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Do ghosts really exist?

Updated on December 3, 2009

Ghost types

Paranormal investigators refer to two main hauntings, intelligent and residual.  I'll start by explaining the difference.

Intelligent hauntings are where the alleged ghost interacts with either its surroundings or the people around it.  These are the haintings that tend to be thought of most when people mention ghosts.  Poltergiests fall into this category as the high end of intelligent hauntings.

Residual hauntings are where the ghost tends to perform repetative actions or are seen/heard frequenting the same place.  Personally I believe these to be the most interesting and hopefully this hub will explain why as we go on.

Intelligent hauntings

In my opinion, I have yet to see any real, convincing evidence for an intelligent haunting. I certainly have never experienced one.  However, the paranormal investagative television programs would have us believe differently.

I do not doubt that there has been somethings that are unusual captured on recording devices both visual and auditory, however none of these have scientifically or objectively proved the existence of intelligent ghosts.  There have been some circumstantial sequences caught that appear to indicate intelligent hauntings, but I believe these are more coincidental and fall into the residual haunting category.  More importantly, I don't believe we have yet developed any equipment that can accurately measure or prove an intelligent haunting.

Some of you may disagree with me on this one but bear with me. Poltergeists appear to be intelligent hauntings I hear you cry. Possibly, but consider the evidence.  Much of it is circumstantial, hearsay and unconfirmed video evidence.  I'm afraid much of the so called evidence is faked and proven so.  However consider that poltergeist activity might fall into residual hauntings. I have not seen or heard of any evidence where a poltergeist was asked to perform a certain unrelated action that was repeatable.  If this was possible, then I would subscribe to an intelligent haunting being possible.

My final thoughts on intelligent hauntings is that if we were able prove this, we would definately be proving life after death and have some very difficult religous questions to answer.  That is a whole new subject for debate.

Residual Hauntings

This is where I believe we have some sort of plausible evidence along with some very interesting theories.  As I have already discussed, I do believe we have some evidence of the phenomenom termed residual haunting.  However, even the experts so called explanations of what they believe residual hauntings to be, actually debunks the very fact that it is not a haunting at all.

Everything points to a so called residual haunting being a recording of something that has happened in the past.  I actually partially subscribe to this theory and will offer some of my own possibilities of what this particular phenomenom is exhibiting. I must stress that there is no scientific explanation for what we are either witnessing, hearing or experiencing, as yet.  One thing we can positively say is that residual hauntings are not evidence of the afterlife.

How do residual hauntings happen?

I cannot directly answer this question, if I could I would be very rich indeed. What I can theorise is that under certain circumstances and conditions there is a possibility that we can measure, witness or experience an event or part of an event that has taken place in the past....or is it?

What we could be experiencing is something that may be happening in the present or the future. The space time continuim is still something that we can't fully exlpain or understand but even Einsteins theories showed that there was a possibilty of time and space crossing over or having worm holes or portals.  What we could be experiencing is a gap in time or portal whereby we are able to see, hear or experience something from a different time line, be that past, present or future.

I can see that many of you may have switched off now but this theory is no less plausible than having some sort of conditions that are able to record traumatic events from history and then replay them under other certain conditions.  The fact of the matter is simply we do not at this present time know and cannot replicate or accurately measure and record these events.

Once again, what we can say is that they are definately not ghosts and not evidence of the afterlife. Unexplained phenomenom is the only way we can accurately describe these events at this moment in time.


So to answer the question of whether ghosts exist? In my opinion, no. We have no repeatable measured scientific evidence to support the existence of ghosts. Those pieces of evidence that have been presented to date could possibly support the theory of residual hauntings, but once again this is a very bad description of what is probably occurring.

Ghosts are essentially a supporting crutch for many religions to prove that there is life after death and the way you live your life determines what happens to you when you die. I do believe that there is a lot more investigation of the residual haunting phenomenom required to try and understand what is happening here.  I find it a shame that there is not more resource put into this as there could be some far reaching consequences and discoveries that may change many things in the future.

Unfortunately, much of this area is ridiculed because of fakes, natural and explainable phenomenom along with peoples perceptions.  The variety of the quality of television programs reportedly investigating also doesn't help the scientific communities perception of "Ghost hunting", mainly because most if not all have at some time resorting to sensationalism and faking it.


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    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Transit Camper 

      7 years ago

      Hi Beth and thank you for contributing to the debate. I don't believe in either residual or intelligent hauntings, I was merely expressing a potential theory. I have yet to see or experience any evidence of any type of haunting and the reason for writing the hub was to drum up discussion of this very emotive subject. That is not to say that some people have compelling personal experiences that may to them prove the existence. I have no reason to doubt your own personal experiences. One thing to consider though is we often make things into personal experiences. To draw a comparison is when we can see faces in pictures or objects, like christ appearing in a piece of toast. Our brains associate things to our own experiences or knowledge. Likewise a sound could be misheard to be a name that your familiar with and therefore associate as being personal and intelligent.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I happen to disagree, as i think residual haunting is a load of crap. I do believe that certain spirits have yet to move on from the earth to the afterlife for whatever reason. Spirits are in a home or on a property or whatever,and are intelligent. I lived in a home that had a spirit that would call out my family members name and my pets names, among countless other experiences. We all saw and heard activity, so please know that I could care less what people think as it happened to us. Now to tell me that the earth can record images from the past is much more far fetched than spirits not moving on to be in the afterlife. Please know that just because you have not expereinced intelligent spirits does not mean others have not. I do not think that hauntings are commom but they do happen, and I never thought it would happen to me. I recentley moved to a new home and have not had any futher experiences. HOWEVER WHEN SELLING MY PREVIOUS HOME WE LET THE BUYERS KNOW that it had spirit activity and whether they choose to believe us is up to them.

    • profile image

      Dennis Vernier 

      8 years ago

      I agree with your opinion on the existance of ghosts. We don't know enough about time, and what people may be seeing is some kind of crossing into another time.

      I myself have never experienced anything to give me any reason to believe in ghosts and I can tell you that my mother who passed a few years ago at 94 years old never saw anything in her lifetime that gave her any reason to beleive in the existance of ghosts either. Organized religion, peoples need to hang on to the idea that we will be here forever with some form of awarness and entertainment is what I beleive drives this whole thing.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Transit Camper 

      9 years ago

      Hi Dr Marie, an interesting photo and thank you for sharing, but I'm afraid it's not proof of intelligence or ghosts. The lack of identifiable form or circumstances surrounding the picture do not prove anything to me I'm afraid. Possible explanations are, smoke or light anomalies caused by reflection or refraction in the camera lens. This is a fairly common issue seen with camera lenses.

      I respect your beliefs 100%, I am merely questioning the proof or evidence. You say neither your husband or yourself could see it and it only turned up on the photo. Therefore it shows to me no intelligence. At best it may show residual evidence. If you could ask it to show itself and repeat the action in different places in your room/house, then we may have something that starts to look like an intelligent ghost.

      I'm just taking a scientific view point, please do not feel offended by my comments. They are merely my opinion rightly or wrongly.

    • Dr. Marie profile image

      Dr. Marie 

      9 years ago

      Greetings Transit Camper.

      Please go check out my new Hub "Proof Ghosts Are Real". There is a picture of me that my husband took and there is an entity in the pic hugging me. That proves intelligence & interaction! There is life after death. I am sure of it!

      Dr. Marie


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