Research Paper: “Ghosts: Believers and Non believers Come Forth.”
Ghosts and spirits have haunted the world for centuries or so some believe. Christian theology talks of the transcending of certain ghostly imitations also known as demons or poltergeists. ( Wiebe,p.1). Although the origin of ghosts descends far back into time the belief of ghost varies from person to person. There are endless sightings, photographs, and unexplained mysteries. There has never been a confirmed announcement of the existence of ghosts but there has never been a declaration of no possibilities either. How is it known if they are real? There is no way of knowing for sure. It is a choice people must make for themselves to accept the reality or to accept the falsehood. The most important question is what convinces people of something that is not in confirmed as a fact in a science textbook? “The savage or barbarian has never learned to make that rigid distinction between imagination and reality, to enforce which is one of the main results of scientific education.” ( Wiebe, .1)
Those that do believe in ghosts say that they are transparent materializations of a person who has died. Ghosts have been described as human in size and gossamer in their appearance. It is the essence of the soul that has decided to have an extended vacation on the planet. Reasons for this haunted apparition walking around without its mask varies. Fanatical experiences and brutal deaths can excrete enough energy to leave an imitation of the event behind. A bloodthirsty murder can leave an imprint in a specific place and that designated area will be forever haunted. ( Enligtenment) There is intelligible content within the energy of a ghost. There are some ghosts that have no intentions of interacting with the living. They know nothing but the space and tim that existed in before. Then are the type of ghosts that intend to communicate. Some believe that there is no harm intended by these attempts at communication. It is just materialized energy that moves in and out. It may appear within the exact time that the spirit has died. ( Enlightement, p. 1).
Some spirits who have not passed over are notorious ghosts of the world that are nationally and internationally recognized. England is brimming with visions of the undead. The infamous Tower of London has more than one tortured soul wandering within its walls. There have been hauntings by the headless Anne Boleyn, , Lady Jane Grey, the Ghost of King Edward V of England, Sir Walter Raleigh, and an ghostly portrayal of the execution of Margaret Pole, the 8th countess of Salisbury. Closer to home Abraham Lincoln haunts the corridors of the White House. ( Enlightenment, page 2) Some say that the spirit of criminals linger on earth to avoid purgatory and the burning fires of hell. These ghost stories of the past are what some people consider to be pure hogwash. However, there is a bevy of ghost stories that people swear by; of course they cannot be proven to everyone in the scientific community. There are published ghost stories some of which are meant to be fiction; others are what the author wishes to see on the shelves of non-fiction books.
Anne Wilder is an example of an author who promises her readers that “ This is a true recollection and account of ghostly or paranormal phenomena that my family and I have experienced ” ( Wilder, p.1). Wilder grew up in an Irish family and was raised with a Catholic religion. The catholic religion is known to be in belief of spirits flying around possibly in limbo. Wilder describes seeing a pair of yellow eyes staring at her for several nights as a child. ( Wilder, p.8) She reached out to God to protect herself and prayed away her fear of the saffron iris’s that loomed in her room each night. Wilder speaks of other ghosts who haunted her and the members her family on a regular basis. Her mother was shadowed by an apparition of a young girl for more than twenty years. Her mother can also apparently see and hear spirits ( Wilder p.2).
The shared stories of Annie Wilder date back to the 1960′s and she still believes in them today. On a more modern notemy fellow classmates of Writing Studio Section Five gave various responses to a survey which asked them the following; do you believe in Ghosts? If so please explain why or why not in a few short sentences. A plethora of answers came from the result of these survey questions. These answers can be broken down easily into three categories. The first one is the complete non-believer who is very opinionated in their reasons for not trusting the realities of ghosts, spirits, and demons. Then there were students who couldn’t decide what they believed. Finally we have the small group of strong believers who had paranormal experiences. The first category includes the students who did not believe at all. Jena Gmoch explained that she doesn’t believe I ghosts, she believes people’s ghost encounters are all made up. Taylor Clutter explains that ghosts do not exist, he says the media exaggerates ghosts. Danielle Hernandez said that TV shows make them seem fake. Charlotte Mayo says “ I don’t believe in ghosts but now that I say that I am scared that I will be haunted.” (“ Do you believe in ghosts: survey”, Sickles). Most students blame the medias exaggeration.Others believe that people like to make up stories to entertain themselves and scare others. There were a few people like Charlotte Mayo who after they said they didn’t believe found themselves reconsidering their beliefs now that they put them out in the universe (“ Do you believe in ghosts: survey”, Sickles).
