National Paranormal Society NPS FOCUS June 2016 - Page 38

Ghosts & Hauntings

Taking an Inside look at Ghosts & Hauntings

Where did your fascination for the paranormal begin? For some of us, we had experiences that were unexplainable. For others, it was due to stories that we had heard our parents talk about. Possibly, your love for the paranormal started with a fictional story. Despite how you got here, you ALL have two things in common: the ghost and the haunting.

What is a ghost and what constitutes a haunting? Can you have one without the other? We like the definitions that the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena uses for these. They answer the previous questions quite well.

Ghost (or Apparition) - a human (sometimes animal) figure, witnessed by someone, which cannot be physically present.

Haunting - a collection of odd, apparently paranormal, events reported at a particular location.

Not every ghost or haunting is the same. Each experience has to be looked at individually and classified according to the type of event. Every case is different!

Ghosts and hauntings are not surprisingly classified according to the type of manifestation. The number and names of these types vary greatly by source. For the purposes of this article, we will classify as follows: animal, mental imprint manifestation, shadows, traditional, crisis apparitions, time slips, doppelgangers (“ghosts” of the living), poltergeists, and inanimate objects. In examining claims of these types of hauntings, we must also examine the potential logical or natural explanations.

Many question why hauntings involving other animals, insects, etc. are nearly non-existent. Dale Kaczmarek of Ghost Research Society speculates that perhaps only “intelligent” species have souls. The idea of animals having souls is a hotly debated concept. If this theory were valid, however, such creatures as bees, octopi, dolphins, crows and ants would be high among claims of hauntings, as they are among the most highly intelligent creatures. While dogs do make the top ten most intelligent species, cats and horses do not. The fact that humans rarely develop personal emotional attachments to other species is the most plausible logical explanation for this disparity in claims. Many people consider pets to be family members and when they pass; their human companions grieve their loss. So are these manifestations genuine? There are factors to consider for both the positive and negative side of this coin. Since we do grieve the loss of our beloved companions, it is quite likely that we would, through place memory, hear or see them out of the corner of our eye. Conversely, when a team investigates a site

The most commonly reported claims of animal manifestations are dogs, cats and horses. Frequent reports of seeing a shadow of a cat crossing one’s path, or feeling a dog brush against one’s leg are made. In some areas, there have been reports of phantom horses with riders crossing a roads.

Ghost &