When the common person hears the term "Ghost", the usual suggestion is that this is a misplaced spirit or the disembodied soul of one who has passed on, but remains tied to the mortal coil. The assumption has always been that these specters have some unfinished business in the mortal realm or that they simply do not realized that they have released their mortal ties and that it is time to move on beyond whatever lay beyond this existence.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Over the past century, different types of hauntings and paranormal experiences have been found, but they are only talked about in hushed voices and on dark and stormy nights.
The standing of Ancient Pathway is a cop out answer in which we must say "we don't know". Over the past 30 years, the Ancient of Ancient Pathway has debunked over 100 cases of hauntings. This means that he has proven a scientific explanation of these hauntings and disproven the existence of a ghost like apparition or haunting. However, in 3 cases, these incidents defied explanation and were, in his opinion, true otherworldly situations.
It is up to you, the reader, to make up your own mind about hauntings. We just provide the facts, the assumptions and our take on the situations. We at Ancient Pathway, will be more than happy to visit your haunted location and provide a scientific solution should one exist. Our fees for debunking are travel expenses and a minor convenience fee.
Types of ghosts and hauntings
A standard ghost
A standard ghost is one of any number of visual occurrences of a physical form, usually human-like, that appears in a given place, usually in a given time. These are the sources of most modern day ghost stories and are said to be the souls of those that have passed beyond the mortal realm and refused or have been unable to move on. These types of visages are harmless as they do not actually exist on this realm or in this dimension. You can consider a standard ghost as a reflection within this plane of existence of something with more substance elsewhere. Aside from some general atmospheric effects such as a decrease (or very rare increase) in ambient temperature and a feeling of being watched, these creatures have little effect on this world.
As we move up the food chain of ghosts and hauntings, we come to the poltergeist. These are a bit more dangerous than a standard ghost, because where a ghost does not have the ability to interact with its' surroundings on this plane, the poltergeist is a bit more effective. A poltergeist is a ghost or ghost like creature with the ability to be responsible for physical disturbances, movement of objects, loud noises or other physical movement of objects and/or living creatures. A poltergeist can cause harm, but most of this harm is indirect. We have never heard a report of a poltergeist physically touching a human being, other than some unproven reports of sexual distress or abuse. Most of these accounts cannot stand up to scrutiny. Most of the damage and injury that come from poltergeist encounters is collateral damage from the movement of objects within the room or area.
Crowd hauntings, Crowd specters or Crowd demons as they are sometimes called are just coming to light in paranormal and haunting investigation. These are paranormal creatures that show up in crowds throughout history. Where ghosts and poltergeists are usually limited to a specific location, this is not the same with Crowd Specters. They seem to have the ability to appear in a place for an amount of time, and then disappear, usually unnoticed. With the age of modern photography and videography, we see evidence of these types of "hauntings" throughout history. A retroactive study of such incidents as Woodstock, The JFK assassination and even some old films show "people" that are simply out of place. Recent releases of zoom views of old silent films show people that appear to be wearing very modern clothing or even speaking into cellular phones.
These types of hauntings are of a type where "Once you see it, you can never unseen it". Pictures of family reunions, concerts or even political rallies may have people or images of people that simply were not there. Since these are never noticed until after-the-fact, they are very difficult to investigate.
One of the easiest ways to note a Crowd Haunting is to look for people that have a distorted image. It has been guessed that these types of hauntings may be evidence of inter-dimensional or even temporal travel.
It has been argued by many faiths that animals, especially pets, do not have souls and therefore, cannot be ghosts or spirits. However, there are many documented cases of animal hauntings in which a beloved pet will return the well traveled foot of the masters' bed or to the side of a sick child. These hauntings, like crowd hauntings, are often overlooked. In the case of animal hauntings, these are overlooked because we form a connection with those animals which we love. They become such a part of our lives that when they are gone and appear again, they are simply taken for granted.
