Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Are ghosts real?  It’s a question often asked and especially on the Internet.  It is the second highest mystery in the Aquiziam list that has been based on the number of worldwide internet searches conducted in English.  The question would be better if it asked: Do ghosts exist? (Reality can be a tricky subject and yes it is Quantum).

To separate Ghosts from other unexplained phenomena, a starting point is to agree that a Ghost is the visible, audible or telepathic experience of something that was once alive and that is now dead.  So a ghost could naturally be a human being but could also be an animal or a plant.  In fact all of these have been reported at some time.
Ghost in the Study

The above photograph was taken in a museum near the town of Ironbridge in England. An indistinct figure appeared in the picture even though the photographer saw only an empty room.

One pseudo scientific explanation for this is that all living creatures have a form of measurable electrical (spiritual) energy when they are alive that fades away after their death.  For lack of a better word let’s call this energy: “Life”.

Now just about all scientists agree with the Law of Conservation of Energy that states: “Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another or transferred from one body to another, but the total amount of energy remains constant (the same).  Given this as a concept, the question arises whether or not a “Life” (energy) continues after the body in which it existed has ceased to function? So the first explanation is that a ghost is the “Life” energy of a once living thing that does not fade away or move on as it is supposed to.  Death is not the opposite of life it is merely its absence – so where did the Life go?
If this is the explanation then it certainly does not explain why there are apparently ghostly carriages, cars, ships, planes and so on.  The definition of ghost then has to be: “The manifestation of anything that once existed but now does not.” Is the latest definition realistic?  In theory it is possible that every single event that has occurred since the beginning of time has left an imprint of itself on the matrix that is the universe. This is a very new “big” idea that only now are scientists beginning to seriously explore.  The theory behind it is deceptively simple and draws its formulation from Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in which he shows that time is not a constant.  Think of life like a film made up of thousands of “frames”.  Each frame is a moment in time permanently captured (and now real forever).  If they are flashed quickly, one after another, then the illusion of motion and reality is created. This is what a person experiences every time they watch a Film or DVD. But what if two films were experienced at the same time? The experience would be very much like that of experiencing a ghost and, as we now know, time is not a constant so in theory it could happen. In paranormal language this is often referred to as a “time-slip”

Reynauld House - Much Wenlock - Shrophire
Frame Effect
Reynauld’s Haunted House in Much Wenlock’s High Street, Shropshire, UK (Currently a Furniture Shop - 2008.)

The Frame Effect.
Often associated with ghosts and hauntings.

Three Great Questions! Let’s look at these three incredible unanswered questions.  Firstly, not even the cleverest person alive or dead has effectively explained where the universe came from! They can now explain that once there was nothing and then after a significant explosion – “The Big Bang” it all started to materialize but they conveniently fail to answer what it was created from.  The second great unanswered question is: “How big is the Universe?”  And again there is no answer other than “infinitely big” or “never ending”.  In an infinitely large universe the possibilities are, by conclusion, infinite.  In short, anything really is possible. The third question is:  “Is there life (energy and consciousness) after death? The safe scientific answer is “no”.  However, ask scientists to prove this and they cannot.  The truth is that history is littered with scientific facts and beliefs that have turned out to be wrong more often that they were correct. Universities and other scientific institutions rarely hire people that do not conform to the current accepted beliefs. Science is more similar to a religion than many of its priests, sorry - scientists, would like you to believe.

Now that we’ve raised the subject of religion it’s important to consider that the majority of people are religious – even if somewhat vague about their beliefs.  At their most basic most religions are very similar.  There is a God.  This God created everything.  This God wants you to behave in a certain way that is “right”.  If you behave as you are told then when you die your soul (you) gets to carry on in a nice place. (sometimes there are even virgins.) If you don’t do and believe what you’re told then something unpleasant happens to you - quite often even before you die.  By the way we’re being cynical here but it does seem that mostly what these Gods want you to do is behave, keep clean, keep believing and hand over some of your money.  Oh, most importantly they want you not to change gods – which of course stops the money coming in. We apologize in advance for any offense that this abbreviation may have caused. Still here is the tricky thing, they could be right.  There is no proof that God does not exist and quite a lot of anecdotal evidence that God does.