The second group includes students who are not quite sure. They may or may not have had an encounter with a ghost but they havenot totally detached themselves from the possibility of ghosts. Brandi Wyant isn’t sure as her feelings are muddled by only half of her family of believers and half of them being non believers. These are also students who have had some strange experiences. They have either ruled these experiences out or are just not sure if they were real. Other students in this category have just heard of other people’s experiences through friends and family (“ Do you believe in ghosts: survey”, Sickles).
Finally we have some avid ghost believers. These were quite rare in a classroom of modern day students born in years ranging from 1988-1991. To my much surprise and joy there were a few students who not only believed in ghosts but had theories. Emma Green said “ I believe because if they don’t exist how do you explain so many sightings and encounters.” She also said that when she was young she saw a ghost of a boy walk behind her. “ He was wearing a white t-shirt, blue overalls, and blue cap hovered over where his head should have been.” This happened in her old victorian style home in England. Emma says her story is absolutely true and that she has never been more scared in her life than she was at that moment (“ Do you believe in ghosts: survey”, Sickles). Danielle Orakji says she believes in good and bad ghosts. One night when she way lying in bed ( she was 8 at the time) she saw a cowboy hanging from his neck. Danielle says she will never forget that horrifying experience. Kendra philips believes in spirit energy but not necessarily ghosts. She recalled a ghost hunting experience with a group of her friends. They videotaped a graveyard and later heard “ rapid breathing” noises on the videotape. All of her friends said they didn’t make a sound (“ Do you believe in ghosts: survey”, Sickles).
There is more proof than people’s “ true” ghost stories. There is an abundance of websites on ghost photography theyclaim to be real. The photographs are of ghosts in various locations. While some might look manipulated, its hard for some to ignore the eerie photographs of the undead. For example in Salem, Massachusetts at the House of the Seven Gables, a mysterious photograph was taken. It is the place of birth for the American Author Nathaniel Hawthorne. In front of the rich green shrubberythat emphasizes the stark red walls of the house a ghost stands. It is a transparent little boy.
A photograph taken by Chris Brackley in 1982 is inside the St.Botolph’s church in London. The Photograph is titled the’Ghost in the Choir Loft.’ He never intended to take a picture of a ghost but in the upper right choir of the church a translucent silhouette of a woman was lingering. A contractor later contacted the photographer and notified him that he had seen that same face in a coffin in that church.(Wagner, p.1). This doesn’t sound like a coincidence to everyone. These types of convincing photographs with background stories for evidence make it easy for some people to believe; this might be why there are people who believe in ghosts today and keep the evidence alive.( Wagner, p 2
Most people from my survey were non believers. They had solid reasons for not trusting in something that is not easily proven unless you can see it for themselves. The intriguing part of the survey is how many people did believe. Yes it was the minority but those people represent a significant statistical sampling. If there are believers in my college classes then there are many more out in the world. They accept the reality og ghosts for two important reasons. Firstly they have not been proven wrong. There has not been a news report or person of high political standing who has said “Ghosts are not real it’s all a hoax!” Most people would listen to an important News report but there has been no such thing regarding the reality of ghost. The second reason for those who are convinced of ghosts is that they believe what they can see. The sightings, the photos, and the ghost hunters TV shows can be enough for some people. Those who have had an encounter will think ghosts are real forever (although we can’t know if they are telling the truth if they were dreaming). Some people want to believe so they say that they do. There is enough proof to get some people to completely believe and some people to just wonder about it. Those who don’t believe think of ghosts like a fairy tale; they don’t believe that there is any truth to spiritual energy or demon residue. The topic of ghosts is puzzling but it is more dense and has more evidence than Santa Claus ever did. People think that ghosts exist because they haven’t been fully convinced that the world is devoid of spiritual energy. Give people a solid reason not to believe and maybe nobody will. There has been too many recollections and legends of ghosts for everyone to decide that they are not real. There are more reasons to think that are than not. It is up to an individual person to say they are a ghost supporter.Believers have an underlying credence and they will trus what that see or as Voltaire says “ Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” ( Famous Quotes)
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Sickles, Sasha. “ Do you Believe Ghosts: Survey.” Survey. Sarasota, FL: Ringling College of Art and Design, 2009
Wagner, Derik. “Haunted happenings in Western New York. ” Buffalo News 24 Oct. 2007, ProQuest Newsstand, ProQuest. Web. 2 Nov. 2009.
Wiebe, Phillip H. “ Intimations of Transcendence in Christian Experience”Oxford University Press, Incorporated.2004 Retrieved November 2, 2009 from Ebary
Wilder, Annie. Spirits of Our time: True Family Ghost Stories and Weihttp://en-us.www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/central/rd Paranormal Experiences. 1st ed. Woodbury: Llewellyn Publications, 2009. Print.
“Voltaire Quotes.” Famous Quotes and Quotations at BrainyQuote. Web. 03 Dec. 2009. <http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/v/voltaire163832.html>.>