Sorry, your ghost status has been denied.
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
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?