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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Ghosts, But Were Afraid...

By: Craig McManus

Things that go BUMP in the Night, that tingling chill, a sudden breeze in a windowless room, a shadowy figure in the night. "What could it be?" A sense of foreboding starts to come over you. Is it just your imagination? Is it a GHOST?

Ghosts exist everywhere but we don't always notice them. Those who are more attuned to spiritual energies will pick up on ghost presences. For the most part, nature has put a few buffers between us and the ghost plane. I have encountered many forms of ghosts but I did not set out to look for them originally. The idea of ghosts always intrigued me and still does. Many times, when asked to do a psychic reading, I will be told about goings on in a house that mystifies logic. Often this activity can be attributed to explainable things like a house settling or air in the pipes or animals in the attic or even a homeowner or family member with a penchant for skullduggery! Every now and then, however, it will be due to a true haunting.


Ghosts are souls who have become "stuck" between this world and the other side. One of the most common reasons for getting stuck is when a person has a great emotional or material tie to this plane and cannot let go. Another common reason is that the person simply does not realize they have died. A traumatic or sudden death usually causes this to happen. In my experience, the later type is more easily persuaded to "move on." Think of it like this: if an individual is an "extreme" personality in life, they will retain some of these attributes in death. If one is rich and miserly and money means everything to them, one's death and moving on would be quite the annoyance! Letting go of the money would be out of the question and so begins the emotionally aberrant state of their ghost life. Another common scenario: a love situation in which the "emotion" of love is unwilling to be severed despite a death. This is the premise of the movie "Ghost" with Patrick Swayze.


One of the most important things to keep in mind concerning hauntings is: Only a small percentage of hauntings are malevolent. I have read of very few haunting cases in which a person was actually harmed directly by a ghost. In fact what usually happens is a ghost frightens a person, causing them to fall or trip and hurt themselves as they back away or run in fright. There are many, many stories of ghosts doing bad things to people; but most of them are just that, stories. Ghosts were people too, once. They are just in a bad place right now. We should think of them with compassion in their plight and send them a higher light to try to help them move on, but never should we fear them. Let's leave that for Hollywood!


Seldom do ghosts deviate from a regular routine. Footsteps will always occur in the same place. The same doors will always open and close. As a result, long-term hauntings are usually very predictable. It is because of the focused and intense emotional state which initiated their ghost life that this is so. They see nothing but their internal drama or pull that they experienced in life, limiting their perception of place and variety. Hyper-focused would be an understatement! There are cases of roaming or traveling ghosts. These are quite rare today but do exist. Some ghosts who seem to be more aware might take a liking to certain people and "follow" them home. This is a good reason to do a prayer of protection when you leave a "haunted area."


Ghosts are NOT Spirits or Spirit guides because they are not aware of their etheric state. They do not think that they have passed. Spirits have died, crossed over and then come back to assist us on the earth plane. Spirits (usually relatives and/or friends) are aware of their state, and are aware of their role as guides. They help us make decisions and have experience and skill at dealing with the human earth plane experience.

Ghosts have never crossed over to the Other Side and do not possess the ability to see the situation clearly enough to possibly help us on this plane as guides. They live in an emotional fog and self-initiated drama. As a result, they do not know what is really going on and are often confused and sometimes even frightened or angry. When I do readings or "light trance" channelings I often see a mix of Spirits and Ghosts in the room. The Spirits can exchange in conversation, the ghosts talk AT me or in a repetitive, endless soliloquy. I have always felt ghosts vibrate at an even LOWER frequency than us. Hence, the Spirit Guides even have a harder time getting through. Ghosts sink down into this sluggish vibration and their whole world just "gels" into slow motion and stagnancy. The big difference between Ghosts and Spirits? Ghosts are wrapped up in their own past-life drama. Spirits are usually wrapped up in OUR drama!


Ghosts do not wear watches, so to speak. Some ghosts relive the last minutes or days of their existence, over and over. Others relive a common act or daily activity from their daily life such as checking that a door is closed and locked. All the while they have NO concept of whether it is day or night, AM or PM; they are lost in their own thought energy. They are "earthbound," emotionally charged, spiritually blind and deaf and their watch has stopped!


