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Do You Believe that Ghosts Exist?
Do you Believe in Ghosts?
Disclaimer: This hub is to merely present some ideas on the intriguing topic of ghosts. It is not my intention to sway anyone's belief in the paranormal. It is meant to be fun, so read with an open mind.
Ghosts and the belief in ghosts has been a topic of much intrigue for many inquiring minds. There have been many books, stories and movies written about the existence of ghosts. Ghosts are defined as the disembodied spirit or soul of a deceased person (Wikipedia) or animal. Some have suggested that the apparitions can be seen as they would appear in real life. Some experts have argued that ghosts or apparitions usually met an untimely death and so refuse to pass on but remain behind. It is believed that some ghosts can pass into the light if they are assisted by ghost whisperer. The popular television show Ghost Whisperer is based on this premise. Others believe that ghosts are demons and can do harm to humans. Ghosts are believed to be associated with haunting of places that they are familiar with.
Science has not proven the existence of ghosts, apparitions or poltergeists. Many have argued about the appearance of a ghost. Some say it can appear as a shadow, a light, a sound or a resemblance of the person prior to death. As a child I saw ghosts at the age of five to about seven years old. While some family members believed that what I saw were ghosts, other had their doubt and some did not believe. I do not know how to explain what I saw. I do not understand why or how I perceived what I did. I however know that what I saw was not another human person. I was not fearful of them and I did not think that they would harm me. The ghosts that I saw appeared as humans but without the vitality of human beings. When you see a ghost you know it different from a human. I was too young to understand what I was seeing. The ghosts that I have seen were just standing, just looking; a part of the landscape.
Under the advisement of my grandmother, I could make a ghost disappear by closing my eyes briefly and when I opened my eyes it disappeared. I have never spoken with a ghost or a ghost has never attempted to speak with me. I have only leaned recently that I could have spoken to or help those ghosts to get into the light. By the age of seven or eight I could no longer see ghosts because I learned to fear them.
Some family members were very fearful of ghosts and usually show signs of fear whenever I told them what I've seen. I remember once telling my maternal grandmother that I had seen a man standing beside the house just as it was becoming dark outside. The dogs began barking and appeared to be attacking someone. I described a person who turned out to be my paternal grandfather who had died before I was born. I had not seen any pictures of him or heard anyone described him before that day. As I described what I had seen to my grandmother, I can remember her expression as she told me that what I had just seen was my deceased grandfather. Could I have imagined it? Then if I did, why did I see at least four or five other occurrences?
On another occasion, I saw an old woman who was a tenant at one of my grandmother's homes. This was the only time that I ever attempted to speak with a ghost. I had known the woman and was not aware that she had died. She stood with her back to us, (my aunt and I). As we were passing the house, I called out hello to her. My aunt started running and saying a prayer. I didn't know why until I got home and she told my grandmother that I had seen the woman, who unknown to me had died about three months ago. This was the first time that I can remember that I felt fear. I was so afraid that I became ill. I had a fever and chills for the remainder of that day. After that I could not see ghosts again.
I can however sense the presence of ghosts. For instance, when my maternal grandfather died in 1997, I had a visitation from him. I was having a mental conversation with him. I was between awake and sleep, just in a state of partial consciousness. I did not see him, I sensed his presence. He was re-assuring me that he had passed on to heaven and how beautiful the place was. I even asked him if he was feeling any pain and he said he was pain free and happy. I later learned that he died earlier that morning. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer six months before he died while in the hospital.
On another occasion, a colleague who passed away, visited me to let my other colleagues know that everything would be alright. At the time our department was going through much transition. The colleague who passed away was the director and founder of the program. On the morning of his passing I was in a partial sleep/awake state when I heard a loud bang on my hallway closet. I began having a mental conversation with this person and during the conversation I was thinking "Why me?" meaning why did he choose me to give this message. His answer was that "I know you can handle this." By that he meant that I could communicate with him and give the message to the others at the office. When I told some people at the office what I had dreamt ( that's the way I could explain what had happened as I didn't want to freak anyone out or maybe I was afraid that they'd think that I was weird) they were consoled. One person said that this colleague had visited her because one of her photos on her stairwell had fallen with a loud thud, but was not broken. Even though there were many changes in our work lives at the time we all felt re-assured that we would be ok and we were.
Whatever your belief is about ghosts, it is a fascinating phenomenon. Most countries in the world have legends and myths about ghosts haunting mansions, castles, or even churches. For instance, there is a legend in Jamaica about the White Witch of Rose Hall. This story is told to tourists and visitors as part of the charm of the Rose Hall Mansion. The legend is that Annie Palmer, a French woman who married a wealthy slave owner who owned thousands of acres of land and the Rose Hall great house located in Montego Bay Jamaica. The story has it that she was very cruel to the slaves, whipping anyone who was not doing as she wished. It was also said that she would take strong young slaves as lovers and when she became tired of them she would kill them and buried them in unmarked graves. She was also rumoured to kill her husband, John Palmer and at least two other husbands. Annie Palmer was said to practise voodoo and became a voodoo priestess using voodoo to control her slaves. It was said that Annie Palmer was dubbed the White Witch of Rose Hall by the slaves due to her mastery of voodoo. She was eventually killed by another person who practised voodoo because she killed his niece's lover. To this day, it is said that the ghost of Annie Palmer roams the halls of Rose Hall great house.
Ghosts have been of interests to many authors and directors of movies. Stephen King, Charles Dickens, Sheridan Le Fanu, Henry James and Martin Coventry are among some of the famous authors of ghost stories. Some write about traditional ghost stories, steeped in the folklore of their country of origins. Other authors have a psychological focus, where the focus is on the perceiving consciousness of the victim rather than the actions of the ghosts.
There have been many movies made about ghosts; some are horror, psychological thrillers, drama and humour. My next hub will focus on my favourite fifteen ghost movies that have been produced and directed over the last one hundred years. I will highlight from as early as 1908, during the silent movie era to 2009, when cinematography and special effects have evolved to include 3D for sensory overload. Please stay tuned.