Thursday, August 27, 2015

Is It Possible For a Ghost to Hurt You?

Expert Author Angela TempestBy Angela Tempest 

The idea of seeing a ghost appeals to many people and this urge to have a close encounter with the supernatural is why ghost tours and paranormal investigations are so popular. But the idea that a ghost could cause actual harm to someone, to hurt them, is something that most people don't consider when attending one of these events. The truth is that for the vast majority of time, a ghost can't hurt you - but there are always exceptions to the rule.

Ghost basics

Paranormal experts have categorised most ghosts as falling into two categories based on their behaviour. The most common form of ghost is what is called a residual haunting and is a little like a paranormal video recording that is on a playback loop - the ghost appears, goes through a routine then vanishes. This can be anything such as appearing at the top of the stairs, walking down the stairs then vanishing through a wall where a door once was or even something as simple as appearing at a window, staring out heartbroken for a moment then vanishing. There are lots of ideas how these ghosts come to be but one that has gained much credibility is that the buildings themselves are recording these ghosts and playing them back, acting like a tape recorder. There are no accounts of this type of ghost hurting anyone or even interacting with them in any way.

The second most common type of ghost is a visitation. This can be from a loved one who has died and are saying goodbye, or can't leave this reality. This can also be the types of ghost that appear at will and interact with their environment - these ghosts seem to think, in some way, and be aware of the living in the way a residual haunting isn't. While there is little evidence of this type of ghost hurting anyone, they can inadvertently cause hurt through their appearance or actions. There are the odd report of this type of ghost being able to have a small influence on the material world, with changes in temperature in a small area, scratches on people's bodies and such but nothing serious or life threatening.


The exception to this rule is the unknown entity we know as a poltergeist. Many people have written on the subject and we are no further forward in the understanding of these so called 'noisy spirits' but if there is a ghost or supernatural creature that can hurt you, this is it. Luckily, the chance of encountering a poltergeist is extremely small and it is for this reason that they tend to make such headlines - their antics are spectacular, often hurting people and breaking items around the house and are often well documented. Unfortunately they are also the easiest to fake because the results of the spirit are seen, not the spirit itself.

The behaviour factor

The single most common way that a ghost can hurt you is from your own reactions. You become scared, turn and run then fall over something or you rush blindly away from the ghost and take a tumble. The worst-case scenario is that people can be literally frightened to death but this isn't the ghost's fault but comes from our reactions to what we see. People who don't believe in 'that nonsense' are perhaps more at risk from this than anyone because being presented with the reality that you firmly don't believe in can be even scarier than for those who think it is possible.


So the answer is yes a ghost can hurt you - if you allow it to but in the vast majority of cases, you will come off no worse from a ghostly encounter than you would from watching a scary movie. You may get a real fright and trip over your feet but the worst thing liable to happen when you encounter a ghost is that you end up screaming like a kid and running away!

For more information on types of ghosts and hauntings as well as much more please see my blog at

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