Top 10 Reasons You Should Believe In Ghosts

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As a paranormal investigator, one of the most common questions I’m asked is why I believe in ghosts. After all, they cannot be proven to exist scientifically, so why should I give them any credence—especially considering that I’ve never seen one myself?

Since most of us prefer to believe that we will continue to exist in some capacity after death, the idea that we might invent something like ghosts seems a reasonable one. After all, what better way to convince oneself that a deceased loved one is okay “on the other side” than to imagine seeing them at the foot of your bed, smiling and looking better than they did in life?

But I believe there is more to ghosts than just wishful thinking or the quest for a spooky story to tell around a campfire. I believe there are a number of good reasons to at least be open to the idea that ghosts might well inhabit our reality. I know that none of these in and of themselves constitute proof that ghosts exist, but when combined they make a good case that there may be something tangible behind those things that go bump in the night.

10. Medium Contact

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I recognize that the history of séances and medium contact with the dead (known as necromancy) has been rife with fraud for centuries, making it easy to dismiss the concept of ghosts out-of-hand for that reason alone. However, hoaxing does not constitute proof that something isn’t true; it only demonstrates that people are very clever about deceiving others. There have been studies made on the validity of those who claim to be able to contact the dead, with some interesting results—at least in a few cases.

Of course, because of the history of fraud so prevalent within the psychic community, it has been difficult to take any studies that try and scientifically validate such claims seriously. However, double blind testing done by Harvard trained psychologist Doctor Gary Schwartz at the University of Arizona, on a number of supposed mediums, suggested that at least some of them had an uncanny ability to acquire information that could only be known to the deceased. While his methodology has been virulently attacked by the orthodox science community, for those who approach his research with an open mind, his evidence is compelling and strongly suggestive of post-mortem existence.

9. Orbs

ghost-orbs

While technically orbs falls into the category of photographic evidence (which we will discuss in more detail later on,) they differ in context. In photographic evidence of apparitions, the “ghost” usually appears very much like a living person, with degrees of transparency evident (though some can be entirely opaque) while with orbs, one sees only small circles of light (usually not apparent at the time the photo was taken).

Of course, orbs can be created in any number of ways: dust particles, water droplets, and even flying insects will all produce orbs if they fly too close to the camera flash when the shutter goes off, which is why most orbs are probably just cases of mistaken identity. There are a few examples, however, of unusually bright or well-defined orbs that cast their own light shadow (suggesting they are internally illuminated) or that are partially hidden behind objects in the distance, suggesting that they are too far away to be a dust particle or insect caught in the camera’s flash. Evidence of ghosts? Not necessarily, but possibly evidence that another world may exist parallel to our own that’s every bit as real and tangible as our own—leaving room for things like ghosts to exist.

8. Historical Precedence

witch-of-endor

If ghosts were a fairly recent phenomena like Bigfoot or UFOs, it might be easy to dismiss them as a byproduct of our culture’s overactive imagination, but stories of ghosts and hauntings go back thousands of years. In fact, accounts of other worldly visitors can be seen in the writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and mention of a ghost can even be found in the Old Testament Book of 1st Samuel (1 Samuel 28), so the belief has been around a long time. That doesn’t prove anything, of course, but it does tell us that we’re not the first generation to grapple with the idea that the dead may come back to haunt the living, which suggests that the ancients encountered things every bit as bizarre way back then as their modern counterparts do today.

7. The Immutability of Energy

Aura

One of the most basic tenets of physics is that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but can only be changed from one form to another. As such, since human consciousness appears to be a manifestation of electrical energy, it stands to reason that the basic essence of a human being—that which we call the consciousness—is also eternal. It may not be housed in a physical brain any longer, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t exist in some other format that we simply lack the means—at this time, anyway—to detect.

It should be remembered that, two hundred years ago, science pooh-poohed the idea that things like bacteria and viruses existed, largely because it seemed absurd to imagine that creatures could exist that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Once the microscope was perfected, of course, all that changed, leading to the advent of modern medicine. Could “ghosts” then be the next revolution in science that awaits only the development of the technology needed to detect them? Stay tuned …

6. Eyewitness Accounts

seen-a-ghost

It’s surprising how many people claim to have personally seen a “ghost”. According to some polls, as many as 25% of Americans (with similar percentages elsewhere in the world) claim to have actually been in the presence of a ghost or “spirit.” That’s a whopping 75 million people in this country alone. And that’s just those who are willing to admit it; the numbers may be even higher for people who repress their experiences for religious or personal reasons.

Even if we discount a large percentage of these as imagination, mistaken identity, or outright hoax, the fact that millions of people around the world claim to have seen a ghost with their own eyes has to be taken seriously. What’s especially compelling is the fact that most people who claim to have seen a ghost either didn’t believe in them beforehand or were not expecting to see one, reducing the chances that their imaginations were playing tricks on them.

