A recent article at Higgypop attempts to answer the question, “What are ghosts made of?”
While no one can answer that with complete confidence, the Higgypop article covered some interesting theories. I agree with most, but not all of them.
Here are some excerpts from that article, with my thoughts:
…if people are able to sense the presence of a ghost, detect them with ghost hunting gadgets, or even see an apparition, then there must be something measurable and tangible that creates them.
My reaction…? Yes, and no.
If we assume that spirit (God, the Universe, Deity) creates matter, I’m not sure we need to (or even can) assume that God has a physical body that we can measure.
And, if people are created in the likeness of their creator, I’m not sure each has to retain some physical form after death, in order to create energy in this reality/world/realm.
The article then explains the difference between “intelligent hauntings” and “residual hauntings.” (Many of us use different phrases for them. I’ve discussed this at length at HollowHill.com.)
About residual hauntings, the Higgypop article says:
The phenomenon is known as “stone tape theory” due to the belief that energy is captured and stored like a video recording in the surrounding bricks, woodwork, stone and possibly even the soil. When the conditions are right, these materials release this energy and you sense or see the event occur in exactly the same position as it did years ago.
That’s a pretty good summary.
Also, I like this about ghosts and spirits:
When it comes to intelligent hauntings it’s a little different. These types of hauntings are the classic “ghost”, they can reportedly move objects, push or touch people, slam doors and even throw objects across a room. So clearly when they manifest there is some kind of physical force behind them.
But then the article says something that – to me – seems like it goes a little too far out on a limb.
Many paranormal researchers believe that when someone dies, they continue to live on outside of their body as a form of electromagnetic energy, similar to the electrical impulses in the human brain. It’s thought that it is this EM energy that is responsible for ghosts. This is why ghost hunters often use electromagnetic field meters to detect the presence of ghosts.
Perhaps some paranormal researchers think all ghosts are a form of electromagnetic energy. Do most researchers think that…? No. (I’m guessing that “many” falls between those two extremes.)
But personally, I’m not willing to conclude that. Not at this point in our research.
I think they may (or may not) be in an environment where EMF exists and functions different to how it does in our reality.
So, I freely admit: I haven’t a clue why we measure EMF surges that correlate with activity we call ghostly. (I have theories, but they’re merely guesses spanning a wide range of paranormal phenomena. It’s important to keep an open mind.)
Despite my disagreements with the article – most of them minor (and some, admittedly, just me being too picky) – I’m nodding in agreement with the conclusion:
While some ghost sightings can be written off as hoaxes, the majority of ghost sightings come from people who genuinely believe they have seen something supernatural. So whether ghosts are electromagnetic energy, a reflection of the past, or a trick of the mind, you can’t take the experience away from someone who has witnessed a ghost.