Ghosts and the Imagination

Sometimes it seems one of the most common explanations attempting to put some perspective on paranormal phenomena suggests that ghosts fall into two categories.  On one side of the spectrum we have the believers who say that ghosts are the result of paranormal phenomena that result from the death of a human being.  At the other end we have the skeptics who suggest overactive imaginations are to blame for much of the paranormal reports.  But how can each of us tell the difference between the two?

While it may be easier to imagine ghosts as figments of the imagination, this explanation is hardly satisfactory to many who suggest the entities involved are more than just random bumps in the night wearing the mask of a boogeyman.  The ghosts reported by witnesses worldwide still seem to those who have witnessed their presence to have a more intelligent origin or suggest a life after death that can retain the emotions and even specific knowledge of the deceased.  Many times witnesses have heard a message from a ghostly loved one who has passed on and been able to act on this very specific and obscure knowledge to achieve an end.

An example would be a woman who, while grieving the loss of her husband, saw his spirit and learned from the ghost the hidden location of their life savings.  After the encounter if the woman were able to unearth the life savings, it is possible she could then assume that the knowledge had indeed come from an unearthly supernatural place.  Skeptics would have a tendency to disagree, citing -for example- some subconscious tidbits of information that finally assembled in the bereaved’s mind after the encounter was completed.  But would this subconscious knowledge suddenly come into existence be a lack of proof?  Or would the very form of the husband’s appearance – whether it be of psychological origin or otherwise – be enough to suggest the husband lived on if even in the woman’s mind?

It seems the main point of opposition toward the existence of ghosts comes in the components they have allowing them to exist.  In this example, the woman has a clear image of her husband and that image comes to her to impart information to her.  Since there is much about the human mind we still do not know about, is it possible that identity could transfer from one mind to another’s even after death?  And if so, would this very identity be enough to suggest these people still existed in some form even if only in the memory of a hallucination?

Perhaps the quest for proof of ghosts has been suffering longtime due only to the fact that they have been so intrinsically linked to external factors.  Perhaps rather than taking EMF detectors to the forgotten reaches of haunted houses we should introvert our investigations and explore the corridors of our own haunted memories.  And perhaps in doing so we will touch more than our inner selves, but the very face of the unknown.