What is a Ghost?

-by Amy Perry

What is a ghost? Type this question into Google and it will return approximately 220 million results. Seriously, I checked. Depending on how deeply a person wants to This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ghost1.jpgdelve into the mystery of the paranormal the answer can be as simple as the definition of the word itself or as complicated as the theory of parallel universes.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word ghost as: 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. A SOUL being the seat of life or intelligence.

In his article, What is a Ghost? J. Allan Danelek, theorizes that a “true ghost” is the disembodied conscious energy of a once living person with the ability to interact and communicate. The “true ghost” is neither part of the spiritual realm or the physical world but somewhere in-between. Depending on one’s belief a ghost is either “trapped” or has chosen to stay in this in-between state.

As I was researching various sources of information about ghosts, my own belief systems and experiences forced me to distinguish between what Danelek considers a “true ghost” and what I consider a spirit or ghost.

Do I believe there are souls who refuse to leave a place? Yes. Do I believe souls can be “trapped” in a specific place? I am still not certain.

Do I believe that the soul or spirit of a person can visit, assist, and offer guidance and comfort even after they have passed into the spiritual world? Yes, and I will offer one of my personal experiences to help validate this belief.

Five years ago, a very close friend suddenly passed away. About a month later, I began having problems with my TV’s. I was alone in my bedroom watching television very late one night when the TV turned off seemingly by itself. I thought I had accidentally touched the remote control and thought nothing more of the event. In the second, the television came on while I was nowhere near the television or the remote control. The remote control was facing away from the television and I also checked the location of my cell phone as I know they can sometime cause electronic interference – the cell phone was nowhere near the television. I thought perhaps my neighbor might have a remote control using the same frequency. The problem with this explanation is that I was living in a very old home with 12 inch thick adobe type walls and the window was not in a direct line of site with the windows of my neighbors. As these instances continued to occur, I accepted that it was my friend playing with me or “haunting” me – just letting me know she was still around.

One day the television in my living room came on while I was in another room. Previous to this, only my bedroom television was affected. After turning off the television, I stood alone in my house and spoke to my friend. I thanked her for letting me know she was around and that I was happy to feel her spirit with me, but could she please not do anything like that when my son was in the house because I didn’t want him to be frightened. The televisions never turned on and off by themselves again.

Was my friend a “true ghost” stuck between the physical and spiritual planes or a spirit visiting from the other side? This is the type of question I hope to someday answer and what drives me to investigate these incidents further.

Do I believe there are souls who refuse to leave a place? Yes. Do I believe souls can be “trapped” in a specific place? I am still not certain.

In future articles, I will write about the different type of ghosts and hauntings and the general beliefs regarding each of these.



Danelek, J. A. (2010, October 30). The Llewellyn
Journal. Retrieved December 31, 2013, from Llewellyn Worldwide: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1262

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