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In lands I never saw -- they say
Immortal Alps look down --
Whose bonnets touch the firmament --
Whose sandals touch the town --

Meek at whose everlasting feet
A myriad daisy play --
Which, Sir, are you and which am I
Upon an August day?

Emily Dickinson
Learn English in July

Ghosts: More science than superstition?

[Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
Many people today do not think ghosts exist.

I do.

I've seen and talked to a ghost twice in my life. It wasn't a scary experience -- nothing like in Hollywood movies -- but I can't explain what happened, except that I was talking to a dead person.

With that said, there are 3 different 'types' of ghosts.

One is what is called a 'tape'. That is, it is a magnetic image that the environment (normally stone) is holding and projecting. These types of ghosts function the same way a cassette tape does. These are not dead people, but pictures or sounds from the past. Normally, if they are images, they stand in one place and do not talk or move. Stories about them normally start "when conditions are right...."

The second is what is called 'free-roaming energy' or fetch. These are what make poltergeists and the ghosts that can move objects. These are also not dead people, but kinetic energy. The best example of this is the Winchester House in California, USA. It is considered one of the most haunted houses in the world and is full of fetch. What can happen in the Winchester House is truly terrifying.

The third type of ghost is a spirit outside of its body. It doesn't matter if the body is alive or dead. You can see the spirits of both living and dead people. These are the ones we normally think of when we say 'ghost', and this is the type I've talked to.

To me, all three of these types of ghosts make logical, scientific sense and are based in scientific fact, not in superstition.

Have you ever seen, heard or met any of these three types of ghosts like I have?


  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
    Or do you not think any of this really exists and I was hallucinating?
  • takafromtokyotakafromtokyo Posts: 2,966 Inactive
    Well, believe it or not, all the members of my family have seen ghosts more than once in my house. We all agree there's some kind of a path for ghosts that goes right through our little corridor. We think our little corridor must be really convenient for ghosts to use, so they also use it to get to somewhere they want.

    I've seen a little girl and my daughter have seen an elderly woman. My wife's even seen a dog walking down the corridor.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,418 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm with you @Larry_the_Zebra. My father used to believe in ghosts, or at least kept an open mind on the subject and said he wanted to meet a ghost. I'm sure that he then proved that ghosts exist by keeping an eye on me for some time after he died. Like you say, it wasn't at all scary. In fact it was a really nice experience.
  • takafromtokyotakafromtokyo Posts: 2,966 Inactive
    Your story reminded me that my wife once told me that the dog she'd seen walking in our house was the one her family had kept but had died several years before.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,418 ✭✭✭✭
    There's a town called St Albans, just north of London where there are reputed to be many ghosts for various reasons @takafromtokyo. I'm not sure if these are just stories as I'm inclined to believe that ghosts are very much a reality. @Larry_the_Zebra have you ever been to St Albans?
  • YellowtailYellowtail Posts: 890 ✭✭✭✭
    I want to believe existence of ghosts, because I want to believe the world is a mysterious place. And yet, by simply thinking, our mind depends on our brain, and when the brain disappears, I guess the mind would disappear at the same time. So let me ask you why you think the existence of ghosts is a 'scientific fact'. Especially in the third type where spirits get out of the bodies.
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
    @takafromtokyo Which of the three types of ghost do you think the ones in your corridor are? The dog is quite possibly a 'tape'. Do they all do exactly the same things, no matter who sees them?
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
    @Yellowtail Well, for the first type, the 'tape', if you think that doesn't exist, then you have to say things like cassette tapes or VHS tapes never existed and are non-scientific, too. The tape is a magnetic image or sound recording that nature made, not people, but it works on the same principal. That explains the crying, screaming, laughing or music that people often hear. They are hearing a natural sound recording.

    The second type of ghost, 'fetch' is kinetic or 'moving' energy...a very basic scientific phenomenon. This is the most dangerous type of ghost as it can cause harm to people if they block the movement of this type of energy.

    The third one, I admit, is a little more based on observation than on a concrete fact known to me. The fact that people have seen the ghost of LIVING people tells me that either we do have a spirit that can leave our bodies when it wants to -- and we are not entirely our brain--or our magnetic energy field (which everything in existence has) can move around without our body. This might also be a form of aura. If our energy field, or aura, can move around without our body, then then the aura is not the same thing as the magnetic field of our physical body. Can you follow me?

