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Sorry, your ghost status has been denied.

Updated on March 27, 2016

Death, it happens to everyone sooner or later. Theoretically, death is a necessary step for one to potentially become a ghost. But what exactly is a ghost? There are varying definitions, but for this discussion I’ll use the implied, mainstream description within American culture. A ghost is the lingering consciousness and image of someone who’s physical body is dead.

This scenario begs many questions which never seem to be part of the “ghostology” discussion. I believe the answers to be as theoretical as the existence of ghosts themselves. The first and perhaps most important question regarding ghosts is, “WHY?” Why does one become a ghost in the first place? Is it a choice one makes? Are there specific qualifications? Is one born with natural ghost potential or does one learn it with hard work? When and where do they learn it? Is there a secret pre-ghost society? I have no idea.

However, one must consider the implication and underlying supposition in this matter. Foremost, let’s take into account all the people who have died since the beginning of time. For some this time-frame began with Adam and Eve, and for others it began with some distant humanoid scribbling on the wall of a cave with the artistic skills of a 5 year old. Regardless of which time frame works for you, each scenario provides a mind-numbing score of dead people. A loose, global accounting of the dead from today back to… say the black plague of 1348 A.D. Europe easily adds up to 100’s of millions of people. The black plague alone killed over 100 million people in the year 1400, and continued to kill people now and again until the 19th century.

Thus the elephant sized question in the room is, where are these ghosts?

Other good questions are:

Do only a percentage of dead people become ghosts?

What is the percentage, and what is the criterion that sets this percentage?

Ministry of Ghost Review

We're sorry Mr. Jones, your request to go back and scare your mother-in-law to death does not fall under our guidelines as 'unfinished business'. You do not qualify for Ghost Status."
We're sorry Mr. Jones, your request to go back and scare your mother-in-law to death does not fall under our guidelines as 'unfinished business'. You do not qualify for Ghost Status."

The popular explanation for the presence of a ghost is, he/she has unfinished business. Not to appear confrontational, but who doesn’t die with unfinished business? There is always something more one wanted to do or should have done before they died. ( Dammit! I wanted to vaccuum the floor!) If unfinished business is the rule, then the qualifying percentile for ghost eligibility is in the high 98% + range or someone has introduced a predominately accepted assumption that is little more than a bunch of baloney.

However, if eligibility for ghost status is in the 98% + range, then again I have to ask where are the millions of ghosts lurking about trying to finish up their business? If they cannot finish up their business while they are alive, having the convenience of a physical body at their disposal, how much harder will it be to finish up their business as a ghost? Not to mention, the majority of the living will typically be scared witless upon site of them. Ever try to work with someone who is babbling scared of you? Good luck.

Michael Jackson recently died with a come-back concert in the works. Are we to believe that the ghost of Michael Jackson is somewhere running about trying to organize a concert he never got to finish? Thriller 2 perhaps?

Furthermore, is there an office or ministry of unfinished business for ghosts? Do they have to apply for ghost status? Is there a ghost I.D. card or a case review board? Who and what circumstances determine when your business on earth is finished and you can finally rest? Is there an application for delayed entry into heaven or hell…because you still have unfinished business? I could see a ghost getting very lazy and dragging out his unfinished business for years if he knew that hell was waiting. Do ghosts have different levels of privilege for interacting with the living? Are such privileges determined by their deeds and level of character when they were alive?

“I’m sorry Mrs. Borden but you took an axe and gave your husband 40 whacks, you do not qualify for ghost status, your application has been denied.”

Some may be laughing at this point, but no joke is intended. Surely there is some level of authority and oversight to one’s duties in the afterlife if one can indeed return as a ghost to finish up their business. Such considerations lead me to conclude that no such entities exist, otherwise there would be countless millions of ghosts haunting every nook and cranny of the earth; as far as I can tell... there isn't.

What do you think?


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    • Harlan Colt profile imageAUTHOR

      Harlan Colt 

      7 years ago from the Rocky Mountains


      I can transfer cassette to MP3 audio if you want to send me a dub of the cassette. Drop me an email if you're interested.

      Thanks for the comments!

      - Harlan

    • Ask_DJ_Lyons profile image


      7 years ago from Mosheim, Tennessee


      I found your hub very entertaining and thought-provoking. I once visited a cave reported to be haunted. I carried a tape recorder with me. Later, my friend and I listened to about 90 seconds of a double heartbeat as I stood in the mouth of this cave. If anybody knows a free way to transfer a cassette audiotape to something that could be put on the internet and still be clearly heard, I would post this. Of course, people might think I manufactured this somehow. I'm a believer in ghosts; however, your perspective certainly gave me food for thought.

      Best wishes to you,

      Debbie aka DJ Lyons

    • Harlan Colt profile imageAUTHOR

      Harlan Colt 

      8 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

      Thank you U Neek!

      - Harlan

    • U Neek profile image

      U Neek 

      8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Hilarious! Congrats on a really fun hub.

    • Harlan Colt profile imageAUTHOR

      Harlan Colt 

      8 years ago from the Rocky Mountains


      Ah ee ah ee ahhhhh.... wha wha wha....

      My dad is a big Clint Eastwood and western fan - I don't recall the name in any movies, but I get that a lot from people I meet. Who knows.

      I definately support you spending the night in a haunted house and I promise to read the hub and comment. Be sure to set up a video camera too and post any significant video.

      Thank you for reading and posting.

      - Harlan

    • Harlan Colt profile imageAUTHOR

      Harlan Colt 

      8 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

      Feline Prophet...

