Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Do You Believe in Ghosts??

Hi to all you ghost hunters and sceptics. I will leave it up to you to decide on what YOU believe. But speaking for myself--- I believe! I have had more than my share of unexpected visits and encounters since I was a girl of ten..

Sparkling bed sheets!


The History of Ghost and Spirits

Do you know that most of the earliest ghosts were not there to haunt or scare people? Actually, most early ghosts were said to ask the people they interacted with to properly bury the ghost’s body or to give information to help a loved one. Even some of the world’s oldest writings include interacting with the dead. One example of an old ghost story took place more than 2,000 years ago.
A man named Homer wrote The Iliad which included a scene where the soul of the warrior named Patroclos appeared to his friend Achilles. He told his friend to have his body properly buried and warned Achilles that he was going to be killed in the final battle of Troy.

Another takes place in Athens Greece more then 3,000 years ago. A man named Athendorus rented a house that many said was haunted. One night he heard a rattling noise. Then he saw the ghost of an old man in chains. The ghost pointed to the ground then disappeared.
The next day workers dug up the garden and found a skeleton. Athendorus then had the body properly buried in a graveyard and he never saw the old man in chains again.

The movement called Spiritualism started in 1848 in Hydesville, New York. Two sisters claimed they had managed to communicate with a spirit in the house through rapping sounds that meant yes, no or specific letters. Even though in old age the sisters admitted they made it up, it still started a gigantic movement. They toured the country for many years holding seances and speaking to spirits. The Spiritualism Church was founded in 1853 and in two years claimed over 2 million followers.
Nowadays most religions believe in life after death. After death a spirit or soul either goes to heaven or the underworld. Many believe that ghosts are souls that have been unable to leave earth for the afterlife.

Do I believe in ghosts? No--but I'm afraid of them"--Marquise du Deffand, 1697-1780
The popular image of a ghost is of an insubstantial, whitish form floating through an ancient castle accompanied by terrifying moans, groans, and the clanking of chains. It is, of course, the spirit of some long-dead individual, the whole thing is extremely frightening, and sometimes the ghost portends death or tragedy.
Yet every year Fate, a major magazine concerned with the unexplained, receives between 100 and 200 very happy reports of experiences in which it appears that loved ones--people and animals--have in some way returned after death.
What are these apparitions that arouse such varied emotions? Perhaps the clearest understanding can be gained by looking at a number of different, yet typical, sightings.
Most interesting is the ghost with a purpose, like Mr. F.G.'s fair-haired sister, who appeared briefly to him in 1876. A salesman, he was far from home, but this sighting sent him posthaste to tell his parents about the incident. As he described his sister, he mentioned a scratch on her face, upon which his mother burst into tears and explained that while attending to the body after her daughter's death she had accidentally made just such a scratch and then carefully hidden it with makeup so that no one else knew of its existence. Thus the ghost provided comforting evidence of survival after death, and succeeded in prompting F.G. to visit his parents. His mother died shortly afterward, and he might not otherwise have seen her alive again.
Another type of sighting is one in which a dying person seems to see dead relatives and friends waiting to welcome him. This may be mere hallucination (like many other ghost tales), but if he names someone who is believed to be living, but that person is later discovered to have died before the "sighting," then the case becomes more interesting. In one case, a dying woman, Mrs. Blank, said that she saw and heard a young girl who had spent "the happiest week of her life" singing with the Blank daughters some 6 years previously. Mrs. Blank said that this apparition was singing, with others, to welcome her to heaven. There was no reason for her or her family to believe the girl was dead, but it was later discovered that the girl had died 11 days before she was "seen and heard" by the dying Mrs. Blank.
Not all ghosts are so purposeful. Often referred to as "haunts" are cases where one figure is seen to do the same thing time after time. Haunts may be seen by many people, and they usually seem unaware of the living. Equally pointless are the cases in which the noises of past battles are heard, though nothing is seen. Investigation may show that the noises duplicate exactly the progress of the battle concerned, even though the people who hear them have no historical knowledge of what happened. A 1942 Allied Forces landing near Dieppe seems to have been "heard" on the same date in 1951 by 2 English ladies staying in a hotel near where the landing took place, and other similar cases have been reported.