Ghosts, what are they do they exist or is it all, just a hoax. We all in our lifetime have heard many stories of the ones who came back from their graves, the ones who didn't rest in peace the ones who haunt a certain spot, and the ones who are still here even when they're gone, we've heard stories of haunted houses or the road where you can give a ride to a phantom hitchhiker, and the places where the screams of the dead could still be heard. Today we are going to look into the history of ghosts, and we are going to discuss the science behind ghostly apparitions to answer the question are ghosts real?
Ghost stories are prevalent in every single culture around the world. Ghost stories also go way back in history as all ancient cultures such as the Egyptians, the Mayans, the inhabitants of Vedic India, and ancient China have some depiction of spirits and ghosts. But what exactly is a ghost?
A ghost could be defined as the soul of the spirit of a dead person which could appear to the living. The existence of an afterlife is widely accepted in several cultures around the world but, the existence of ghosts is considered unnatural because they are spirits of dead people who cannot move on to the afterlife and are often associated with a reaction of fear. Scientists have linked the idea of the belief of the presence of a person within a person, which is called a soul or a spirit among ancient cultures to a person's breath, which appears visibly as a white mist when exhaled in colder climates.
Scientists believe this to be the reason why in most cultures ghosts which are spirits of dead people, appear to be in a misty or airy form Ghosts, in early classical stories appeared as smoky figures of the deceased but, sometimes were also depicted substantially wearing the same clothes in which the person had died withholding onto the wounds that killed them.
Ghosts were also a part of the ancient Mesopotamian culture, it is believed that Abrahamic religions inherited the idea of ghosts from the ancient Mesopotamians. The Mesopotamian people believe that the ghosts are created at the time of death and that they retained the traits and physical appearance of the deceased person, they also held on to the memories from back when they were alive, when they moved on to the netherworld. Mesopotamians also believed, if the ghosts did not perform the duties they were assigned to in the netherworld, they could be cursed to inflict pain and illness onto the living and that is why, the traditional healing practices of Mesopotamians associated several different illnesses, to the doings of ghosts.
Ghosts were also widely believed to exist by the ancient Egyptians and they were believed to possess the ability, to either hold or torment the living but, the Egyptian belief in ghosts change over time and this could be seen in the depiction of ghosts on the famous Egyptian hieroglyphs and inscriptions from different eras. The Egyptian book of the dead talks about the different beliefs on ghosts in the Egyptian culture during that time.
The Egyptians believed that the human soul was made up of many parts. According to ancient Egyptian creation myths, the god Atum created the world out of chaos, utilizing his own magic and because of the earth was created with magic, the Egyptians believed that the world was imbued with magic and so was every living thing upon it. When humans were created, that magic took the form of the soul, an eternal force which resided in every human being, the concept of the soul and the parts which encompass it, varied from the old kingdom to the new kingdom at times changing from one dynasty to another, from five parts to more.
In ancient Greek culture, ghosts appeared in Homer's Odyssey and Iliad, in which they were depicted as vanishing into vapor and as white misty figures. These ghosts had very little interaction with the world of the living. The belief in ghosts in ancient Greece also changed over time and by the 5th century BC the ghosts had turned into frightening and haunting entities, that can either work to help the living or to harm them.
The inhabitants of ancient Rome also believed in ghosts, as Plutarch described in first century AD, the haunting of the baths at Charon ea by the ghost of a man who was brutally murdered. Plutarch described that the frightful groans of the ghost, made the people in the town seal their windows and doors at night.
We also have accounts of ghost sightings and possessions, from the Middle Ages, and during this time ghosts and Europe were categorized into two types, which were the souls of dead people and demons. In medieval Europe, it was believed that the ghosts of dead people, returned to the world of the living for a specific purpose whereas the demons only existed to torment the people. It was believed that most ghosts were sent to purgatory where they had to atone for their sins whereas the demons lived in hell.
Hebrew Bible: Most religions in the world have some depictions of ghosts in their literature. The Hebrew Bible for instance has many references to ghosts, the most notable reference, is that of the one in the first book of Samuel, where king Saul in disguise, asked the witch of Endor to conduct the séance to summon the great prophet Samuel's ghost.
Holly Bible: Even in the New Testament, Jesus had to convince the people that he has been resurrected and that he is not a ghost. Many Christian denominations believe ghosts to be entities, that are tied to earth but don't exist in the material plane.
With the concept of reincarnation which exists in Buddhism, a person can be born, into several different planes and one of those planes is that of the hungry ghosts. It is believed, by the Buddhist that if the hungry ghosts are fed by non-relatives, then the community could be saved by the torment that the hungry ghost might inflict. The Buddhists also celebrate the ghost festival to celebrate the Buddhist virtue of compassion.