      I want to be invisible now. I would have a lot of fun with that ability. I'd rather not wait to be ghost for that. I can see me now, slipping into the halls of Congress, following senator's around and then writing hubs on all their dirty under-the-table deals. Oh man, I would have lots of fun!

      Thank you for reading my hub!

      - Harlan

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley Marks 

      8 years ago from California

      I love that name, Harlan Colt. Somebody's gotta use it in a Clint Eastwood western. Anyway, I agree that ghosts almost certainly don't exist. They're simply a product of many peoples' imagination, perhaps our collective imagination or consciousness, if you will. Regarding such speculation, I've wanted to spend the night in a haunted house and write a hub about the experience. The closest I got was writing a short story. Anybody else interested?... Later!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      8 years ago

      Surely ghost status comes with some benefits? The whole point of being a ghost is that no one can see you whereas perhaps you can see everyone. That way you can avoid bumping into a whole lot of unnecessary people while you go about finishing your unfinished work...and quietly slip away into another dimension! :)

    • Harlan Colt profile imageAUTHOR

      Harlan Colt 

      8 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

      Money Glitch,

      I guess my questions were a bit humorous, but I mean seriously... who doesn't have unfinished business when they die? Where are all the ghosts of 100's of millions of people who have died? Do cavemen ghosts learn and get up to speed with modern ghosts or do they still grunt and groan and act like gorillas? All these people who say they channel ghosts and communicate with the dead need to start asking a few more questions other than where they hid the money.

      - Harlan

    • Harlan Colt profile imageAUTHOR

      Harlan Colt 

      8 years ago from the Rocky Mountains


      Thank you for your kind words. I am new to this whole hub/blog thing. Now I have to go read up on what a hubnugget is. Do I need a baggie and some gloves? Lol.

      - Harlan

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Cute hub with thought provoking questions about the spirit world that many wished they had answers to. Congrats, on being selected in this week's HubNuggets Wannabe contest. Good Luck! :)

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Your title already made me smile and I loved the discussion that ensured after. LOL

      The ghost status has been denied but most certainly your Hubnugget Nomination has been approved! Yeeehaa!

      To vote for the Hubnuggets, right this way please:

      To participate in the Hubnuggets forum:

      From the Official Hubnugget Angel of Mercy! Gosh! :)

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      8 years ago

      Harlan this is an excellent post, you got my attention right away and I almost fell on the floor in laughter, I had to wipe away the tears rolling down my face. I see both sides, humor and the serious side as well. I do believe and have witnessed a sighting of a ghost. As I pulled into a town in somewhere Kentucky ville at the very wee hours of the morning with my 18 wheeler, I came to a stop sign and to my right was a cemetery. I looked through my passenger west coast mirror and saw a lady with long hair in a white gown looking right back at me. I got our of my rig and walked to the back of my trailer to witness her gliding across towards the cemetery and disappear into nothingness.It scared the you know what right out of me. From that day forward I believed in ghosts, up till then I thought it was all make believe in movies and smoke and mirrors. Great post loved the read, you have my vote, keep up your posting, you are a talented writer.

    • Harlan Colt profile imageAUTHOR

      Harlan Colt 

      8 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

      Thanks RedElf,

      I appreciate the vote of confidence, ok, ok, you got me... infact I needed it.

      But let's not acknowledge the man behind the curtain!

      I have several hubs to post, but I have been waiting until I get back home and get a real internet connection. This one is very unreliable, so is the phone... and with each day it seems my chance of going home is equally unreliable. Working offshore can really stink sometimes... and I don't mean the fish.

      Thanks again!


    • RedElf profile image


      8 years ago from Canada

      Super hub, Harlan. Just what I needed to start my day! Thanks so much for this! I look forward to reading more from you.

    • Harlan Colt profile imageAUTHOR

      Harlan Colt 

      8 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

      anjalicugh welcome,

      Thank you for your comments, I am pleased I could share some laughter with you. I went to your profile and I am amazed with what you share about yourself and things you have done in your life. I will read some of your articles as I have time.

      If I may share a quick experience you may find interesting... One day while gardening in my back yard I got a phone call from a young woman trying to sell me "more" services with my cell phone company. We got to talking and she was from India. I don't know why, but we quickly seemed to be talking to each other like dear, long-time friends. Her and I began to email each other and shortly after, her sister too. I still write them now and then to this day to see how their lives are doing. The older sister became an RN and is now working in London, England, with a goal to someday come to New York City to work. I am so proud of her, she came from a single parent family and climbed her way out from among India's poorest people. Both these women are a true inspiration to what one can achieve in life. In looking at your profile and your accomplishments I was reminded of that again.

      P.S. Your status for cynical old woman has been denied, you're neither old nor cynical enough!

      Best Wishes,

      - Harlan

    • anjalichugh profile image


      8 years ago from New York

      Welcome to Hub Pages! I found this hilarious. Ordinarily, I would've never laughed on such subjects as I do take these things seriously. You want to know if there are ghosts? Well, there are countless (reported) incidents where people have seen ghosts. First of all I would like to call them spirits who (sort of) get stuck between the two worlds and are not able to cross over for some reason, which is not only 'unfinished work' as you mentioned. It can happen for several reasons, which you'll better understand if you do a little research on 'near death experiences' or 'past life regression' or 'spiritual guides'. You might also feel some empathy towards spirits who keep hanging around without being seen or heard, most of the times. Please don't call me a cynical old woman for this . I really enjoyed reading this article as I had never before seen the humorous aspect of the spirit world. :)You really made me laugh.


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