The Secret World of Ghosts and Spirits

This week I'm a bit buried with some major writing projects, so I'm going to share an article with my loyal readers from an Irish writer named David Sloan. David has his own perspective about what constitutes ghosts and spirits, and his personal experience in a small hotel just west of Ireland is fascinating. Enjoy the tale...

A True Ghost Story From Ireland

I want to tell you about a ghost experience that was shared with me by a friend from Ireland, but first a few words in general about ghosts:

A ghost is the spirit of a dead person, or sometimes an animal, and sometimes manifests looking very much as they did in life, and is usually encountered in places the person spent a lot of time while they were corporeal. The word "ghost" is also used to reference any spirit or demon. Ghosts are usually found haunting the area in which they died.

According to parapsychological circles a ghost haunting is the nearly steady occurrence of supernatural phenomena associated with a particular area, like a house or a stretch of highway, and is attributed to the activities of a disembodied entity, or ghost. The haunting may include the physical appearance of a ghost, or some poltergeist activity, glowing orbs, disembodied voices, etc.

Ghosts are a strange phenomena that has fascinated mankind for ages. According a 2005 Gallup poll, about 32% of Americans believed ghosts exist. The word apparition is now used in the field of parapsychology, because the word ghost is thought to be too imprecise.

The belief in ghosts as the souls, or spirits of the person who has passed on is tied to the very old concept of animism, which teaches that everything in nature has a soul, including, animals, plants, human beings, rocks, trees, etc.

Ghosts, whether you believe in them or not, are a part of human history. For as long as man has sought for the meaning of his existence and the knowledge of what happens after a person dies, stories of encounters with the ghosts, or spirits, of loved ones have been told. For some, it is a comfort, a confirmation that there is life after death.

Here is a true ghost experience that was shared with me by a friend:

Well I remember when I was about 6 years of age my parents had bought a small hotel in the west of Ireland, I used to get very bad nightmares all the time from the time they moved in, one night I remember waking up in the middle of the night and the curtain on the window of the bedroom was suspended up in the air, and something said my surname, the window was shut and there was no breeze, I knew this was out of the ordinary and started roaring.

Anyway we had a live in barmaid from the country and she used to hear noises in the wardrobe at night, she would hop out of bed and open the wardrobe thinking it was mice or something, there was never anything there when she did open it, things progressed so that sometimes she would see the door knob of her bedroom door turning and she would open the door and there would be nobody there.

One Night she dreamt she was being smothered and woke up with a startle and saw a "habit" (the Robe they bury a dead person in) floating across the room and disappear through the wall. My dad did some enquiries with locals and it turned out that someone had hanged themselves in the barmaids bedroom.

Needless to Say we didn't stay too much longer after that!

There is definitely something out there!

If you like to read real life ghost stories, visit True Ghost Tales, where you will find ghost stories and pictures of werewolves, vampires, monsters and more.

The Ghost In The Closet - Kids Scared of The Dark

When you consider stories about kids scared of the ghost in the dark, it's one of the most difficult things that one has to face as parents. Kids can often have a very vivid imagination, especially teens, kids, and toddlers who have a very creative mind. These are the kids who are always afraid of the ghosts in the closet, the sort that are often described throughout children's literature. The ghosts of our childhood are more often than not simply phantoms created by the shadows that are cast by the nightlight, or the cat rustling around in the closet.

These are the experiences you hear about kids having all the time. However, what happens when real paranormal activity even effects parents? Kids may find themselves scared of the ghost in the room - the strange shadow figure standing at the foot of the bed - but what happens when you, yourself, actually see and experience the spirits and ghosts that you thought were fabrications of the child's overactive imagination? This is a dilemma about kids that you're not likely to see discussed on Dr. Phill.

An Article Comment Raises Concern About Kids Scared of the Ghosts

In the course of my work as an editor and writer over at LoveToKnow Paranormal, I came across the comment at the bottom of the Paranormal State article from one of the parents. Kid's don't often post, so in this case the parent was posting for her child. The reader, Kelley, relayed an experience that she's going through with her 16 year old daughter. In her question, you can feel the confusion and angst she feels from not being able to understand what her daughter is going through.

In her comment, she describes a situation where her daughter has always been able to "see" around her - people who have passed away. This ability is something that she has had ever since her youngest childhood days, but it's something she doesn't discuss with others for fear of ridicule. This is very common - many people who are "sensitive" pull away from society and avoid discussing the abnormal things they see, for fear of being made fun of.

Unfortunately, Kelley describes a situation - a difficult one to read when it's about kids - where the girl's half-brother passed away from an apparent suicide, and the poor girl is now seeing the ghost in her room (she believes) of the half-brother standing at the foot of her bed. This is how the situation was described by her parent. Kids who are going through the grieving process when losing a loved one is hard enough, I can't even imagine what this poor girl must be going through when she experiences these nightly visitations.

