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Ghost Encounters - What is a ghost?
Ghost: a spirit; the soul of a person; a spirit appearing after death
The Chambers Dictionary
A belief in paranormal occurrences such as ghosts and hauntings is something that is common to almost every culture.
The idea that we all have a soul that survives the death of the physical body is a fundamental principle of many of the major religions and philosophies. Therefore most people agree that humans have a spirit as well as a physical body and as such, ghosts are commonly thought to be the spirit of someone who has died, but who hasn't moved on properly from this world to another.
Another theory is that during the circumstances surrounding a particularly traumatic death, energy is transferred from the person and absorbed into the material of the building. Then, for some reason, sometimes these events are replayed in the future. Therefore, we can expect places of murder and execution and battlefields, places that have experienced such emotion to be permanently etched with images of the past and for souls to be trapped.
There is also the idea that a sudden end to your life is not only the end of all your hopes for the future but it also denies a person of the chance to say their goodbyes. Many people believe that those who have met their end in this way, come back as ghosts because they did not have time to tie up all their loose ends on earth.
Ghosts may return to the same place but building and to some extent landscapes change over the years. Therefore, if a ghost is seen to be legless or headless it is because the floor of the building is higher or the ceiling is lower. Similarly, if a ghost is seen to be floating, or walking through walls, it is because the floor has been lowered or the wall is new or maybe there was a door there in the past.
Ghosts do not always take the popularly perceived form of filmy white floating spirits. There are also poltergeists who enjoy making sounds, opening doors and windows, or generally moving things around. Most hauntings, however, are invisible and stories about strange knockings, whispers, footsteps and other mysterious sounds are much more common than actual sightings.
Whatever their form, these types of paranormal disturbances continue to intrigue and perplex us as we try to discover more about them, and this section will bring you stories of ghostly encounters of all kinds to fuel your fascination.