How Ghosts can be Beneficial to People’s Mental Health and Personal Lives
For some of you skeptics, you must think this is bogus, right?
Despite whether the topic of ghosts makes you roll your eyes, you may be surprised at how much “crazy” can help others.
With roughly half of Americans believing in ghosts, there are numerous interpretations about them. Some believe there are good spirits wandering the Earth because they are confused and seek out answers about their deaths and previous lives. These good ghosts are also believed to be deceased family members or friends who want to watch over them. In contrast, there are malevolent ghosts who have bad intentions towards the living and only want to cause misery.
Despite whether ghosts are actually real or not, some truly believe they have encountered ghosts, and have changed their lives for the better- the “good” ones at least.
There are numerous ways that ghosts have been able to help people emotionally in their lives. The first beneficial impact of ghosts is they reassure people that their deceased loved ones still exist after death. In many cases, people end up facing the difficulties of losing a loved one and contemplate where they have gone- or if they exist anymore.
However, there have been many accounts of ghosts- whether it’s a child, parent, or lover- who have visited their family and friends after death. In the Guggenhiem studies, there were 3,000 documented American stories of people’s “After Death Communications” with their loved ones. In one story from the study, a mother lost her four-year-old daughter following an open-heart surgery. Weeks later, the mother felt the touch of a small hand touch her face, and the mother thought “Oh my God, that’s Megan!”(Guggenheim p. 52). After this encounter, the mother felt a “tremendous sense of peace and calmness” feeling that her daughter was telling her that she was alright(Guggenheim p. 52). Knowing that their child, parent, or lover is safe and are waiting for them, ghosts can aid others in their grieving process and provide reassurance.
Secondly, ghosts have shown to help people feel secure in religion. By believing that life continues after death, this opens up the idea of religion to others, and helps strengthen current faith as well. Many ghost investigators start out as skeptics, hoping to find evidence of the afterlife. In many cases, the evidence they find on ghosts, convinces many of them that life must exist after death. With items being thrown at them, sudden illness, and voices that cannot be explained in the presence of ghosts, this convinces many skeptics to believe in life after death. One investigator claims that she wasn’t strong in any religion at first; but through the course of investigations, her faith in God had strengthened immensely, claiming, “It has become harder to deny the existence of God or some higher Creator”(Eaton, 2015, p. 405). This provides hope and reassurance to many skeptics that life will continue after they are dead. Additionally, there are some ghost investigators that “hunt” for ghosts already having a religious belief in the afterlife. By finding proof that life continues after death, this helps them confirm their religion and strengthen their faith. Overall, ghosts can help strengthen the concept of the afterlife for people. But, what happens to those who have lost their faith in the event of someone’s death?
When people end up dying, sometimes the rage and sadness overwhelms them to the point where they reject religion. After all the years of praising and worshiping, a sudden tragic death can make others question why their God allowed this to happen. Death can tear apart a person’s faith in a religion, and cause them to be swallowed up in a bitter grudge the rest of their life; however, ghosts have shown to change that. One father who lost his faith after the death of his teenage daughter, felt that he received a sign from God where he saw the ghost of his daughter within a picture next to Christ’s hand(Guggenheim p. 387). While looking at the ghostly picture of the faint outline of his daughter, there was no doubt that it was his daughter. Due to him believing this was a sign that his daughter was in heaven, the father felt “this was the boost that I needed to believe there is a loving God. It brought my faith back from zero to stronger than it ever was before,” showing that ghosts can help revive lost faith in a religion(Guggenheim p. 388).
Lastly, ghosts have been able to give some people a purpose. For those who try to seek out the dead, such as ghost investigators, being able to find answers about the afterlife means everything to them. In the Ghost Adventures Crew, for example, Zak Bagans supposedly discovered a famous victim of murder was pregnant, and this was not recorded in history 150 years ago. By being able to provide closure to ghosts and help them understand their past, Zak claims that “this brings the adventure and meaning within his life and job.”
Along with ghost investigators, there are also mediums who feel as though they were born to assist the living and the dead. With their abilities to supposedly see ghosts, mediums believe they can provide answers about deceased loved ones to those who are grieving, as well as helping ghosts “move on” to the afterlife. An example of this is when a medium might go to a funeral and resolve any questions or conflicts between the family and the ghost. Hopefully in the end, this will allow the ghost to move on into “the light” and give peace to that family. When mediums are able to provide peace to the living and the dead, this gives them a sense of purpose in their lives to help others.
Overall, the belief in ghosts have shown to positively impact the lives of people.
Not only do ghosts provide comfort, peace, and clarity about the afterlife, it also strengthens people’s religious faith. By becoming exposed to the spirits of the dead, this sheds light on the possibilities of what lies beyond the grave. When people are intertwined with the realm of the dead, this can also inspire others to seek answers about the dead; therefore giving them a sense of duty. With all of the stresses and fears that surround everyone about life and death, this ultimately demonstrates the belief in ghosts can benefit people emotionally and mentally by giving them encouragement and peace in their lives.
Hello From Heaven, B. Guggenheim
Dark Shadows, Zak Bagans
“Give us a Sign of Your Presence”: Paranormal investigation as a spiritual practice, M. Eaton
When Ghosts Speak, Mary Winkowski