Nebraska Paranormal Society
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Author Topic: {PRS} For Discussion: Understanding the Psychology of Ghosts (Pt.2)  (Read 1333 times)
MattM - TornadoKnight
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« on: May 24, 2013, 07:10:09 AM »

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The Melancholy or Sad Ghost: The fact that some people are so overwhelmed by grief to the point of incapacitation is a sad reminder of the power of unresolved loss to hold a human soul in limbo long after the body that housed that soul has died. As such, we shouldn't be surprised when this type of negative energy manages to manifest itself without our physical realm in the form of the 'sad' or 'melancholy' ghost.

Perhaps the most depressing type of entity one can encounter, the 'sad' ghost is someone who is so overwhelmed by some tragedy that they continue to wander the physical realm as if in a state of shock that they seem unable to recover from. Suicides often end up as 'sad' ghosts, for the same factors that drove them to take their own life frequently keep them bound to the very physical realm they took such pains to rid themselves of. As such, they can also be among the most difficult to 'rescue', for they are often too self-absorbed in their own pain to either recognize the need for salvation or care about it. They truly are the most lost of all souls, and may require significant intervention on both the part of the living and other spiritual entities to pull them towards the light.

Melancholy ghosts often announce their presence by filling a room with an air of sadness or despair that can dramatically impact the still living in often profound ways. They may also be the source of many cemetery hauntings, for in their grief at their loss of life and happiness, they may be drawn to the physical remains of what had once been their only earthly source of joy. In essence, a 'sad' ghost may be drawn to the physical remains of themselves or a loved one in the same way a grieving mother is to the casket of her child. They simply cannot let go of their loss long enough to even notice their own unfortunate state, and so remain walking a never ending treadmill of pain, regret and despair.

As such, people who suffer from chronic depression or are suicidal need to be aware that they could be setting themselves up to be an earthbound spirit, as could people who have so made another person such the centerpiece of their existence that their loss would permanently cripple them emotionally. That's not to say that grief itself could result in a person becoming a ghost, but the inability to come to terms with it that could do the trick.

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The Mission Ghost: A generally more 'upbeat' and even lively entity, his type of ghost stays around in order to take care of some unfinished business that was cut short by their unexpected death. This 'mission' can be as simple as revealing the location of a hidden will or as major as trying to find justice for a life cut short by murder, but in either case 'mission ghosts' seem intent upon achieving some goal they've set before themselves and feel they cannot rest until they have been succeeded. As such, they will often be among the most persistent and frequently appearing type of manifestation, for they have important things to do. On the flip side, they are generally also a short term entity, interacting within the physical realm only long enough to accomplish their goal, after which they abruptly move on. As such, 'mission ghosts' are usually gone in a few weeks or within a couple of months at most.

A unique type of 'mission ghost' is the 'legacy ghost.' This is a personality that stays not to accomplish some specific task, but to continue to interact with the physical realm as an outlet for its creativity. The case of Mrs. Rosemary Brown of England is a classic example of this sort of manifestation. In 1964 this widow and untutored musician who possessed only the most basic knowledge of the piano began composing sophisticated works that she claimed were dictated to her by the spirits of Liszt, Chopin, and Beethoven (among others.) Over a period of almost ten years she wrote a number of unique and never before heard symphonies of tremendous complexity and professionalism in the styles of several famous musicians, pieces which were largely beyond her own ability to play and that were identified by several professional musicians as consistent with the styles of these great composers. Though there were critics who also contended the pieces to be something 'less than' these composers best stuff, the fact that an amateur piano player could consistently produce anything even similar to the works of the great masters is nothing short of remarkable, and may constitute excellent evidence that the personality not only survives death, but may be capable of returning centuries after its demise to continue on with its life work.

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The Goodbye or Comfort Ghost: Perhaps the most common rationale for a personality manifesting to the still living remains the desire to say farewell. As such, the 'goodbye ghost' is a manifestation that appears—often only once—to either say goodbye to a loved one bereaved by their loss or to simply send a signal that they are well and have passed over successfully.