5. Electronic Disturbances

ghost-hunters

Anyone who has ever watched the hit reality program Ghost Hunters knows that ghosts often signal their presence by interacting with electronic gadgets. Probably the best know of these devices is the EM-Meter, which measures electromagnetic energy in the environment. Of course, electromagnetic energy is naturally put out by electronic devices of all kinds, electrical wiring, and even by the Earth itself, so it’s not surprising that they would get energy “spikes” from time to time. It becomes interesting, however, when an energy spike has no evident rationale behind it (such as an appliance or wiring being nearby). Evidence of a ghost? Not necessarily, but possibly evidence that “something” is interacting with the environment that is not easily explained away.

4. Audio Evidence (Passive)

Electronic-Voice-Phenomena

EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) are sounds purportedly made by other worldly entities on tape recorders or other electronic devices that were not heard audibly at the time of the recording. These noises, which can be anything from knocking sounds, footsteps, and garbled noises or growls to distinct voices, are usually only perceivable once a recording is played back (and the volume greatly increased). Of course, there are any number of things that can create an unusual or unexpected noise, from settling and water in pipes to rodents and birds, but sometimes these noises can be quite unusual and, on occasion, even startling—especially when they form complete and intelligent sentences.

3. Audio Evidence (Active)

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While EVPs are usually not heard at the time of the recording, there is another type of audio evidence that is not only heard but is frequently caught on recorders. The most common sounds are footsteps, loud bangs or knocks, and growls, but sometimes clear but disembodied voices, laughter, and even singing can be heard. What makes this type of audio evidence such potent evidence is their clarity and the fact that they frequently have multiple witnesses. Of course, one still has to be careful to eliminate natural noises, but once that is done, the sounds often recorded at a “haunted” location can be compelling and considered strong evidence for the existence of ghosts.

2. Audio Evidence (Interactive)

peter-james

While exceedingly rare, there have been instances in which a person has an interactive “conversation” with an apparent disembodied entity which is actually recorded, much like a regular conversation might be. What’s particularly interesting about these is when “something” on the “other side” answers specific questions put to it by the investigator, suggesting that if ghosts exists, their cognitive abilities remain as responsive in death as they were in life.

A good example of this, and among the most famous, are a series of tapes made by the late psychic Peter James in which he records an interactive conversation with “Jackie”–the supposed ghost of a little girl who drowned in the pool onboard the luxury liner Queen Mary and remains there to this day. Either a clever hoax (in which case James managed it with numerous witnesses present) or the best evidence yet that human consciousness survives the death of the brain housing it.

1. Photographic Evidence

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While most photos I’ve seen that purport to be “ghosts” turn out to be common camera anomalies, pareidolia (seeing familiar objects—like faces—in random patterns of light and shadow,) mistakes or outright hoaxes, every now and then I see a photo that defies easy explanation.

The most compelling, of course, are full body manifestations of entities that were not seen at the time the photo was taken, but appeared later once the photo was developed or downloaded. Since the advent of the digital camera and Photoshop, however, it’s becoming increasingly easy to fake a ghost picture. That still doesn’t explain away those photos taken before the advent of the computer, or those shot on celluloid film. Plus, there are a number of digital photos out there that would also be exceedingly difficult to fake even in the hands of an expert, making the supposition that every photo of a ghost is a hoax untenable. As such, and while rare, photos that appear to show likenesses of deceased humans remain the best evidence to date that the dead sometimes do appear to us and, as such, exist.

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Jeff Danelek is a Denver, Colorado author who writes on many subjects having to do with history, politics, the paranormal, spirituality and religion. To see more of his stuff, visit his website at www.ourcuriousworld.com.


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18 Comments

  1. This is so friggin retarded.
    To every entry you gave an alternative explanation which was so much more reasonable than the ghost argument.
    The reason you chose the ghost explanation is because you want it to be true, not because it’s the most logical.
    This is just awful. Awful.

  2. freethinker9761 on

    This has got to be the worst list I’ve ever seen on this site! You guys must’ve been smoking some crazy stuff to think this turd of a list up!

    • I think its nice that some people dont believe in ghosts. It just means they never had the misfortune of coming across one.

