Your Handbook on the Paranormal
In recent times, Halloween is a deemed upon to be a childish celebration however; further research would show that it is far from the truth.
The Celtic population of Europe and Britain observed a pagan festival called the Samhain Festival. This festival is a 3-day affair, usually from October 31st until November 2nd wherein the shutter that divides the living and the dead like the ghost and ghoul is lifted during this period hence; the ghost and ghoul walk amongst the living. In this period of Samhain, paranormal beings like ghost, orb, ghoul and fairies come into our realm.
It is also said that most of our known Halloween traditions stem from the beliefs around this ancient Celtic pagan celebration. For example, we are encouraged to wear scary costumes to disguise ourselves and scare off evil or haunted ghosts and spirits. We are urged to provide “treats” to those who knock since this is believed to bring good luck to the household and while the jack ‘o lanterns serve as light during the 3-day festivities.
It is a story that has been told from generation to generation and it will probably continue on until the end of time. Parents often use these ghost stories outside of Halloween to scare the children into doing what they want. Older siblings would use these haunted stories to scare the younger ones. For example, “You better go to bed now or the ghost will get you.” “I think I just saw a ghost outside your window.” These are only a few of the lines that you were once told when you were younger and you are now probably using against your children.
We usually simply refer to these paranormal or supernatural beings as ghosts, however; there is more to them than just being called ghosts. Specialists in the paranormal actually have different categories for these “ghosts”.
The Society for Paranormal Investigation classifies these “ghosts” according to their paranormal activity.
Interactive Former Human Spirit Pattern (Ghosts – Class I) – You have here the phantom, apparition, graveyard specter, etheric revenant, vampire and classic haunting.
Location-based Hauntings Non-Interactive (Residual Hauntings – Class II) – You have here spirit burn, psychic echo, phantom crafts, residual haunting, spiritual residue and imprint.
Psychokinetic (Class III) – You have the general RSPK & ESP, poltergeist, psychic attack/disturbance, psychic vampire, thought-forms, astral projections, bilocation, artificial ghost, shapeshifter and remote viewing.
Earth Mysteries (Class IV) – You have here the Feng Shui, geomagnetic anomaly, ley lines, power points, vortex/portals and time slips.
Non-Human Entities (Class V) – You have here the angels, demons, elementals, banshees, ghost lights, wild hunt, spirit/animal guides, lower astral entities, etheric larvae, animal ghosts (cryptozoology), aliens/fey folks, nature guardians and spirits.
John Greer has a much simpler classification for these “ghosts”, which he calls Levels of Being and they are categorized as –
Spiritual – These is where the angels would fall under.
Mental/Psychic – Thought-forms fall under this category.
Astral – A good example would be astral projections.
Etheric – This would include ghosts and fey folk.
Physical – This would be us and the other living things around us like animals.
Sub-Physical – The demons would be categorized under this type.
With these “ghosts” classifications, we can create a simple ghost directory on the different type of ghosts that we know of as of current.
Of course we need to start with a ghost. A ghost is the spirit or soul of a deceased individual or animal that is often said to manifest to the living. However, the poltergeist is somewhat similar to a ghost but its difference lies in that the poltergeist often haunts a particular person or place only. Moreover, the poltergeist rarely manifests itself except by shifting items around the haunted place it frequents. Ghosts are also considered to be more passive and non-violent while the poltergeists are aggressive and dangerous. On the other hand, an apparition is the occurrence wherein something like a ghost or a poltergeist suddenly appears out of nowhere.
Sometimes, people encounter paranormal activities like hearing loud static noises or something that would be similar to human speech but don’t actually see a ghost. This occurrence is often referred to as EVP or electronic voice phenomenon. On the other hand, sometimes, people see an orb in a photograph or video and often attribute it to the paranormal existence of energy balls, ghosts or auras.
A ghoul is entirely different from a ghost although most people often use this interchangeably. A ghoul is a creature that is said to feed on human flesh and is often referred to as the undead or what we would probably consider as a zombie except they are neither human nor dead.
Vampires, on the other hand, are also considered to the undead like the zombie. Modern literature has modified vampires from being the scary creatures of the night to that of the heroes and heroines of Twilight. Unlike the ghosts and orbs, vampires feed on the living and are considered to be dangerous creatures.
Shadow people are also supernatural beings like ghosts however; they are humanoid entities that manifest themselves like a shadow. They are often “seen” from a person’s peripheral vision and maintain quick but jerky movements. A phantom, on the other hand, is often used interchangeably with ghosts but it is often described to be an illusion due to its sleek and swift movements.
A doppelgänger is a sinister twin of a living person often depicted as a ghost or other supernatural entities. These often signal a great misfortune to the living person it targets. The existence of a doppelgänger is often related to the instance of a person’s ability to bilocate or the ability to be in two places at one time. While the doppelgänger is seen as a bad omen, a person who bilocates is not considered as such and in this instance, the “other” you are neither a ghost nor a supernatural entity.
These are only the more popular supernatural entities. There are a lot less popular supernatural entities that are dying to be discovered (Pardon the pun).