So What Are Ghosts?

Serpentine Mistform in Swains Lane (c) Reddmond McWilliams
Serpentine Mistform in Swains Lane (c) Redmond McWilliams

This article was originally published online in 2004.

Throughout time mankind has strived to understand and explain mysterious apparitions on non-worldly ‘intelligence’s that seem to have accompanied its very existence. From fleeting figures in the night or those seen by day, to equally commonplace occurrences where the invisible seems to in some way impart or interfere with the physical world; a sense of the unknown or impenetrable has always seemed to have become entwined with those laws that have otherwise been assumed to make up ‘normal reality’.

Yet can ‘reality’-as this has come to be accepted – really stand against so much counter-evidence about the possibility of other realms of Being or existence – i.e. related stories about unexplained phenomena that abound to confuse material thinking – when frequently ‘reality’ itself is the subject of such diverse opinions, even amongst scientists and other hard-core experts? It would seem not. Indeed, it could be reasonably said that science itself, by clinging obstinately to material law as a formula for understanding the Unknown, has imprisoned itself in a material cage of its own thinking.

Perhaps one of the main failings on the part of materialists when attempting to understand psychic phenomena, is an inherent tendency on the part of many people to automatically categorize anything paranormal {or at least, what is assumed to be paranormal} under the heading ‘ghost’. For the word itself, invariably conjures up images of figures ‘carrying their heads’ or clanking chains, or of similar apparitions that may have returned to wander the earth with some assumed intent. Yet ironically, it is this assumption {and it is a common one}, that might actually hinder any potential understanding of such phenomena; for while ghostly figures may well be reported or have been to appear {and indeed, such figures have been seen to appear for centuries although not necessarily in the limited capacity as cited above} it is not generally realized or understood, that images of ’phantom figures’ may be literally no more than just that … images that are being ’replayed’, with no more active intelligence than the ’dead’ images stored on a video tape or transmitted as a television picture {in each case they are the same}.

In other words, many ghostly images may literally be no more than recorded pictures; but ’pictures’ that can only be witnessed when the correct circumstances and conditions prevail.

So then, the question might arise, just what are ’ghosts’? And if such nebulous entities exist, what are the possibilities of our understanding them?

Perhaps one answer to such a formidable question, could be in our disregarding the popular conception of ’ghosts’ themselves, and coming to the realization that there might be different categories of unexplained phenomena; this meaning, that unexplained phenomena as such are understood, could be divided into different types, according to the type of alleged manifestations; accounting, of course, for the various interpretations given to such sightings or manifestations by given witnesses.

As a psychic investigator, and as someone who has spent many years investigating this view, many facts seemed to have ’forced themselves to light’, and basically it can be said, that most cases of unexplained phenomena can be divided into separate types , or categories.

The first of these categories has, in fact, already been mentioned when explaining that many ghostly figures may be no more that ’replayed’ events which can – or do – materialize under certain conditions, and these include images of ’human’ figures, scenes or other events from some time past {such as images of horse-drawn coaches or unearthly battles, for example}; and the many reported sightings of ’black dogs’ or other ghostly animals. {Of course, there is a danger of perhaps ’oversimplifying’ cases in general here; but certainly, these given examples would appear to be typical of many reported sightings}. Whether such phenomena do indeed possess any active intelligence as is so often assumed would be a separate issue for debate, although my research has shown – whether ’active intelligence’ or mere shadows of events that might have long since disappeared into history – such phenomena are almost certainly dependent upon the existence of certain conditions to aid or bring about their materialization.

In fact, for some time now and in the many writings I have devoted to this subject, I have put forward the view that perhaps many ’ghostly phenomena’ {as they have come to be understood}, are not only mere reflections or pictures of forgotten past events, but are also images that can only exclusively manifest – or ’replay themselves’ – subject to specific conditions.

These ’conditions’ usually follow a given pattern; but locations {often including the essential presence of leylines}, lunar cycles and atmospheric conditions, and the presence of the element ofwater or stone, all seem to be essential ingredients that aid the appearance of many psychic phenomena, or ’ghosts’..

Such an observation may seem unique and far removed from popular conception {although it is by no means spectacular} but the actual realization that many phenomena under this first category may be no more than pictures of past events – literally just that – may provide an interesting clue into the understanding of many psychic phenomena and their ilk…

Cases vary, of course, and even they may be dependent upon the susceptibility or sensitivity of given witnesses to observe a given manifestation; but such manifestations do frequently occur world wide and too much evidence is in existence to totally discredit their actual authenticity…

There are, for example, numerous cases on record where various manifestations of psychic energy {albeit, more commonly referred to as ’ghosts’}, have materialized at precise locations; more often than not in or near old buildings constructed of stone {albeit perhaps in ruins} and they also seem to appear under certain climatic conditions, one of these involving the element of water.

‘Water wraiths’, similar apparitions of ghosts or white ladies, which appear frequently near lakes or rivers, are perhaps well known; but many other ghostly apparitions which might otherwise appear as ’real’ to human eyesight, might indeed be no less then replayed images from the past – just that.

Having expounded briefly on the possibility that a large percentage of unexplained phenomena can literally be grouped together and described as being ’replayed’ under certain physical conditions it should be emphasized, that a great number of other cases, including poltergeist activity – whereby objects seemingly move of their own accord or there are seen to be similar effects upon material conditions – may fall under a second category of unexplained phenomena; where many ghostly occurrences may be little more than the result of subconscious forces in the human mind itself, normally latent, but not always…

This is to say, that otherwise dormant levels in the human psyche, may be directly responsible for affecting or changing material conditions; unaccountable changes of temperature, doors opening and closing ’by themselves’, glasses and other objects being mysteriously moved or apparently breaking of their own volition; interference with electrical systems and appliances; even the apparent communication {usually by mediums} with so-called ’spirits’ – to name but a few.

Such a short example is not of course, intended to be an ’oversimplification’ of fact; indeed, space itself would prevent any lengthy exposition of a subject too complex to fit into the confines of this introduction.

But to summarize this second category of unexplained phenomena more precisely; it could be said, that there exist many levels in human consciousness – as yet not generally under-stood – which are certainly responsible for the manifestations of many alleged psychic phenomena; and frequently witnesses to such phenomena are invariably unaware that they may have inadvertently created a given manifestation or psychic disturbance themselves; least of all acknowledging, perhaps, that the outward effects of such manifestations originate from levels which lie beyond the everyday thinking mind.

But there would appear to exist another category of unexplained phenomena which are seemingly not the result of subconscious activity in the human mind, or indeed, can be attributed to ’non intelligent’ reflections or images that are periodically ’replayed’ from the past. And these involve out side entities that apparently possess some kind of ’intelligence’, which are reported as appearing to their human counterparts and having some deliberate – even devilish – purpose and intent.

To speculate about the possible existence of such entities, however, would be to enter an unsafe area of investigation when many reported ’phantom figures’ may easily have become subjected to fantasy or exaggeration.

Of course, this is not always the case, and sometimes, the most reliable of people will swear to having had ’factual’ encounters or visitations from ’formidable ghosts’ that they genuinely cannot explain’ other that to perhaps assert that a given apparition will be trying to convey some definite purpose or message.

Such testimonies are often authentic, and too many witnesses abound to dismiss their accounts with flippant abandon. But to revert to wild theories about the possible causation’s behind this particular type of psychic phenomena {and many indeed do; including many ghost writers as well as some witnesses themselves}, is to enter a dangerous realm where unfounded belief can easily offset serious psychic investigation.

As a psychic investigator, my role can only be to objectively access and present actual facts.

(C) David Farrant 2004

Back to Articles