    A friend of mine -- who is not very imaginative -- observed me get up out of my body and walk around our college dorm room many years ago. I was asleep at the time, and it really scared her! Also, a number of married couples have reported seeing their partner in another part of their home while the partner was asleep.
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
    > @mheredge said:
    No, I haven't been to St Alban's, but I've been all over the UK.

    They say the UK is one of the most haunted countries on earth because of two factors:

    1) the weather conditions (low barometric pressure and the proximity to large bodies of water)

    2) that the British very often build in stone. Stone is a fantastic assistant to making the first type of ghost, the 'tape', which is probably the most common ghost that there is.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    I do think that ghosts exist, but we do not have the scientific ability to understand exactly what they are, or why, yet. I think there have been too many sightings for them not to be real.
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
    edited February 2017
    @GemmaRowlands Do you mean the 3rd type, the ones we traditional think of as ghosts? Or do you disagree with the parapsychological research explanations I've mentioned as being mere theory?
  • YellowtailYellowtail Posts: 890 ✭✭✭✭
    Thank you for the explanation. I think I follow you.
    I think many laymans have the idea that spirit doesn't exist without brain. And I know some of them easily invoke it to deny the existence of ghosts. But Actually I'm not sure today's science can fully explain what spirit is. So I agree with you there is posibility that spirit can leave the body.
    The first and second types are even more plausable. You say they are not dead people but still they are caused by something dead people have left, right?
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 363 ✭✭✭

    Layman means 'normal person with no special technical knowledge'. I think you mean 'scientist' in your post?

    The one called a 'tape' was left by a living person (or animal) in the past, yes.

    For example: It is a rainy, over-cast day in March of 1563. A guard is standing in front of the stone wall of a castle, where he normally stands when he is on duty. He has just received very bad news and his body is reacting by filling the area he is in with feelings of anguish. (Just like when you can enter a room and know that the people in the room have been fighting -- the atmosphere carries the emotions of the people)

    With these three factors present 1) low barometric pressure 2) stone with a high iron or other magnetic metal content 3) intense human emotions, nature can make a 'recording' of the scene.

    The iron of stone holds the image (like the magnetic ribbon in a cassette tape) and when barometric pressure falls to the same level it was when the recording was made....that's like pressing 'play' and we can see the guard standing at his post again.

    Stories about these types of ghosts normally start "When conditions are right,...." that normally means low barometric pressure or a "thick" atmosphere you can sometimes find at night.

    Ghost # 2, called 'fetch' can have nothing to do with people at all. It is entirely natural, formless energy that moves (kinetic). People CAN mould this energy --either by accident or on purpose. This makes things like poltergeists. Parapsychologists (scientists who study things like ghosts) know that poltergeists are often unknowingly moulded by teenage girls! That's why the first thing they look for when a poltergeist is active, is a teenage girl in the house.

    Fetch is a highly concentrated form of moving energy and if a person has moulded some fetch, then they were alive when they did it.

    In the Winchester House, for example, they tell you to not have anything in your pockets when you go through the house. There is fetch in the house that can pull things out of your pocket (your wallet, keys, mobil phone, coins) and you can only watch them float away through the air and down a corridor. The fetch is a 'pickpocket'. That isn't being done by the spirit of a dead person, but by an intense concentrated energy that was moulded to pick pockets -- either knowingly or unknowingly -- by someone with the ability to work with this energy form.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,418 ✭✭✭✭
    I never thought Britain might be more haunted than other countries @Larry_the_Zebra. I think in Nepal most people believe ghosts exist. I used to teach a little boy who was afraid of spirits. I manged to convince him that not all ghosts were bad and that there were a lot of 'good' spirits so he didn't need to be afraid. I think I managed to convince him, as he slept better after we had our chat.
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
    @mheredge With how science-worshiping many people in the West are getting today, the belief in ghosts is seen (by them) as something absurdly childish. As if adults are acting just as the little boy you mentioned. They are simply afraid of the dark because there are 'bad spirits' there.

    It is ironic, I think, that so many English today have this 'everything that can't be scientifically proven is a lie' attitude, and yet the UK is one of the few nations with laws concerning ghosts on the books!

