Disincarnate spirits, ghosts and other apparitions are usually considered to be the apparition of a dead person or animal. They are usually benign, though reports of evil spirits should serve as a caution. Frequently, spirits come back to warn us of danger; at times, they return vowing revenge on those who have harmed them.
Ghosts are usually linked to the place they left while on this earth. Further, they all seem to be quite unhappy. Certainly, there are few records of happy ghosts joyously haunting their old homes.
Ancient Greek and Roman literature records many instances of ghosts, and the records continue to the present day. Both religion and science have tried to explain ghosts and hauntings as impossible. Despite this condemnation, most people believe that ghosts can continue to haunt the areas they knew in life.
A careful study reveals that there is more than one kind of ghost. Not only do they differ in appearance, they may have different effects when they appear. Some will brighten or dim the lights, while others have no effect. Most ghosts can be seen either in bright sunlight or shadows – some even appear to be illuminated from within.
Most people who see ghosts catch a glimpse out of the corner of their eye. Perhaps this led to the folklore which claimed a ghost could not be looked at directly. In fact, many people have recorded conversations with apparitions. Some have even claimed physical contact with ghosts or mysterious spirits. Often, more than one person sees a ghost at the same time, validating the original story.
Ghosts usually appear in the same place over and over again. If they are hunting a house, they generally haunt only one room. However, all ghosts are different, and some may haunt entire farms.
Not everyone can see ghosts. However, many have reported feeling a presence nearby. Some people have even been able to describe the presence, even without direct observation. A woman staying in the Chateau de Prangins in Switzerland sensed a man sitting at a writing desk in her hotel room. Although she described the scene vividly to her husband, she was too frightened to look directly. When finally encouraged to look at the desk, there was no one visible. The next morning, hotel staff advised her that she had seen the ghost of Voltaire, who often used the room while he was alive.
Although many people “hunt” ghosts, most ghostly encounters occur to people who don’t expect them. The ghost may quickly disappear, although some fade gradually.
Many ghosts appear able to cast shadows. Transparent apparitions are quite rare, although ghosts may gradually become transparent as they disappear. Although there are no reported headless ghosts, at times only a portion of the ghost – a pair of hands, a head, or legs – may be seen.
Perhaps the most frightening ghost is the doppelganger. Should you see a ghost of yourself, it is an omen of impending death.
Not all ghosts are human. In London, a phantom bus continued to run its usual route for many years. A phantom house, bombed into oblivion, still occupies its site. There are even reports of phantom letters, machinery, clothing, and more. Phantom animals also exist, both with human apparitions and alone. Ghost horses continue to pull wagons; ghost dogs appear often with the apparitions of their masters. Interestingly, ghost cats often appear alone, proving that cats are solitary creatures in death and in life.