The earliest claims of ghosts have been dated back to ancient times. Some argue that spirits and ghouls are as old as the earth itself. I like to think this is true. The Bible offers the earliest documentation of the existence of not only the afterlife embodiment in Heaven and Hell but also the existence of spirits of the dead roaming in a realm between life and death.
Today, many perceive ghosts as horrifying specters that terrorize the living, especially in popular culture. Some fear seeing a ghost above all else. However, in ancient and mythological times, ghosts were often welcome guests that delivered news of the spiritual world and offered advice and foretelling; they were not feared but rather revered and greeted with joy.
Theories of the afterlife vary greatly from culture to culture, and not all accept ghosts and spirits as entities that actually exist, although most have some sort of explanation. America is not one of the most accepting places for paranormal theory, although we love to depict spirits as macabre and malevolent. Many cultures not only believe in ghosts, but honor and respect them above most else – especially ghosts of ancestors and relatives. In fact, some cultures hold celebrations and dedicate holidays specifically to honor the dead and please those spirits who remain to roam the earth.
Religion also plays a role in paranormal history. It was the Christian religion that first introduced the theory of demons in the Middle Ages. This theory still holds true today, and has been widely accepted by paranormal researchers around the world. There is even a specific field of research called demonology.
It has been popular belief for hundreds of years that a ghost will return to Earth after dying to conclude “unfinished business.” Many ghost stories surfaced in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries about lovers returning after death to haunt their other half and make sure they were not replaced. Others believe that loved ones may return to watch over their families until they are satisfied that those who survive them will be safe.
Whatever your take on the paranormal, doing research can help give credibility to any claim. A session of ghost hunting to prove one way or another is never a bad idea; in fact, it may prove things to you that you hadn’t thought possible previously. Good luck and happy haunting!