A Typical Ghost?

by Dale Kaczmarek

I've often been asked by the media and ordinary people alike to describe a "typical ghost".  Most people think that there is a generic and often repeated scenario for a haunting and ghost sightings.  There isn't.

Ghosts differ much like we do from race to race, religion to religion and culture to culture.  Each case I come across has different circumstances and different ghosts!  It would be easy if all ghosts were alike but this isn't the case.

Ghosts can come in all forms, sizes and occurrences and they are more often heard than any other single reported phenomena.  The most often question that I am asked by the media almost every year around Halloween is have I ever seen a ghost.  The answer is yes but I believe that I have experienced them through one of my other senses as well.

The most reported experience with hauntings is sound.  The noises can be rapping noises coming from within walls, floors or ceilings, musical sounds, mumbled voices (singing, conversations), the sound of furniture being moved across the floor even though after checking the room in question, nothing is out of place.  Sometimes a ghost will call out a name or seem to direct a question or comment to the person living in the "haunted house".  Other times, no apparent heed is taken to anyone living or present in the room when the voice is heard.  It is almost like the ghost is simply in another time frame and does not know that anyone else, living or dead is in the same area.

The sound of objects or glass breaking is often reported even though nothing is ever found broken or destroyed.  Some large heavy objects may fall and hardly a sound is heard while quite small objects may drop and a thunderous noise is reported.  Quite an unusual phenomena!

The next often reported phenomena experienced by those living in a "haunted house" is through feeling.  The range of this sense includes the often reported "cold spot" which is thought to be an area where an apparition is trying to materialize.  These entities need some form of energy to create a materialization and they often use the heat in a given area to draw their power from thus creating a "cold spot" in the wake.  Rushes of cold wind can be encountered as well as though "something" just brushed past you in a hurry and there may be no doors or windows open that might have created that sudden draft.  The unusual thing about these cold feelings is that they often will not register on a thermometer.

Other ways of experiencing a ghost through feeling is by thinking that something unseen is touching or caressing you.  This could be a simple touch on a shoulder or other part of your body to a gentle hug or even what some have described as a kiss on the cheek.

The third most common way of coming into contact with a spirit is through smells.  The odors can be that of cigarette or cigar smoke, cooking odors, perfume, cologne or aftershave, flowers or any other odor including some unpleasant ones like rotten eggs.

The odor can last for a few seconds to several minutes and can drift about from room to room or remain stationary at one location for it's entirety.

Then there comes visual sightings which is by far the least reported phenomena due to the fact that in theory it takes much more energy to manifest in a physical form than it would to simply move an object, make a noise, create a cold spot or a strange odor.  The most compelling evidence that something is not right; sighting an apparition in the flesh sort to speak is not something that most people will ever get a chance to view.  I've been involved in this field for over 35 years and I've seen plenty of ghosts but as I've mentioned, I do believe that I have experienced them through both smells, cold spots and physical sensations.

While the other forms of a ghostly presence can often be explained away by those living in this haunted environment, when someone or something suddenly appears in front of your eyes, it's quite hard to target a rational explanation for that.  Skeptics might say that you were in a dream-like state, had a few too many to drink or simply that you did not see what you said you saw, however this final form of evidence is what in most cases will drive the most level-headed persons in search of a ghost hunter.

So you can see that it would be extremely difficult to come up with a "typical ghost" as the term ghost means so many different things to so many different people.  A typical ghost?  Not hardly!  

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