These manifestations can be as simple as turning on lights or tuning a radio to a particular station the deceased was known to favor while alive to something as dramatic as a full-body manifestation. Tales of widows seeing their late husband sitting on the foot of their bed or children encountering the manifestation of their dead sibling in their bedroom are legion, and even recently departed family pets have even been occasionally reported. However, these reports must be examined within the context of the many ways grief can manifest itself in one's imagination to produce the very fantasy a bereaved loved one 'needs' to bring closure to a tragic event. Yet if all such occurrences are psychosomatically induced, they should be exceedingly common and, perhaps, even anticipated among grieving relatives, though that has not proven to be the case. Such instances are still relatively uncommon and, more often than not, entirely unexpected and sometimes even undesirable, thereby reducing the chances that such visitations are hysterically-induced hallucinations. Trauma and excessive grief may account for some cases, but certainly not for all of them.

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The Curious Ghost: Ghosts that remain around for long periods of time and seem to be willing to appear to almost anyone could be caused by personalities who know full well that they are dead and are quite comfortable with the fact, but have found the ability to manifest so fascinating that they are choosing to purposely haunt a location-if not for fun-at least out of curiosity. Certainly the desire to experiment might be a powerful inducement to get a ghost to interact with the physical realm, their motive being not to say goodbye or settle some unfinished business, but simply to see what they can do. It's not inconceivable that they may even be learning to manifest the necessary energy required to appear to us, honing their manifestation skills the same way an earthbound musician might hone his piano playing skills.

I'd imagine that those personalities who in life demonstrated a considerable curiosity about the afterlife or were of a scientific mind might find the opportunity to manipulate matter and energy from the other side to be too good an opportunity to pass up. Perhaps there are even paranormal investigators working the equation from the other side and are even now hard at work trying to demonstrate the existence of the spiritual realm as determinedly as some 'ghost hunters' are trying to do from this side. After all, reports of deceased paranormal investigators trying to communicate with their previous colleagues and students are not unknown, making it perhaps only a matter of time before the spiritual and physical realms get together to produce irrefutable proof that human consciousness survives the death of the brain that houses it, and so forcing science to start from scratch in defining what constitutes reality.

I would suspect such personalities, however, to be fairly rare and frequently frustrated in their efforts to get through to us 'thick mortals', and so wonder if they might not be prone to tiring of the game and move on to explore other realms of the spirit. After all, if they are curious enough to attempt to manifest within linear time and space, we can assume they might just as easily grow curious enough about other aspects of the ethereal realm to abandon their 'haunting experiments' and move on. As such, while curious ghosts might prove the most likely type to help us demonstrate the existence of a spiritual realm, they may also be among the most 'flighty' in that the very curiosity that makes them willing to try and communicate with us makes them equally likely to leave to explore other aspects of their new existence as well, which would at least be consistent with their personality.

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The Mischievous Ghost: Similar to the curious ghost but of a somewhat more menacing vein is that which we call the mischievous or 'playful' ghost. It is different from the curious ghost in that it isn't as interested in demonstrating the reality of the supernatural realm as it is in simply frightening the still living. It is as though haunting is one great amusement to it, and it will spend any amount of energy necessary to play the game for as long as it can.

Obviously, then, such ghosts are immature and childish (like the personalities behind them) and are comparable to the practical joker who thinks everything he does is hilarious and can't understand why others can't see the humor in his often mean spirited and usually embarrassing shenanigans. It can also be among the most frightening type of ghost in that it is actually trying to scare people (whereas most ghosts do so unintentionally.) This can manifest itself in something as innocent as making a chair rock, hiding a piece of jewelry or pulling the sheets off a bed or to something as serious as tugging hair, slapping, or even tripping people! Clearly, they are, at a minimum, the most difficult sort to live with for they want to make a nuisance of themselves and, in fact, go out of their way to make living with them almost impossible.