Shadows in the night are all we are to ghosts. It is absolutely the reverse case of how ghosts are perceived by us. Some of us sense ghosts, most of us never notice them at all. Think of waking up in the middle of the night with only the moonlight illuminating the room. No colors, just shades of gray. This is what ghosts see and feel. They almost exist in a twilight sleep state. We appear to them as shadows, as noises, as drafts of air; startling them, confusing them and pushing into their space. It kind of sounds like WE are the ghosts doesn't it? Sometimes they ignore us, sometimes they do not see us at all. It is a mirror-mirror situation, one that we have to be sensitive to, not afraid of. Contrary to popular belief, it is very difficult to ask a ghost to move on. It really is all about psychology. It is hard enough dealing with a stubborn personality, but you are also using the paranormal equivalent of two tin cans and a string to communicate with. Not an easy job. Also the reason Spirits have so much trouble reaching the ghost mind is that ghosts have lost their sense of reason and logic, they are emotional and childlike. Most do not want anyone, human or Spirit, telling them what to do. Parapsychologist is an apt term for people who deal with ghosts!

A Haunting We Will Go. Characteristics of Hauntings.


Number one on the scale of common types of haunting activity. Cold spots are a ghost's calling card. The feeling of a sudden mass of icy cold air or a cold draft from nowhere will often precede ghost activity. In a sense, these cold spots ARE ghost activity. This change in temperature is the ghost trying to manifest. Instead of using its energy, it is drawing energy from people on this plane. This is why you feel cold or get a chill, the ghost is sucking away energy from your aura. Don't be alarmed, it is only a temporary phenomenon and usually cold spots disappear as quickly as they appear.


Doors opening and closing; footsteps on the stairs or above you on a higher floor. Very common events in many hauntings. In some cases doors open and close, in other cases only the sound of doors opening and closing is present. The same goes with footsteps, audible most of the time, physical some of the time.


Many hauntings will feature aromas or smells that were popular with the ghost when it lived as a human being. Lilac perfume, cherry pipe tobacco, bread baking, all can be associated with hauntings. The smells come and go as quickly as cold spots. How can a smell disappear so quickly? The smell, I have been told in channelings, is sent to our brains in the form of an energy signal. It bypasses our normal olfactory senses and directly stimulates the part of our brain that recognizes smells and aromas. Remember ghosts ARE energy and since our brains work on energy, it's an easy link up for them to communicate to us. Smells can either be projected by a ghost's energy or "read" by sensitive people's minds.


The computer goes crazy, the television comes on and off, the phone rings but no one is there, doorbells chime for no reason. ENERGY. Once again, a Ghost's best friend and best tool to communicate with. Ghost's seem to have no problem manipulating electrical appliances. They also seem to feed off of electricity. Many Ghost investigators or "parapsychologists" have proven that hauntings often happen in rooms or places near power lines or feeder cables coming into a building. Anything that produces a big electromagnetic field (EMF) seems to be food for ghosts! This is also the reason many hauntings (and old ghost stories) take place during electrical storms. The electricity in the air is like a giant "buffet" for ghosts in the area. Once charged up, they can manifest themselves in the ways described above.


Very few hauntings are visual. For a ghost to manifest itself it takes an incredible amount of energy on the ghost's part. Just to move a small object is like us trying to move a boulder. To actually manifest an image is nearly impossible for a ghost. Even an electrical storm doesn't seem to be enough for a ghost to appear more than a few seconds. This is why there are very few actual ghost "sightings." So don't expect to see half of a dead Irish maid, floating over your bed with a tray of scones and tea. Best make it yourself!


I have several good friends who are professional ghost investigators or "parapsychologists." These ghost researchers take things from a scientific point of view, which sometimes puts them at odds with we Psychics! Using EMF meters, infrared film, tape recorders and temperature measurement devices, these noble men and women spend hours, weeks or years trying to scientifically document a haunting.

Here's a Psychic's very biased point of view about parapsychology:

Ghost Photography

Images of someone you know or maybe do not know sometimes show up in a photograph. Sometimes a transparent figure can be seen. Sometimes just white blurs or sometimes "orbs." Orbs are even more controversial. They are pinpoints of light that appear to be floating or hovering in the picture. The only problem is, a speck of dust on the lens or a reflection off a shiny object can give you the same image. So many pictures I have seen have been faked, intentionally or accidentally. Other "ghost" images can simply be created (accidentally or deliberately) by cigarette smoke, a camera strap hanging into the field of view, reflections off a shiny surface, or even a finger in front of a lens. Occasionally I have seen convincing pictures, but not very often.

Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP)

This is one part of parapsychology I DO have a lot of faith in. A regular cassette tape recorder is run, sometimes with a microphone, sometimes without. During the recording process, at the investigation site, nothing audible is heard. Upon playback however, in the pops and hisses and white noise of the tape, sounds and voices can be heard. Sometimes just a few words, sometimes complete statements! It is thought that a ghost's verbal thoughts in the form of energy are picked up and embedded on the metal surface of the magnetic recording tape. It seems to work. I have had great first hand experience with EVP. The best thing is anyone can try it! Remember to turn the volume all the way up on the tape recorder on playback. EVP sounds are usually faint and buried in the background noise. So listen very carefully, and do not expect to always get something, it take practice and patience!

Meters and Gauges

Love the handheld thermal atmosphere guns, hate the rest. The silliest thing I ever spent money on was an "EMF meter." Two hundred dollars and you too can have one of the key pieces of equipment in the parapsychologists arsenal. (I suggest you invest the money elsewhere!) An EMF meter measures changes in electromagnetic fields in the place you are investigating. Supposedly, ghosts will activate the sensor when they come into a room. So will sunspots, AND moving the meter as you walk, AND microwaves AND appliances. You would think by the way my meter's needle jumped all the time, that I was living in a cemetery! I DO think a ghost's energy is some sort of energy field. I DO NOT think we have the technology to measure it correctly, yet. An EMF meter is only picking up traces of what it should to truly measure ghosts. I have found that a good combination of Psychic intuition and tested and reliable parapsychologist's equipment works best on a haunting investigation. The problem is, many scientific-minded parapsychologists do not give an ounce of credence to Psychics. Alas.

Faux Hauntings? Not A Ghost Of A Chance?


There are types of Hauntings that do not actually involve ghosts. One such category is the "residual haunting." Only a person's experience is trapped here, not the actual person. Something so emotionally charged happens to someone at a certain place that it creates a huge surge of "imprinted energy" These energies hang in the psychic ether of a place waiting to be tapped into by the minds of "sensitive" people. This is a one act play with only one scene that does nothing but replay itself until its energy dissipates over time. Household renovations are an easy way to stir up residual hauntings. If things start hopping after you decide to strip off old wallpaper or knock out a wall in your home, you have a residual haunting, you have "unleashed" old vibrations stored in the walls. It is believed water vapor or moisture is one vessel that holds residual energy. Wood or plaster walls seem to be a sponge for this energy just waiting to release it back into the air.


The term Poltergeist, from the German "poltern" meaning knocking and "geist" meaning ghost, is often misapplied to a haunting. Poltergeist phenomenon is now commonly thought to be a manifestation of energy from a living human being. This "psycho-kinesis" comes from a person who has the innate ability to create "ghostlike" activity through suppressed emotional energy. They can make windows and doors open and close. Objects moving and strange noises are some of the affects indicative of this. This can stem from children going through emotional turmoil and puberty or adults venting suppressed anger unconsciously. The "physical medium" here usually has no idea they are the cause of the activity, blaming it instead on ghosts or demons. Poltergeist activity is usually short lived, lasting for only a matter of days or months. I myself can affect electrical appliances and lights when I get mad. I now control my emotions to save on repair bills and light bulb costs! Do not confuse this type of activity with ghosts. Blame your kids instead!

In Memoriam? I hope this article puts a "new light" on ghosts and hauntings for you. Remember they are only people like us who are stuck in a place between life and the Other Side. They are not monsters lurking under beds or in closets waiting to "spook" us.

Someday, I feel, science will penetrate the "ghost plane" and reveal more of what we really are and how our soul energy works. I would imagine in the future having a ghost problem will be as mundane as having a clogged drain. Real "ghost busters" will be going to school and getting a degree or a license to practice. Until then, the next time you experience a haunting, keep an open mind and a compassionate heart. You never know who will get stuck NEXT!

Craig's Bio:

Psychic -Medium Craig McManus has been doing psychic readings and channelings for almost 20 years. He is currently working on his first book about the spirit world. His childhood fascination with haunted houses and ghosts led him to his part-time career of psychic ghost investigation. Craig has investigated houses and locations throughout the New York tri-state area locating and identifying ghostly inhabitants for clients. Craig does in-person and phone readings and also lectures on the subject of ghosts and psychic phenomena.

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