When we look to expert paranormal investigators, many of them speak with an authority that is overwhelming to those unfamiliar just entering the field. Ghost hunters often suggest that ghosts behave in very specific ways and with motivations that we would all recognize. But what is a ghost’s perspective really like? What schools of thought are there on the subject? And can responding to how they may see the world help your own ghost hunts?
There are a number of theories on how to go about on a ghost hunt, but a number of them stem from the belief that ghosts are simply a byproduct of a very human state of mind. Did you ever notice how often it seems necessary for people to turn off the lights in order to explore the unknown reaches of a haunted location? As soon as ghost hunts begin the lights go out and the equipment comes on. And this has only become the case more as time goes on.
Prior to the 1990’s, ghost hunters would often perform their investigations in a well lit area or even during the daytime where they could better see notepads used for writing down discoveries and impressions of the area.
As time went on, however, methods changed. Today most ghost hunts take place in darkened houses with the lights turned out. Night vision equipment is often employed both on cameras and by the hunters themselves navigating the room. Is this a reaction to more successful hunts or simply a reaction to what we have seen in media on the subject?
One perspective of how ghosts may see the world comes from the classical Greek period. In Homer’s Illiad the paranormal entities are seen as trails of smoke or apparitions appearing faintly like their former lives after being killed.
Often they are seen as having the deathly wound that took them from the Earth or a sickly pallor that betrays the cause of their death as sickness. As time went on, however, the spiritualist era picked up the more contemporary images of the dead. Today they are seen simply as photographs of a person burned into space-time and centered around a localized object such as a house or a painting. Today they are often described as indistinguishable from a living human being or as a translucent sometimes luminescent haze.
But what about their view of the world? In the former case, the ghosts would often manifest in order to offer advice and even help those searching for a way to bring it to peace. Today’s ghosts appear much more difficult to see, and often exist as though oblivious to the possibility that they may even be dead. There appears to be much more denial in the culture of modern ghost lore with entities simply refusing to believe that they have died. Is this a reaction to our own cultural perspectives on death? Or is there actually a physical change in the entities themselves?
And why the dark? Why should an entity that once thrived in life suddenly only appear in the shadows after passing from this Earth to another unknown realm? Why would they only appear when shadow and silence was all around them? One school of thought suggests this is actually for the sake of the observers. Those unwilling to perceive ghosts, the theory goes, must wait until the world is quiet enough to make it impossible to ignore them before a ghost hunt can commence. And of course there are even theories suggesting that each one perceives the world differently, just as consciousness itself may manifest differently from one person to another.