So what exactly is a ghost?

By Olivia Newton

May I begin by saying that every definition of a ghost varies from ghost hunter to ghost hunter. Paranormal activity, or that experience which defies scientific explanation and information gathered by the five physical senses, is not an exact science. Many feel that the emergence of quantum physics, the study of the properties of subatomic particles, will combine everything in the universe and consequently enable us to understand psi activity. But, for the time being, with our limited understanding, I will put forth some definitions which, I hope, you will find interesting and informative:

GHOSTS: Most people would say that ghosts are the disembodied spirits, or souls, of the dead. Patti Starr, well-renowned ghost hunter and President of Ghost Chasers International, describes a ghost as a type of energy of deceased persons who are not aware they are dead. Battlefields, tragic accidents, sudden death by natural causes, circumstances which do not give the victim time to reconcile him/herself with impending death, will often cause the spirit to be caught between this world and the next. Perhaps they don’t understand their surroundings, or are afraid to move on, but these ghosts are the entities we most likely record as images on cameras, (orbs, mists or manifestations) and tape recorders, in the form of EVP’s. This phenomena is not a spirit.

SPIRITS: Spirits are intelligent entities, which have moved forward into the dimension, which follows the demise of the human body, again according to Patti Starr. They are aware of their death and come by to the earthly realm to interact with loved ones during times of happiness, or in times of grief. We’ve all heard about Uncle Joe who appeared to a member of his family to say goodbye. Or stories of Aunt Jane being seen at her Granddaughter’s wedding. Uncle Joe and Aunt Jane are examples of spirits. They are intelligent forms of energy, which purposely connect with the living.

HAUNTINGS: Hauntings are places where the discarnate entities return time after time. Often, evidence of their presence is not seen, but footsteps are heard. Laughing, crying, objects being moved, whispers and other phenomena, which occur without the appearance of an unearthly form.

ORBS: Orbs are normally globe shaped lights of energy caught on film. They represent the energy of the deceased person. They can also be oblong, diamond, or shield shaped, usually clear, or white, but sometimes blue, green or red. Some researchers thinks the colors relate to the personality of the entity, such as red signifying anger. It is also possible to photograph dust and other environmental particles that appear similar to spirit orbs. In order to differentiate between the two, the ghost hunter must back up his/her pictures with evidence of high electromagnetic readings and/or low temperature readings, EVP’s , as well as results from other technical devices.

APPARITION: An apparition is the image of disembodied entity that can be recognized as human or animal, and indeed, the rarest anomaly to photograph. Why is this? Many researchers think it takes a tremendous amount of energy for a ghost or spirit to take the form of an apparition. There have been a precious few of these photographs, which have passed scientific scrutiny. Apparitions that are seen repeating the same activity over and over again is thought by some to be an imprint caught the atmosphere, captured in time and replayed like an old movie. Often they are seen on staircases, where many hauntings are reported. In such cases, we are neither speaking of ghosts nor spirits, but a natural occurrence, which, in many cases, involves a person dying under extremely tragic circumstances.

EVPs or ELECTRONIC VOICE PHENOMENA: The supposed voices of the dead captured on an audio recording device.