Most religions believe (propose) that all living things have a soul – a form of energy and consciousness - that continues to exist in some form or another after death. Many paranormal experts propose that after death the soul usually moves on but sometimes fails to do so and remains linked to this world (reality).  The force of this presence can be weak and so merely create an awareness sensation in those that are sensitive to its presence or it can be strong to the point where the “ghost” can actually interact with the living.  This interaction can be protective, benign or even aggressive. They further propose that the anomaly created by this remaining soul can be so strong that it can project the appearance of objects with which it was strongly associated.  This is quite a good explanation for why the Headless Horseman still has his horse or why ghosts are often seen with their cloths still on.

The Evidence Against Ghosts:
  • Scientists say they are just not possible. They can’t prove that they are not possible but say that every investigated Ghost has turned out to be explainable. We would just like to point out that it would take the collective manpower of every scientist alive (and more) to investigate every claim so clearly there is some exaggeration going on here.
  • Some clearly faked photographs.  True, but people still can’t make up their minds whether the photographs of the Moon Landings were real or not. Hmm, makes you think!  Also, some faked photographs does not mean all photographs are faked.
  • Hallucinations, peripheral vision and psychosomatic belief (the desire to see / believe).
The Evidence for Ghosts:
  • Millions of sightings over thousands of years recorded by many very respectable people from Pliny the Younger (Athenodoros Cananites c. 74 BC – 7 AD) to members of the modern American Senate.  Still, quite often these sightings are explainable and subject to interpretation.
  • If, as the major religions would have people believe, we have a soul then ghosts (the spirit) almost certainly exist.
  • Photographs, videos and documented eye witness accounts.
  • An infinite universe does equal anything is possible.
  • Personal experience! This is perhaps the single most compelling reason for any individual to believe – their own experience.
The simple truth is that if anybody had clear irrefutable evidence one way or another then this would no longer be a mystery and wouldn’t be featured in this section of  No one really knows whether ghosts exist or are merely figments of human kind’s imagination.
Ghost Tower
The Hanging Tree
Ghostly Orb and Mist
Ghost Tower

The Hanging Tree

Ghostly Orb and Mist - Worcestershire

Some Ghostly Information:
  • Sightings of ghosts vary dramatically from country to country.  The United Kingdom is one of the highest.
  •  The belief in ghosts can be traced back to prehistoric ancestor worship circa 4,000bc.
  • Ancient Egyptians believed in ghosts.
  • Wikipedia claims that 32% of Americans (who were surveyed) believe in ghosts – just about one in three. (Beware of statistics)
  • Many researchers believe that ghosts are often mysteriously linked to places or objects that may in some way keep them anchored in this world.
  • Allegedly, Anne Boleyn is probably the ghost with the most sightings. Executed at the Tower of London in 1536 for allegedly cheating on her husband Henry the Eighth, she has been sighted over 70,000 times in nearly 500 years.
  • The Christian Bible has references in it to ghosts. (Verified)
  • Children seem to be able to see or experience ghostly phenomenon more easily than adults.
  • The original Headless Horseman is a fictional character that appears in a story called “the Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving.
  • Animals, especially cats, are supposed to be sensitive to the presence of ghosts and are often observed to watch something that is clearly not there.
  • Ghosts seem to be associated with extreme deaths such as murder, war and accidents.
  • Digital cameras using their “flash mode” seem particularly able to photograph ghosts.
  • Haunted houses are becoming a highly profitable tourist industry.
  • 112 Ocean Avenue, Long Island, New York is the address of the haunted house featured in the film the Amityville Horror and was really the scene of a horrific murder.
  • There are many places that claim the title of most haunted house in Britain but Borley Rectory in Essex seems the most popular.
  • According to many “paranormal researchers” most ghosts don’t know that they are dead.
  • Orb Ghosts are probably just camera flash reflections on air particles such as water droplets, insects and pollen. (Still debated)
  • Ectoplasm – or more simply a clear jelly-like substance is reputed to often appear on the ground after a ghostly encounter.  No DNA analysis of Ectoplasm is currently available.
  • Poltergeist means “Noisy Ghost” or “Noisy Spirit”.
  • Angel Hair is a substance similar to ectoplasm and appears as fine strands of mucous-like substance near sites of ghostly visitations.  Although well recorded and documented every attempt to preserve this substance for more than a few minutes’ results in it literally disappearing.
If you type “Ghost” into Google’s new variant search engine you will discover that there are more than 220 million results relating to this subject.  Clearly people are interested in this matter or perhaps more accurately, interested in presenting information about this topic.

