Photo by: Xoe A. Reid
Did you know that most people believe that ghosts are real? A matter of fact, the book cover of my book, Tales of a Numinous Nature, is a photo of what my family thinks is a ghost. My daughter took the picture in my mother’s empty living room with her cellphone on the negative setting. What came out definitely looked like a woman with long hair. Creepy!
Ghost sightings are as old as the sun is bright. From the Witch of Endor summoning the dead prophet Samuel in "The Bible" to The Flying Dutchman to Bloody Mary to The Lady in White to the mysterious Tsunami cab passengers in Japan to my grandmother visiting me in a dream, ghosts are a rich part of the human culture and folklore.
As odd and eerie as it seems, ghost sightings are way more common than we think. According to A HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted in 2012 that interviewed 1000 people, 45% of Americans believe in ghosts. The same poll revealed that 64% of people polled believe in life after death.
According to the Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2009 that interviewed 2003 people, 18% of Americans claim to have actually seen ghosts:16% of men and 20% of women, 17% of them were white, and blacks and Hispanics tied with 20%. I speculate that the number is probably much higher, because most people are afraid to admit that they have come face to face with the unknown.
This data is extremely interesting. In my personal experience, like in the data, I find that people of color and women are way more accepting of the spiritual realm. I have undeniably had my share of the supernatural.
Some of the most common beliefs about ghosts or spirits are:
1. Spirits become more active at night.
2. Spirits can manifest in different ways such as orbs, streaks of light, shadows, mists, strange blurs, and full body appearances.
3. Children, animals, and the dying are more likely to see ghosts.
4. If the room gets suddenly cold or a door closes on its own or something moves unexplainably or a familiar smell permeates the air, a ghost is thought to be present.
5. Spirits are trying to get our attention, have no sense of time, and may not know they’re dead.
6. Spirits can communicate through dreams, through subliminal thoughts, white noise, automatic writing, divination, mediums, or simply appearing and talking to you directly.
7. Some spirits can be mischievous and sometimes very dangerous.
8. Spirits can often be helpful and sometimes protective over their families.
9. Sprits can haunt places, follow people, and be attached to objects.
10. All spirits may not be of dead people but something of an entirely different nature.
Many argue about the nature of spirits. It is debated if they are souls of the dead, surreptitious spiritual beings, angels, demons, aliens, or figments of our imaginations. Whatever they are, they are real to a lot of us and don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
So, whether you believe in ghosts or not, there is something extremely alluring about the possibility. The next time you think someone is behind you and turn and no one is there, smile, it’s probably your Aunt Bertha trying to give you a hug!
As always, love hard and live free!
Want to know more about speculative fiction author Violette Meier? Visit www.violettemeier.com.