Whether you choose to believe in Ghosts or not, there are many hundreds of reported sightings from all over the world each year. But he question that still remains un-answered is 'what are ghosts'.
The most common known view of people in general are that ghosts are the spirits of people that have left their physical body, and that they are trapped between our world and the next. These types of ghost are said to haunt their places of death, or places that were familiar to them.
This type of ghost seem to have the ability to interact with the living and also are aware of us. On occassions where sightings have taken place the materialization has reacted when it was seen.
Those who do believe in ghosts, say that the human soul if weighed would be 21 grams.
The traditional view of ghosts is that they are the spirits of dead people that for some reason are "stuck" between this plane of existence and the next, often as a result of some tragedy or trauma. Many ghost hunters and psychic mediums believe that such earth-bound spirits don't know they are dead and that they are a human being who has passed out of the physical body, usually in a traumatic state and is not aware usually of his true condition. We are all spirits encased in a physical body. At the time of passing, our spirit body continues into the next dimension. A ghost, on the other hand, due to trauma, is stuck in our physical world and needs to be released to go on."
Ghosts exist in a kind of limbo in which they haunt the scenes of their deaths or locations that were pleasant to them in life. Very often, these types of ghosts are able to interact with the living. They are, on some level, aware of the living and react to being seen on the occasions that they materialize. Some psychics claim to be able to communicate with them. And when they do, they often try to help these spirits to understand that they are dead and to move on to the next stage of their existence.
Residual ghosts are similar to a tape recording playing back a past event over and over again without deviation. What causes these recordings to be made and how and why they are played back is a mystery. But some people belive that by creating the right conditions of humidity and light that this type of ghost can be recreated.
The 'Stone Tape Theory' is widely recognised as some sort of an answer to these recordings and playbacks, building materials e.g. stone is able to absorb and hold these energies of past events and play them back when the conditions are right. Similar to how a tape recorder using magnetic tape works.
These type of haunting are said not to interact with the living, buildings are often changed in time e.g. walls built and floors moved to different levels but the recordings are always replayed the same. This is why a Ghost may be seen walking through a wall, as it wouldn't of been there in the past.
The word Poltergeist is a German word and means 'noisy spirit'. Sometimes mischievous this form of energy can move or throw objects make noises, bangs and knocking etc. It can be violent if witnessed; the malevolent ones even slap and scratch the living. (see Poltergeists explained)
The idea of a "portal" or a "doorway" to another dimension is not a new one, though it may be a wild one. These doorways may provide access for entities to enter our world. They may be the spirits of people who've died, or they could be something else altogether--perhaps otherworldly beings from another dimension?
One of the most common locations for these "doorways" seems to be in cemeteries. As a rule, most cemeteries are not haunted, but recently, ghost hunters have collected dozens of anomalous photographs taken in graveyards. There seems to be no explanation why many of these cemeteries would become haunted unless they provide access for spirits, or entities, to pass from one world to the next.
It is possible that these sites were "haunted" long before a cemetery was located there. It is also possible that the psychic draw of the area was what caused our ancestors to locate a cemetery there in the first place. Native Americans chose their burial grounds in this manner, although they did it consciously. They found a place to bury and honor the dead that they felt was more closely connected to the next world.
These are when a luminous ball of light appears in remote locations. They will sometimes react to noise and other type of lights and will appear in the same location on a regular basis. Most of the lights have been explained naturally as "earth lights" that appear near earthquake faults, water sources, swamps, and railroad tracks.
These are ghosts who were prior occupants of a dwelling. They hang around for many different reasons such as a feeling of safety in their home and they don't want to leave that feeling behind.
These are relatives who watch over the surviving family members. They can also be distant relatives who you have never met in life.
These are good ghosts who protect people from malevolent spirits.
Ghosts of the Murdered
Spirits of murdered people who stay behind wanting justice. They can also linger because they may not know they are dead.
These are ghosts that are found in churches, cemeteries, mosoleum's, temples and other places of worship and remembrance.
Transient or Wanderers
These are ghosts that roam and don't have a specific location they inhabit. They stop in at different places to just see who is there and check things out. They can be standing at the foot of your bed one time and you never see them again.
These ghosts appear on the anniversary of the date they died. They also can be residual hauntings that are images that repeat themselves over and over on the same date.
Traditional or Intelligent Hauntings
This type of haunting is perhaps the most widely accepted kind of ghostly activity, although it's not as common as you might think. Here, the spirit or entity involved is an "intelligent" presence in a haunted location. It is there because of a connection to the site or to the people in the location. This ghost is best (and most simply) described as the personality of a person who once lived and who has stayed behind in our world instead of passing over to the other side.
This sometimes happens in the case of a murder, traumatic event or unfinished business. At the time of death, the spirit refuses to pass over because of these events. The spirits often linger because of emotions that tie them to the earth, from anger to love. Or perhaps the person does not pass not because they couldn't, but because they did not want to. In other cases, there is the chance the spirit does not even realize they are dead (like Patrick Swayze in "Ghost"). This can occur when the death is sudden.
These spirits are made up of the energy that once made up the personality of a living person. These intelligent spirits are not evil or demonic, as some would have you believe. Spirits are simply human personalities, or souls, and if the spirit was a kind and caring person in life, the spirit will most likely be in death. On the other hand, angry and cruel people will also keep those same nasty qualities as spirits. These negative spirits can be frightening, especially to people not trained in the paranormal. In very rare cases they have been able to harm the living, but that is generally not the case. It is much more common to hear of an encounter with a benevolent spirit than with a negative one.
The Scientists View
Many scientists believe that ghosts are fake, but parapsychologists believe ghosts are real. Spirits are electromagnetic fields. Brain waves can make people see and hear many things. Electromagnetic waves can affect the nervous system. This can cause somebody to hallucinate. The eye can act as a TV screen. Instead of the person taking in images, they are transmitted out.
Another explanation for "ghost sightings" may be that the mind is just trying to "let off a little steam." NASA has shown that the human eyeball has a resonant frequency. There are eighteen cycles a second. The eyeball starts to vibrate in response to infra-sound. This causes a serious smearing of vision. In at least two haunting’s low frequency sound may to blame.
People can put, fake ghosts in their pictures. By using a flash-light, a cigarette, a flash pack, and a camera, a person can create the effect of a mysterious light. Turn on the flashlight and walk toward the camera. When you are four to five feet from the camera, turn off the flash-light and light a cigarette. Have a friend set off a flash using the flash pack. Snap the shutter of the camera closed. This will result in a picture with mysterious lights in the background.
In conclusion, there are many explanations for ghost sightings. Some sightings are a result of people playing tricks and others are a result of hallucinations.
The skeptics' point of view - if they are willing to admit there is anything to haunting experiences at all - is that they are all in our minds, or are products of our own minds. Ghosts, they say, are psychological phenomena: we see them because we expect to or want to see them. A grieving widow sees her dead husband because she needs to; she needs the comfort of knowing that he is alright and happy in the next world. Her mind produces the experience to help itself cope with the stress of the loss. Since we know so little about the power and capacity of our own minds, it's possible that they can even produce physical manifestations, such as apparitions and noises - projections that even others may be able to see and hear. But they are not "real" in any sense, say the sceptics, just the conjuring's of powerful imaginations.
Are there such things as ghosts? The phenomena of ghosts and hauntings are very real experiences. It is their true cause and nature that is the ongoing mystery.