The Ironbridge Experience

Ironbridge Gorge is a narrow wooded gash in the Shropshire hills (England) through which flows the Severn River.  Today it is a world heritage site listed as the home of the Industrial Revolution.  Named after the first cast iron bridge built in the World and completed in 1781, the town is now a beautiful tourist attraction – a far cry from the hell-hole of fire, furnaces and molten steel that it once was.  It is said that the average lifespan of an Ironbridge worker was just eight years before toxic fumes, contaminated water or overwork claimed his soul.

Situated in part of the Ironbridge Gorge is the Tar Tunnel.  It was originally constructed to make the transport of iron and coke to and from the furnaces of Blists Hill easier.  However, during its construction natural tar wells were discovered deep under the hills and its purpose changed.  It is now a little known tourist attraction.  During August 2008 it was visited by a member of the team and his family. It was here and later at the Jackfield Tile Works that a series of photographs were taken that contain some unusual aspects.

Shortly after the tar wells the tunnel is barred as it is considered unsafe beyond that point.  It is here that a series of photographs were taken that show an unusual sequence of events.  In the first image an orb appears very faintly against the roof of the tunnel.  In the second image a bright wraith appears and in the third image the orb has clearly moved past the camera.  By coincidence a face appears in the brickwork of tunnel.  What’s the explanation? Well, we don’t have one.  Each of the images below can be downloaded by clicking on them and still contains their digital signature to prove that they are original and unaltered by photo-editing software.
First Frame - Tar Tunnel Ghost
The Manifestataion Appears
Almost Invisable Orb - Top and Centre

A sudden burst of ghostly mist - note the face in the bricks on the right

Later in the day the family visited the Jackfield tile works and again a ghostly image of a person dressed in typical 18th century style appears in one of the images.  (This is the main photograph at the top of this page.) We can’t say what these are and leave it up to you to make up your own mind.

What’s in a Name?

There are more than ten different words in the English (American) language for Ghosts.  This is a very large number of synonyms for something that doesn’t apparently exist.  There seems to be no definitive directory explaining the minor differences in these paranormal beings so we’ve done our best to compile one:
  • Ghost: The “soul” of a being or thing trapped in this reality
  • Spirit: The “soul” of a being or thing able to visit this reality
  • Phantom: A ghost that is felt rather than seen
  • Manifestation: A visible ghostly “thing” not clearly anything recognisable
  • Apparition:  Similar to a manifestation but with at least a vaguely recognisable shape
  • Geist: Another word for Ghost or sometimes Spirit
  • Zeitgeist: A Spirit Guide
  • Wraith: A Ghost or Spirit seeking revenge or the faintest of ghosts – almost intangible
  • Orb: Spherical lights often captured on digital cameras and now disputed as real
  • Poltergeist: Literally “Noisy Ghosts” these are often dangerous or hostile
  • Astral Entities: Ghost-like beings experienced during a trance state
  • Dybbuk:  A malicious spirit that possesses the bodies of living people
  • Materialisations: The audible or visible presence of a summoned Ghost or Spirit
  • Ghouls: From the Arabic, these beings are malignant spirits often associated with Djinns.
  • Spook: Something of a joke ghost.
So, do ghost’s exits?  The only way to answer this is through your own personall experience.  Almost every person alive has, at some time, experienced something that that was, ghostly in nature. Even if it was just a chill running down your spine. However, very few people will actually say that they are certain that they've seen a ghost.

When it comes to ghosts – they’re the second biggest mystery and we believe that the debate is far from finished. Please be sceptical. The truth may be out there but so is an incredible amount of rubbish!
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