~ Indian ~
Ghosts are believed to exist in the majority of cultures around the world. In India, the ghosts are referred to as Bhoot and they are believed to haunt a certain spot and are considered to be the souls of dead people who are still stuck in the world of the living, either because they have some unfinished business or if they had an untimely death. Even, within India, the belief in ghosts may change from one region to another because of the country's rich diversity.
Ghosts are part of Thai folklore, Chinese folklore, and Japanese folklore.
The Chinese believe, ghosts can appear in many different forms and are often harmful in nature; even Confucius said,” Respect ghosts and gods but also keep away from them.”
The Japanese call the ghosts Yurei and like their western counterparts, they have also tortured souls of the diseased, that cannot move on to the afterlife. From Mexico to Korea, all cultures have prevalent ghost stories and a significant amount of people even today consider, ghosts to be real.
Although ghosts are present in folklore around the world, the most famous ghost stories are all fairly recent and a significant amount of these popular stories all come from the countries of the UK and the USA.
We have all heard of the Enfield Poltergeist and Amityville, as they are two of the most documented hauntings of all times
People's interest in paranormal investigations and research increased with the development of photography, movie-making, and with the advancements in print media. With the development of technologies in the late 1800s and early 1900 authors started to write new horror stories and novels, newspapers started dedicating a section to real life ghost stories and photographers turned into professional spirit photographers, citing how profitable the idea of the existence of an afterlife was. The first photographer to disputably, capture a ghost in a photo was an American amateur photographer by the name of William Mumler and his first ghost photo captured an apparition of his dead cousin. Mumler's knack for capturing ghosts on the film got popular and with time he became a professional. In the beginning, experts were unable to find anything fake with Mumler's photos and therefore Mumler got even more famous and rich capturing the diseased, in photos, for the people who have lost their relatives in the American Civil War; but, later it was found that Mumler had been faking the ghostly apparitions the whole time.
His most notable work was that of capturing the apparition of late president Abraham Lincoln in a photo of Mary Todd Lincoln. As owning a camera, became much more common by the 1880s so did the craze for ghost photography; especially among those who wanted to prey on people's emotions to make some profit.
During this time one of the most famous ghost photographs was taken in 1891. This photograph was taken while Sybil Corbett was taking a photo of the library in Comber mere Abbey, in Cheshire England. Corbett captured, an outline of a man's head collar and right hand sitting on a chair in the library. It was said to be the ghost of Lord Combermere who had recently died in a riding accident. Skepticism for this photo grew, from the very moment it was made public the skeptic said, that it could have easily been a worker at the house, who might have briefly sat on the chair, while the exposure took place.
By World War one ghost photography and spiritualism had gained some notable supporters, such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle was also a member of the ghost club which was founded in 1862and is believed to be the oldest foundation for paranormal research in the world.
The loss of life in many countries around the world, during the first World War, attracted the grieving people towards ghost photography as they desperately wanted to make contact with their deceased loved ones.
An Englishman by the name of William Hope, by that time, had already established himself as a renowned spirit photographer. He was one of the first photographers, to provide his services to the people, who have lost their relatives in the war.
The Englishman like Mumler was also accused of fraud and his photos were examined by famous paranormal investigator Harry Price in 1922and it was found that Hope was conning the people, by double exposing two glass plates at the same time one featuring a ghostly image and the second to record the combination of the client and the ghost.
A decade later, Price investigated another ghost photograph, which was taken in Norfolk in 1936 by photographer Captain Hubert Proband and his assistant Indre Shira from rock bottom of the grand staircase, at Raynhamhall the 2 were ready to snap a vaporly form gradually assuming the form of a lady and heading downstairs where the photographer and his assistant stood. The photo was later dubbed the brown lady. The believers call it to be the ghost of Lady Dorothy Townsend who was believed to be haunting the building since 1726, following her mysterious death.
Ghost hunting: Speaking of Price, allow us to now discuss briefly paranormal investigations, which is most ordinarily referred to as ghost hunting. what's ghost hunting? Ghost hunting might be defined because of the process of investigating reportedly haunted spots, which could involve a team trying to gather evidence to support the presence of the paranormal. Ghost hunters or paranormal investigators usually use a variety of various equipment to gather evidence of the paranormal, like emf meters, digital thermometers, static and handheld digital cameras, thermographic and night-sight cameras, etc.
- Harry Price is widely considered one of the pioneers of paranormal investigations. Price was a British parapsychologist and author who gained prominence and fame through his investigations of physical phenomena and his exposing of fraudulence, within the field of ghost photography and psychic mediums.
- Ed and Lorraine Warren are other prominent paranormal investigators, who got famous from their investigations of the Amityville house the En field poltergeist, and therefore the demonic Annabelle doll. Warren's investigations of those cases are all adopted within the Warner Brothers 'The Conjuring Movie' universe and therefore the success of those movies, have made Ed and Lorraine Warren just about the foremost renowned paranormal investigators of all time. The Warrens liked calling themselves Demonologists, trying to inform what they were doing, as legitimate science.