Additionally, being that these are very interactive ghosts, they may be the source of at least some-if not all-poltergeist activity. This is not a popular theory, however, for poltergeists are frequently though to be the result not of a ghostly entity, but of uncontrolled bursts of psychic or telekinetic energy put out by a particular living person. However, as with most ghostly theories, it could just as well be that mischievous ghosts are able to utilize the traumatic energy such a person puts out as a means of moving things; in other words, a nervous teenage girl may simply be the perfect conduit for inadvertently providing the very energy a mischievous entity requires to do it's mischief, without which it would be unable to manifest itself. This would also explain why poltergeist activity frequently ceases when the 'source energy' (the person) leaves the vicinity-it no longer has a source of energy-or why it sometimes follows the individual to other places (the ghost is attracted to their energy and follows them.) Of course, this doesn't explain why all similarly high strung teenagers don't have poltergeist activity happening around them all the time (such activity is, after all, comparatively rare.) One possibility is that such ghosts are themselves exceedingly rare, or that people put out different psychic energies and mischievous entities are attracted to only certain types (or, perhaps, frequencies?). In any case, the idea that there are personalities willing to pull stunts on the still living should be no more remarkable than the fact that such fortunately uncommon individuals exist in the physical realm today. An immature personality is no more likely to suddenly 'grow up' once it is dead than a mature one is likely to revert to it's second childhood once it dies. People will always be people, after all, regardless of whether they are dead or alive.

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The Angry Ghost: While a mischievous ghost might be, at its heart, relatively benign and even potentially amusing at times, an angry ghost is another matter. Negative energy is a powerful force so the idea that anger, rage and hatred might keep a personality earthbound has to be considered. Certainly people have been willing to endure tremendous hardship and great personal loss in the quest for revenge, so the thought that an angry personality might be willing to endure the personal hell of an earthly wandering in search of vengeance is not difficult to imagine. In fact, it would be entirely consistent with what we know of human nature.

How the manifestation of an angry entity would 'look' and 'feel' is a source for considerable debate. It could be as simple as an oppressive or uncomfortable feeling one might experience upon entering a particular room to something as frightening as an air of overpowering hatred and dread hanging in the atmosphere . In more extreme cases, it may even manifest poltergeist-like activity and do such things as hurl objects at the observer or even physically attack a person, so the ability of an angry ghost to do real damage should never be minimized or ignored.

In any case, the angry ghost has gotten itself so deeply enmeshed within the periphery of the physical realm that it is truly stuck and, in some cases, may be entirely incapable of moving on to higher plains of existence (without perhaps considerable help from other spiritual entities.) Could this be one reason religion frequently teaches the importance of forgiveness and controlling ones anger? Fortunately such entities are relatively rare, but even so they present the greatest challenge to the ghost hunter, for they truly are capable of being dangerous, especially if one feeds into their anger by sending out the very same negative emotions they are sensing from them. Anger is a destructive force that grows more powerful with time and can only be dissipated through the power of love and compassion.
It should be obvious by now that there many reasons for becoming a ghost, most of them having to do with human nature and our base personalities. Everything from love and concern for those left behind to curiosity and immaturity to outright hatred for the living are all reasons anyone could become—at least briefly—a ghost. In that regards, then, becoming a ghost appears to be something that can be both voluntary and accidental, and in some cases may even be unconscious.

On the other hand, it also seems likely that most people will never become a ghost but will instead choose to move on to grandeur, more magnificent vistas immediately after they die. Of course, this doesn't mean they are no longer a part of our lives. After all, a ghost is the manifestation of a personality, and that personality—and the person it represents—can live on and even express itself without having to manifest itself in the physical realm at all, which not only demonstrates the power of the human consciousness, but the power of love as well. There is no more powerful force in the universe and, in fact, may be all that truly exists within the context of the absolute.
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