Should You Be Afraid of Ghosts?
GHOST PHENOMENON has become so closely associated with the instinct of
fear that it's almost a given that, if asked, most people would admit
that of course they would be frightened if they encountered an
apparition. Even many seasoned ghost investigators have been known to
run like scared rabbits when they see or even hear something unexpected.
Why? Have ghosts really earned the reputation of being harmful to humans?
Todd Warnock/ Stone/ Getty Images
you were walking unarmed in a dense tropical jungle that you know is
inhabited by tigers and large snakes, you'd undoubtedly be petrified.
The threat to your life and well-being is quite real and your fears
justified. Tigers and snakes can and do kill.
place yourself alone at night in a house that has the reputation for
being haunted. Most people would probably experience the same fear.
Yet, according to most authorities on the subject, the fear is not
justified. Ghosts, by and large, are harmless. The true behavior of
ghosts, as evidenced by many thousands of investigations and case
studies conducted by paranormal experts, overwhelmingly contradicts the common idea that they are to be feared.
Veteran ghost investigator Hans Holzer, in his book Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond (Black Dog & Leventhal,
1997), emphasizes "...the need to forget a popular notion: that they
are always dangerous, fearful, and hurt people. Nothing could be
further from the truth....
have never harmed anyone except through fear found within the witness,
of his own doing and because of his own ignorance as to what ghosts
represent." (***Note - The PPA
has found through our research that ghosts can "hurt" people who
are sensitive/psychic to some degree by a transference of energy that
can cause pain, depression, scratch marks, Etc but this is the exception
rather than the norm.)
Loyd Auerbach, another respected ghost hunter of many years, agrees: "In many cultures and religions around the world, ghosts
are thought to harbor ill will towards the living. This is unfortunate,
since the evidence from thousands of cases...suggests that people don't
change their personalities or motivation after death... nor do they
turn evil." (Ghost Hunting: How To Investigate the Paranormal, Ronin Publishing, 2004.)
ROOTS OF FEAR
So why do we fear them? There are probably two main reasons.
of ghosts - also known as spectrophobia or phasmophobia - most
obviously stems from our fear of the unknown. This is a deep-seated
fear that is hard-wired into our genetic makeup. The primitive parts of
our brain that respond to instinct - a holdover from our cave-dwelling
ancestors - flushes our bodies with adrenaline when we encounter a
threat, preparing us to fight or flee. And when that threat is
something unknown that might leap out of the darkness, we'd just as
another component to this fear when that something in the dark is
perceived as a ghost. After all, a ghost is the manifestation of a
person who is dead. So now we are confronted not only with what we
think is a threat to our lives, but a representative of death itself.
Not only is it an entity that we don't understand, it is also a
resident of the place many of us fear the most - the mysterious land of