    It is, for example, illegal in the UK for a real estate agent to sell a property that has had ghost or paranormal problems without informing the buyer! The property is technically considered 'inhabited' and therefore the sale is not legally binding.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,418 ✭✭✭✭
    I never knew that @Larry_the_Zebra though for me having a resident ghost might be an attraction. I don't think I can go as far as to say that I felt that my old house in London was exactly haunted, but somehow it always felt that it had a good 'karma'for want of a better word, right from the first moment I stepped in. It was built in the 1820s for artisans, where typically one family lived on each floor.
  • YellowtailYellowtail Posts: 890 ✭✭✭✭
    Sorry for confusing you. I used the word 'layman' in the very meaning that you gave. What I wanted to say is, laymans tend to invoke ideas that they believe scientific without thorough consideration, exactly as you say 'everything that can't be scientifically proven is a lie' attitude. While professional scientists rather know the limitation of science.
    Anyway, I think the reason people are scared of ghosts is they see ghosts as dead people's spirits, and haunting dead people are likely to have a grudge against living people, and might do them harm.
    So according to the theory you showed, we don't have to scare of ghosts at all, if they are 'tapes' or 'fetches'. In fact, 'tapes' can be really precious information that convey what emotion ancient people once felt there, like ancient documents do.
    As for 'fetch', it's even more like so called psychokinesis than ghosts.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,418 ✭✭✭✭
    This can be the case @Yellowtail in that it is said ghosts are unhappy souls, which is why they are trapped in their situation. Apart from the movies though, are there instances of malevolent ghosts that have physically hurt people @Larry_the_Zebra, or is it more that the individual's imagination and fear has done more damage?
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
    edited February 2017
    @mheredge @Yellowtail

    As I understand it...
    the ghosts that actually are the spirits of dead people are often A) confused because they don't know they are dead or B they KNOW they are dead and refuse to accept it.

    Of the two ghosts I've met, one was confused and didn't understand why there were people living in HER apartment. Why are these people here? Where is my cabinet? What is this THING (stares at computer)?? They can get angry over these things, but their anger is mostly confusion.

    The other one wasn't confused so much, as he knew something wasn't right, but he was too afraid of what that meant. Namely, that he was dead. It freaked him out that he might be a ghost. In fact, I'd say he was scared of ghosts himself.

    Fetch, the psychokinesis as Yellowtail says, does have the ability to hurt people! Very much so. It's not thinking and if you get in its way it will hurt you. Just like a hurricane or a flood will hurt you, too. But, I wouldn't say hurricanes or flood are malevolent, they are simply strong natural forces. Fetch can follow you, fetch can throw things at you, etc. But it is not the spirit of a dead person. They normally are too interested in their own dramas.

    If you get too afraid though, you can increase the power of fetch and it can do more harm because of the emotion you are throwing at it. So, yes, people's imaginations and fear can contribute to the problem at times.

    I also think tapes are valuable historic documents, Yellowtail!
  • FrankFrank Moderator Posts: 6,634 mod
    edited February 2017
    A few weeks after my father died. My mother was sitting in her living room. She'd shut her eyes for a moment and when she opened her eyes again. She saw my father laying on the couch. He was smiling at her happily. Then when she blinked again the image had gone. It gave her a feeling of reassurance and relief, a feeling that everything was all right. When I asked her if she thought it was a hallucination or a ghost, she said she didn't know for sure. She only said the experience felt very real. @Larry_the_Zebra @mheredge @Yellowtail @takafromtokyo .
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
    @Frank It's exactly experiences like that -- so real to the person who experiences them -- which so-called "skeptics" like to jump on as 'emotional hallucination'. That she was distraught, and perhaps fell asleep for a moment. When she woke up...not fully awake... she *thought* she saw her recently deceased husband. Possibly she'd been dreaming about him and didn't remember.

    Here is an even more interesting example of this...
    I don't remember where it happened, but somewhere in America, a local terrorist group took a class of young children hostage in their school. They put a live bomb in the middle of the classroom and threatened to blow it up if their demands weren't met. The adults were scared witless, but many of the children weren't.