My personal experience: In my youth, I had a Russian Blue named "Shadow". She was a pure-bred blue with gold eyes and a moderate temperament. When I would come home, her place was on my lap and there she remained until bedtime when she took her place next to me on my pillow. Shadow died at 17 years of age after a well loved life. About a week after her burial, I was just dozing off to sleep when I felt her familiar pelt against the side of my head. During this time, I was having trouble in my life, and Shadow was always my lifeline. Every night after that, once the light was out, I could feel her sleeping and hear her gentle purr until I would fall asleep. Once the problems in my life resolved itself, the vestige of Shadow departed.
Vortex / Orb
Most people with an interest in ghosts are familiar with Orbs that appear in graveyards, cemeteries or other outdoor areas. The indoor version of these are called a Vortex. Unlike Orbs, the Vortex is bean or cigar shaped. In both cases, most occurrences of the Vortex or Orb appear in still photography. The visualized version of an Orb is a Will-o-the-wisp. Both occurrences are usually marked by a significant temperature change, usually -10 degrees of ambient or more.
These occurrences have been said to be spirits, ghosts, poltergeists or other paranormal or preternatural creatures. As we have never experienced these, we have no opinion other than what is generally known or assumed.
The Structural Ghost
Structural ghosts are inanimate ghosts of non-living things. The best example of this is the legendary Flying Dutchman of the 17th centaury. Where the spirits of the Dutchman may have at one time been living creatures, the same can not be said for the ship.
Structural Ghosts can be anything from the massive Dutchman or smaller objects such as cars, trains or airplanes. There have been a few reports of a "Ghost train" in the streets under Philadelphia on the tracks of the Market Frankfort Elevated and in New York City in the mass of tracks beneath that city.
Doppelganger, from the German, means "double goer". The Doppelganger does not actually qualify as a haunting or a ghost, but they deserved honorable mention on this page because they transcend time.
Often, a historical record such as a photograph or old new clipping will have an image of someone and you notice that this looks like someone you know.
A good example is the likeness of Robert Grint, who played "Wesley" in the Harry Potter series to that of the Scottish painter Sir David Wilkie. But this often does not end with physical attributes but includes such history as similar personalities, likes, dislikes and even professions. It is said that this may be an indication of genetic reincarnation or "soul bouncing" as souls recycle into modern times with enough memory to effect the world around them.
The Kobold is a little known paranormal phenomenon. These are paranormal spiritual creatures that play pranks on human beings. Kobolds are shape-shifters, able to shift through a variety of physical forms to materialize, chameleon like, to obtain their goals. Their goals seem to be nothing more than annoying pranks and practical jokes.
Shadow People / Etheric Revenants
These are some of the most rare types of paranormal creatures. Depending on your region, these can be identified by either term. At the core, these creatures are non-physical psychic vampires in that being in their company makes most people feel listless, tired or drained.
The qualities and aspects of Shadow people seem to point to a non-earthly or inter-dimensional type of entity that survive and/or thrive by siphoning off the living energies of any living creature. These creatures are considered in most circles to be highly dangerous because they can siphon off 100% of the life force, given enough time.
Two other types
There are two other types of hauntings or ghosts that deserve to be mentioned. These are residual hauntings and artificial hauntings.
The residual haunting is ultra-rare and is a possession of an entire life. This is where the ghost of a previously living human being will take on the life of a current living human being and repeat the actions of their previous life. This may be seeking a lost love, finishing a painting, building a house or any other number of scenarios. In a residual haunting, the spirit walks through this life, just as they did through their previous life, taking the same actions and usually to the same result. Those few cases that have been documented usually have to do with lost love or deeply psychological unfinished business.
By contrast, an artificial haunting is a ghost or paranormal creature that is created. This can happen though people that have a high psychic quality, use arcane objects such a Ouija board or seeing crystal without proper training, or perform "wishcraft". In the event of wishcraft, the loss of a loved one may be so intense that the person, their grief and power, actually creates a specter in the form of the lost loved one.
Artificial hauntings are often the result of divination by professional in which they conjure and then banish a specter for use in divination. This has the ability to make the "seers" abilities seem quite real, though the specter has no knowledge outside that of the conjurer. This means that when interrogated, the specter will not know the answers to questions put them by loved ones, unless the seer already has that information.
Future goals for this page
It is our intention to provide a database of hauntings and the outcome of those investigation. Currently, the data is being scrubbed and verified. Please check back to see our progress