  3. Dr. Matthew D. Zarzeczny, FINS on

    Dear Jeff, I see you also wrote one on http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-reasons-to-believe-in-bigfoot.php and so I am curious if there will be others in the series, including on aliens, demonic possession, i.e. other paranormal subjects? I recently became the academic adviser to John Carroll University’s Paranormal Research Group (The JCU Boo-streaks) and would be interested in learning any insights/suggestions you may have that I could/should pass onto this campus club. Thanks for your time and help! Sincerely, Dr. Matthew D. Zarzeczny, FINS, lecturer at John Carroll University and head writer for Cracked History, among other things… 🙂

  4. I found the list fascinating and loved it! The highlighting of the rational explanations behind every entry gave the writer some credibility in my eyes as the list didn’t try to pull us all over to the dark side of the “believers”, it simply informed us of all the reasons we should consider the possibility of ghosts. I’m definitely going to read your other published list and look forward to reading

  5. Terrible list. Maybe the worst ever, considering its misuse of both logic and basic science. Why can’t all mediums be fake? Is this an attempt at a black swan-type argument? And does the energy from your car battery stay in some sort of unitary form after it discharges? I do like the toys these folks develop, and I like it even more when they argue over how to use them. Now some physicists will argue over drinks that ghosts could be the result of string theory. This could have been a fun list instead of a rerun of bad TV shows.

  6. Gerald Reynolds on

    Very good article. To those with your less than educated negative comments, well, if your so sure there are no such things as ghosts then why don’t you hook up with a local paranormal team and tag along with them on an investigation? To state there are no such things as ghosts is to deny your own soul. Its also to walk through life with blinders on. My guess is that many of you with the negative comments here have never done any research or went on an investigation. That’s fine. Many people at one time believed the world was flat as well.

  7. For anyone out there who has any idea of the Supernatural World you know as well as I do this info is nothing new. The problem that I have is that people who spend their time chasing ghosts are barking up the wrong tree. Why do I say that? Because I’ve been dealing with the supernatural world all my life and I’m here to say that if you truly knew what you were talking about, you’d realize that the world’s biggest liar is Satan and he thrives off of people who claim they see ghosts all over the place. You’ve got to be the most arrogant bastard in the world to deny the supernatural world’s existence. Yes God may allow certain people to walk around or maybe even purgatory is in this same dimension as us; but, spirits stuck in this world to wander or torment humans because they’re lost or angry is an absurd conclusion to what’s truly going on. We as a race are very cocky in thinking we have the power to control spirits in the afterlife. The bottom line is yes, ghosts do exist; however, they are not our loved ones. They are merely demons that are mimicking our loved ones in order to not only strike fear in us; but, to strike doubt in our hearts that God exists. If God allows a loved one to visit us, it will be the most overwhelming state of love we can imagine….not fear. I and my family have dealt with the supernatural world our whole lives and we know beyond all reasonable doubt, people who have the gift from God to communicate with the dead should not exploit that gift. They should use it towards what God intended that gift for and anyone who uses it for financial gain is being tempted by Satan to use that gift to serve him and him alone as he uses that gift to deceive humans into thinking God doesn’t exist.

  8. I came back to TopTenz for the first time in months and see this. I think I didn’t miss anything.
    Maybe it would have helped if the author added a picture of the “true” orbs he talks about, or a “real” ghost photography. But he chose to take the usual ones.

    • Good to see you again, FMH. This list is soooooo last year. 😉

      We also added a new look, streamlined the site. Sorry this list wasn’t on the mark for you. To be fair to the author, the editor may have chosen the image instead of the author. Being a long-time fan of the site, may I ask why you left? And what type of lists would you like to see?

  9. I firmly believe that ‘ghosts’ exist. My family and I lived in a large property called Gladstone villa in the former mining town called Bargoed in the South Wales valleys throughout the 1970’s and we experienced phenomena that simply defied rational explanation. We experienced things like footsteps in the bedroom when we would all be down stairs watching television. We also witnessed some poltergeist activity and the occasional sighting of an apparition but this was very rare indeed. We left the property in June 1978 and we haven’t experienced anything quite like that ever since, and we would want to, it was the most frightening experienced indeed. My grandmother gave the spirit a nick name as an amusement, she called him ”Johnny the ghost”.

  10. Jasmine Miller on

    I don’t understand why all skeptics can’t simply live and let live, everything has to be proven scientifically. Just let people believe what they want, it’s not like us who believe are hurting anyone. If anything, we are showing people that there are some things in this world that cannot be explained and that that’s okay!

  11. Ghosts are very stubborn. It is best not to argue with them because they will not change their mind. You can not reason with them and so just have to insult them and just say, “Well you are dead, and you don’t even realize it, so what do you know about anything?” And then just leave them to let them think about that. If you try to argue with them you are just wasting your time.

    So if they are sitting in your chair and you want to sit there and you ask them to move and they try to pretend that they don’t hear you, just sit on top of them and they’ll probably leave. Don’t try to yell at them or argue with them or reason with them about it because it will not do any good. They are not self aware individuals because if they were, they would know they were dead and they would move into the light and stop trying to sit on your furniture and then act as if they have more right to sit on your furniture than you do.

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