    Later, after the police had managed to rescue the kids without any of them being hurt, the psychologists asked the kids why there weren't afraid. A good number of the children said that their dead grandmother had been there with them. That their grandmother had sat next to them and made them calm. The only explanation for this that the adults had, was a group hallucination (like at the Salem Witch Trials).
  • YellowtailYellowtail Posts: 890 ✭✭✭✭
    I once came across a ghost posting on a forum. He made a thread, named 'I'm a ghost, do you have any questions?' Of course people initially laugh it away, but his story was pretty convincing, so they were getting interested little by little.
    According to him, he had died of an accident a few days before, and found himself lingering on the world. Now he was posting by pusing text directly in there with mental powers. And also He could walk through walls. He had seen his funeral. He wanted apology to his family for their grief.
    He talked about these things calmly and friendly. Some people pointed out his access data were impossible ones for a living person. I don't know if it was true. But whether they believe or not, they enjoyed talking to him, because he seemed a nice guy.
    After a few hours of conversation, he said goodbye and left the forum.
  • takafromtokyotakafromtokyo Posts: 2,966 Inactive
    Speaking of ghosts, I have a story I can share with you. This might give us another evidence.

    Once when I was taking a bath at a hotel during my business trip, I came across this incident. The hotel had a big bath where 5 or 6 visitors could use at the same time. When I entered the bathroom, I was all alone. When I was washing my head and had my eyes closed, I heard the sound of the door opening. Someone had entered the bathroom, started using the shower two spots, or seats, away from me. My eyes were still closed, but in the end, I heard him pour the hot water on himself and got into the tub to soak himself in. That's when I finished washing and rinsing mr hair. I turned around to take a bath myself only to find a still empty bathtub and an empty room.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,418 ✭✭✭✭
    I feel a bit sorry for my father. He really wanted to meet a ghost but somehow, maybe because of this, he never did.

    However in the 1940s, just after the end of the war, he spent a year or so working in a big weird old house where he had to listen to radio messages in morse (it was the beginning of the Cold War).

    He said that no one stayed long at this house as it was reckoned to be haunted. Staff were reported to have seen all sorts of strange things like carriages rolling down the long drive and headless horsemen.

    One time my father said that he heard something in the night and went to investigate, no doubt hoping to meet one of these ghosts. He opened a door, but said that for some reason he had a funny feeling and didn't go any further. The next day when he retraced his steps, he was very glad he'd stopped because it was a door leading to a lift shaft! But one night when he was in bed, he woke up and saw a strange shape of a person lit up, in the corner of the room. At first he was a bit scared, until he realised that it was just the moonlight shining onto a statue on the outside balcony.

    He was quite sorry he never could see anything to convince him ghosts existed. It's perhaps only fitting that he seemed to prove to me that they exist.
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
    @takafromtokyo Hotels are one of the most frequent places ghosts are encountered, strangely enough! I know a number of older hotels in the UK keep 'ghost books' in which all the strange happenings that people report in the hotel are logged. That must make VERY interesting reading.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,418 ✭✭✭✭
    I suppose it's not a good idea to stay in a haunted hotel unless you're prepared for things that go bump in the night @takafromtokyo.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod

    @GemmaRowlands Do you mean the 3rd type, the ones we traditional think of as ghosts? Or do you disagree with the parapsychological research explanations I've mentioned as being mere theory?

    I really don't know. I know that sounds silly. I just think there must be more to life than what we can see, and I don't believe that the souls of the ones we've lost ever really leave us, so in that respect I believe ghosts are real.
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 363 ✭✭✭
    edited February 2017
    > @Yellowtail said:
    And also He could walk through walls. He had seen his funeral. He wanted apology to his family for their grief.

    Why do you think --if it was really dead person and not a living one -- that he chose to talk to strangers online, and not to his family? Certainly, they have computers? He said he wanted to apologize, did he leave a message for someone on the forum to deliver?
  • YellowtailYellowtail Posts: 890 ✭✭✭✭
    Well, I don't know. Maybe, he did so later. Maybe he had not been used to communicate with his family by computers (he said he only could see the websites familiar to him). Or his family actually might not have computers, sinse the story was about 10 years ago, and there were still some older people who didn't have computers back then.

    Or, of course I admit, it might be a lie at all!
  • NeuroMedNeuroMed Posts: 18 Inactive
    edited February 2017
    How do you distinguish between a poltergeist and demons? or one could be another?
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