is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image.
ghost (g st) n. 1. The spirit of a dead person, especially one believed to appear in bodily likeness to living persons or to haunt former habitats. 2. The center of spiritual life; the soul. 3. A demon or spirit. 4. A returning or haunting memory or image.
Main Entry: 1 ghost Pronunciation: \ˈ gōst\Function: noun Etymology: Middle English gost, gast, from Old English gāst; akin to Old High German geist spirit, Sanskrit heḍa anger Date: before 12th century 1 : the seat of life or intelligence : SOUL 2 : a disembodied soul; especially : the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness
These are some of the definitions given from the world’s most upstanding dictionaries, yet I think all of them are missing the mark.
What is a ghost? Is it just a faint semblance of one who is no longer living? Is it just an imprint in time? Or is it more than that?
In my eyes, the term “ghost” is forever changing. The more I research and investigate, the more the definition changes. I am constantly amazed at what we get in return for our sincere efforts.
My interests in the Paranormal started in childhood. They were born of experiences that were both scary and intriguing. They kept me up at night, made me sleep with a night-light, and made me extremely shy around anyone that I didn’t know.
Are you real? Are you a Spirit? Will I see you in my dreams tonight? These were questions I would ask. As I grew older, the curiosity grew stronger along with the need to understand and communicate. Questions began to formulate and at some point I even questioned my own sanity.
What was it about the departed that kept me up at night? Was it fear of dying or curiosity of the possibilities of existing in another realm?
For me it transcended what I knew about living, about dying, about religion….about everything. It made me more interested in the past and more concerned for the future.
Paranormal investigating started with researching haunted locations on the internet or in books. From there, it turned into day trips full of exploration in an effort to satisfy growing curiosity. But each piece of the puzzle, every new clue, did more to spur curiosity than to satiate it. Slowly, I began to accrue equipment in an effort to answer the question: What is a ghost?
Part of learning how to investigate came from following examples. I watched television shows and talked to other investigators. I compared notes and judged my success by the success of others. As I continued, I found that no matter what evidence I captured, I had more questions than answers. I began to try new things and I questioned previous beliefs. I open myself to new ideas and possibilities and developed new connections that I didn’t know were possible.
In an effort to validate the field, investigators try desperately to adhere to a scientific method. I agree that evidence should be looked at through the filters of scrutiny and skepticism. However, I feel that this is often done at the expense of other natural abilities. Some call it instinct. Some call it extra sensory perception. Whatever the term, the human mind is blessed with a range of abilities, many of which are just as worthy of garnering results as the K2 meter or the audio recorder. While depending on instinct alone to successfully collect evidence in an investigation would do nothing to advance the rest of the community’s understanding of what we are experiencing, denying the use of the abilities we already possess would be like throwing out a hammer because you bought a drill. They are all tools, and they can be used in conjunction with one another in order to further the research process.
As of now I am no closer to a text-book definition than I was when I started. But I will say that I am closer to understanding why they are here. What people call “ghost” is still someone who walked the Earth as we do, and now experiences a new type of life. The fact that we can communicate with them is a gift. They can teach us about the past, make us appreciate the present, and change our minds about the future.
So if you ask me what I believe a ”ghost” is, for now I will just say they are teachers, and the lesson isn’t over yet.