- John Zaffis is another name that got very fashionable researching the paranormal. The scientists widely accept, paranormal research as pseudoscience and there are a variety of skeptics of ghost hunting.
The science and logic of ghosts
Now, allow us to discuss the science involved in people experiencing paranormal. The science and logic of ghosts. One difficulty in evaluating ghosts is that a surprisingly big variety of phenomena are attributed to ghosts from a door closing on its own, to missing keys, to a chilly area during a hallway, to a vision of a dead relative.
When sociologists Dennis and Michelle Waskul interviewed ghost experiences, for his or her 2016 book 'Ghostly Encounters: The Haunting of Everyday Life', they found that a lot of participants weren't sure, that that they had encountered a ghost and remained uncertain that such phenomena were even possible, just because they didn't see something that approximated, the traditional image of a ghost. Interestingly many of their respondents were simply convinced that they had experienced something uncanny, something inexplicable, extraordinary, mysterious, or eerie. As many of us who got on record, as claiming to possess had a ghostly experience, didn't necessarily see anything that the majority people would recognize as a classic ghost and actually, they'll have had completely different experiences whose only common divisor, is that it couldn't be readily explained.
Consistent with research in Anomalistic psychology visions of ghosts may arise from hypnagogic hallucinations. during a study into alleged haunting, came the conclusion that folks consistently report unusual experiences in haunted areas due to environmental factors that can differ across locations. a number of these factors included the variance of local magnetic flux, size of location, and therefore the lighting level stimuli of which witnesses might not be consciously aware. Some researchers have speculated that changes during a geomagnetic field, could stimulate the brain's temporal lobes and produce many of the experiences related to haunting.
- Low-frequency sounds
- Carbon monoxide gas
- The power of suggestion
- We enjoy being afraid.
Low-frequency sound: human ears have trouble hearing low frequency sounds below 20 hertz referred to as infrasound but such sounds don't go totally unnoticed. during a 2003 study, 22 percent of concertgoers, who were exposed to sounds are 17 hertz, reported feeling uneasy or sorrowful getting chills or nervous feelings of revulsion and fear. So, what are a number of the more ordinary origins of like low-frequency sounds, weather events like earthquakes and volcanic activity or lightning and communication between animals including elephants, whales and hippos can all produce infrasound and if you do not live by any volcanoes or hippos but, still think your house could also be haunted, human beings can also be responsible in creating these low-frequency sounds via diesel engines, wind turbines, and a few loudspeakers or chemical explosions.
Mold: inhaling toxic mold is often bad for your systema respiratorium but, it also can be bad for your brain exposure to mold is understood to cause neurologic symptoms like delirium, dementia, or irrational fears. So, is it a coincidence that the homes we suspect are haunted, also tend to be unrepaired then quite possibly filled with toxic mold. Scientists have worked to draw, a firm link between the presence of mold and reported ghost sightings, but thus far, the evidence is usually anecdotal.
Carbon monoxide gas: just as inhaling mold, could lead to us to ascertain hear and feel things that are not really there, so to can inhaling an excessive amount of carbon monoxide gas.
The power of suggestion: studies suggest that we are more likely to believe in paranormal experience if somebody else who was there can copy our belief. So, while we'd be ready to convince ourselves that we were somehow mistaken about what we saw or heard, we tend to place more stock into someone else's eyewitness account; if, it also backs up our suspicions.
Drafts: because the days get hotter and air-con becomes more and costlier I rely more on opening windows to chill my home, opening windows on opposite ends of an area can create a pleasant breeze but, it also can create cold spots as airflow outside changes causing cooler air to enter a hotter room. Drafts also can sneak in through chimneys and cause doors to slam or doorknobs to rattle so, before you schedule a séance try closing a couple of windows.
We enjoy being afraid: neurologists have found that our brains release dopamine, a chemical related to pleasure once we are afraid; exactly, what proportion dopamine and the way many receptors we've for receiving it, can influence whether you are a person who enjoys being frightened or someone who would rather avoid scary movies or rides altogether. So, for a few letting our imaginations run wild, with the chances of cohabiting with ghosts although, scary can also produce a bonus euphoric high.
So, after discussing a quick history of ghosts and therefore the possible scientific explanation behind people having a ghostly experience, all we will say is that ghosts exist as long as you think they are doing. But. hey, who doesn't sort of a good ghost story and perhaps our science is simply not evolved enough to supply material proof of the existence of an afterlife, and perhaps within the future, as science progresses scientists could also be ready to determine if ghosts exist but, till then we'll just need to wait.