How to Deal With Psychic Kids Scared of What They See

When it comes to dealing with teens, kids, or toddlers who are seeing strange things that they don't understand, such as ghosts in their home, it's always important to handle the situation delicately as a parent. Keep in mind that this is about kids, and kids internalize everything. Regardless of your own beliefs about the ghosts, whether you're a believer or a skeptic, you should never convey those beliefs to your own child. The best approach is an agnostic one. There's a standard path every parent should follow in order to rule out the physical explanations as quickly as possible, before assuming paranormal explanations. Jumping to paranormal assumptions right off the bat can cause far more harm than good, especially if a child is suffering from severe psychological impairments and mental health issues.

The stigma of mental health makes many parents avoid exploring this option. Some parents don't even believe in mental illness, especially when it's about kids. But I can tell you that there are health factors that can affect the brain, and do cause hallucinations and very realistic experiences that many people would consider metaphysical. So if your child is describing having visions, sightings, or other experiences like seeing a ghost in their room, just play it safe and cancel out that possibility right away - but always keep an open mind that the experience concerning the ghosts that's keeping your kids scared could very well be paranormal in nature.

Understanding The Ghosts That Haunt Your Child

To determine the true source of what your child is experiencing, carefully go through the following steps.

1. Talk to a physical doctor first (not a psychologist). A medical doctor is likely to request a brain scan just to play it safe. This is a very important first step, because physical growths in the brain can cause very real auditory and oscillatory experiences. It's impossible, in that case, for a child to know the difference between a real object they are seeing, and one that's not really there.

2. If the scan shows nothing, talk to a psychologist. But interview those psychologists carefully as concerned parents. Kids depend on their parents for this kind of support. Find one that is open minded to the possibility of paranormal things, but also one that is carefully critical and doesn't jump to conclusions that *all* claims are paranormal in nature. It's critical to find a balanced and level-headed psychologist, as that's the only kind who will be able to perform a legitimate evaluation of your child. There are countless psychological malfunctions of the brain that can lead to real visions and experiences that a child has difficulty understanding.

3. Accept the truth. If the psychologist determines that the child is relatively healthy psychologically, then accept the fact that your kid's scared state may need to be faced head-on in a manner that takes the reality of paranormal activity into account. It's never a good idea to feed your child with your own paranormal beliefs, so avoid talking to your child about your own theories regarding what they are experiencing. Instead, ask the child what they think they might be seeing, and what they think should be done about it. If your family is spiritual, consider bringing in spiritual guidance in the form of a minister or priest.

The Spiritual Nature of the Phenomenon

Too little is known about why people see these apparitions to just assume certain spiritual conclusions. When dealing with kids, it's best to avoid the whole topic of demonic activities, even if that's what you believe in. From similar experiences that I've seen other families have had with paranormal forces, if your own family is stable and healthy spiritually, such forces will have little power over the family. But it's certainly important to help the child develop their spirit and armor themselves with the spiritual weapons that faith provides against potentially negative forces.

With all of that said, we live in a world where the ghosts of childhood are that much more real, because many more parents than ever before now believe in the reality of spirits and ghosts. I remember the days when I awoke in the middle of the night, terrified from the state of paralysis that I found myself in and the strange and scary sounds I was hearing (humming and even strange voices some nights). I only learned many years later that those experiences were caused by a combination of sleep disorder and the fact that my eustachian tubes were always plugged as a kid, generating pops and rushing-water sounds that my mind "converted" into the sound of voices.

This is why, even though as parents we may accept the reality of spirit and ghost phenomenon, it's critical to explore every human experience, especially that of our children, with a very critical and analytical mind.

The Ghost of Haynesville Woods in Maine

Most people who visit the St. John Valley of Northern Maine are shocked by the remote isolation of the place, and they are usually unaware of the Ghost of Haynesville. When you are driving through Aroostook County, there's a seclusion that's so deep, it creates an uneasy sense of feeling trapped, or worse, abandoned by civilization.

Isolation and The Ghost of Haynesville

To the west, there is the rugged wilderness of Western Maine which, at some point, crosses into Canada. To the East, there's eventually nothing but ocean. To the North, there are sparse towns, large and small - another civilization of french speaking Canadians, many of whom are not very fond of Americans. And finally to the remote and distant south, there's the rest of the world - the malls, cities, and media of America. This sweeping, flowing, hill-filled valley is a physical and metaphysical crossroads the likes of which most people have never experienced before.


Ghost Hunters Provide The Best Ghost Stories

Within the field of paranormal research, ghost hunters provide the best ghost stories available anywhere. Because these are folks who are out there in the field collecting data and evidence, researchers are able to extract some of the best samples of scientific evidence from their archives.

Why Ghost Hunters Provide the Best Ghost Stories

Paranormal research societies, organization which serve as the home for most ghost hunters, are excellent sources for putting together a database of valid evidence of haunting phenomenon. While searching for ghost stories on the Internet is extremely popular these days, the ideal starting point for anyone interested in true ghost stories should be the archives of those ghost hunters.



Invisible Articles - Ghosts and The Paranormal