The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall, photograph by Cpt. Hubert C. Provand.
One in three Americans believe in ghosts.
As in the traditional definition of human spirits lingering after death, appearing as apparitions, moving objects, swinging doors, making noises (disembodied voices, taps, footsteps).
There are various explanations as to why a human spirit would hang about the living.
The most obvious (and desired) belief is that family or friends who've departed want to comfort or communicate with the living.
Another explanation is that a traumatic death was suffered causing the spirit to remain until a sense of closure is provided or a medium helps them "cross over". There is also the suggestion a soul can be "lost" or is "trapped" in a re-enactment of a moment of death memory.
In the past six years, interest in the paranormal has grown. The advent of television programs promoting ghost hunting, spirit communication, and supernatural phenomena has served to heighten the attraction. Ghost hunting groups abound all over the country.
What drives this desire for ghosts?
Natural curiosity about the unknown for one thing. Experiencing or witnessing something which would be defined as paranormal is another. As a child, I was aware there was a spirit world around me. I had paranormal encounters not only while growing up but as an adult. When I was a medium and ghost hunter I sought to understand the spirit world by seeking out ghosts through communication and paranormal investigation.
The problem—I was ignoring what God has already said about the subject.
The Bible clearly teaches that human beings do not remain on Earth after death. In Hebrews 9:27, we learn "…each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment…". Those who have accepted Christ as Savior enter into God's presence (2 Corinthians 5:6-8, Philippians 1:23). Those who have not enter a place of punishment for sin, separated from God (Matthew 25:46, Luke 16:22-24).
The dead do not remain among the living.
The Bible does teach there are spirit beings who can and do interact with our physical world. Angels are spirit beings created by God to serve Him. They are holy, righteous, and good. Demons are angels who have rebelled against God. They are fallen, evil, destructive, and deceptive.
2 Corinthians 11:14-15 tells us "But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve."
Impersonating a human spirit is certainly within a demon's capabilities.
The goal of a demonic spirit is to deceive human beings, draw us away from God. Appearances by and communication with the dead are one means by which they can accomplish that goal. People begin trusting psychics and mediums for spiritual counsel, adopting false beliefs about God and the after-life. This is why God vehemently opposes the practice. Even if the information obtained seems good, positive, or true when received through demonic sources (ghosts, ascended masters, spirit guides, etc) the result is corrupt and misleading.
As Christians, we need to be on our guard when it comes to the spirit world. We should have nothing to do with psychics, mediums, ghost hunting, and understand a "ghost" for what it is–a demonic masquerade. We should always be ready to stand in the authority of Jesus Christ if confronted by a true supernatural/paranormal situation. We need to remember the words of 1 Peter 5:8 "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour."
We have no need to be afraid of ghosts, spirits, or the paranormal. God is greater than anything in this world. We know this truth:
The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? Psalm 27:1 (NLT)
Let's stand ready in grace, peace, and humility before God, speaking the truth about all things (including the paranormal) in love.
Escaping the Cauldron is an informative memoir and Bible study, offering one woman's unique perspective on Christianity, the occult, and God's saving grace. The book is now available for PRE-ORDER on Amazon.