I Believe In Ghosts Essay

Halloween is a time to celebrate ghosts, vampires, and everything supernatural.

But if you truly believe in ghosts, you're not alone.

According to a Gallup survey from 2005, about three out of four Americans harbor at least one paranormal belief. More than a third of people surveyed also said they believed in ghosts or spirits returning from the dead. Another 37% reported believing in haunted houses, and a whopping 41% in extrasensory perception (ESP).

But just what makes us susceptible to these beliefs, despite an utter lack of evidence that they're real?

It's how our brains are wired

Part of the reason many of us believe in ghosts simply comes down to the way our brains work, Barry Markovsky, a sociologist at the University of South Carolina, told Business Insider.

The human mind seeks patterns to make sense of ambiguous information. "Ghosts are almost always seen under ambiguous circumstances — such as in poor lighting, or when we're just waking up or falling asleep, when our senses are not at their peak function," Markovsky said.

People who believe in ghosts are often in situations where they're expecting to see them, such as in a "haunted" house, Markovsky added. In other words, if you're looking for something, you're more likely to find it.

"Humans are hardwired to seek out explanations for what happens around us," Radford adds.

It's related to belief in life after death

A wide variety of supernatural beliefs exist in different cultures, but ghosts are by far the most common one, Benjamin Radford, deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine and author of "Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries," told Business Insider.

Part of the reason for this is that believing in ghosts may be related to a belief in the afterlife, a tenet of most major religions. Believing in the supernatural also has its roots in our desire to have control over our world, Radford explained. After all, a world where random things happen is a scary one.

Another Gallup poll found that in sub-Saharan Africa, more than half of people surveyed believed in witchcraft, and those who did tended to rate themselves as less happy than nonbelievers. And a 2008 study found that lonely people are more likely to believe in the supernatural.

Some seek the thrill of it

Of course, another reason people believe in ghosts is the same reason that people like to watch scary movies or play Bloody Mary in girls' bathrooms: for the thrill of it.

There's a word for buying into these scary stories: legend-tripping. Basically, people do this because they know they're not in any real danger, Radford said.

But there's a contradiction at the heart of our belief in ghosts. One the one hand, there's the idea that ghosts are scary and wish to do us harm, but on the other, there are people who go looking for ghosts.

Many ghost hunters see themselves as "traffic cops for the afterlife," Radford said. Instead of believing ghosts to be evil, they think of them as spirits that have simply gotten lost on the way to the hereafter.

As Radford put it, "If you're genuinely terrified of ghosts and think they could kill you, why the [heck] would you go looking for them?"

Of course, movies and TV shows about ghost-hunting, which are often presented with very little skepticism, aren't helpful.

It's all good fun, but as Radford said, "Don't believe everything you see on TV!"

  • I do believe in ghosts.

    When people die, they are never really gone. They just get the opportunity of joining God and other spirits in Heaven. How I see it is that the souls of our loved ones have a very special gift; they get to visit us partly, in exchange for being able to live in Heaven. We can't see them, but they are still with us. This is how ghosts work, they are where ever they may be; Heaven or Hell. And they can still see us with a price. Hell on the other hand, is of course different from Heaven. The price you pay to visit from Hell is negativity forced in the people you are trying to see. I'm not sure the real answer to this, but it's just my opinion and beliefs :)

  • Dinguses will hate

    Of course ghost exist. If you can believe in God and things that are beyond you, then why not ghost? People are backwards and only take half of what is there. For instance, if i ask you if you believe in any general from history before the 1600s and you said yes because people painted them in all their glory but then ask you if you believe in ghost and you say no, dont you think you are a little off? To believe one thing beyond you, you should believe in all. Ghost are real because too many cases of the paranormal are so hard to debunk that the fact you dont believe it means you as a person are a dingus. Case closed and boom.

  • Yes but they dont always mean bad

    It was new years eve and we were about a group of ten friends hosting a party at a guys grandparents house. His grandfather had past about 10 years ago. Anyway we were baking some food and realized after we had made some kind of salad in a bowl that we forgot to wash it beforehand. But we just didnt think about it and the bowls of food were left aside in another room for later on. We left the door open and the light on in the room while we continued cooking in the kitchen the rest of the food. All of a sudden we hear a loud bang so of all ten of us get out of the kitchen to see what happened. The door we left open was now closed. Ok great so lets just open the door. Well we couldn't and the door knob fell out in the inside. The guys pushed the door a few times and it finally opened. Another surprise the light was off now and we left it on. Ok so we though why did this happen. We talked about the bowls that we forgot to wash and the guy remembered that his still living grandma had sprayed chemicals on for mice about a week ago. We then thought about the whole thing and said that his grandfather saved us from not eating from those bowls, trying to lock the door and stop us reaching the food.

  • Some things are just too good to not believe.

    My parents used to live in the upstairs above this liquor store near where I live. They always talk about how things fell off of shelves and stuff like that happened, and it even happened downstairs in the bottle shop as well. Actually, it even still happens. I've gone in and bottles have fallen and smashed on the floor for seemingly no reason. I even asked the young cashier and they said it happens all the time. But anyways, that's not the conclusive part of this.

    My Dad had this huge fish tank that he was very careful about. If the water got cloudy or anything it became an issue, he's a perfectionist like that. One day he leaves for the afternoon, coming back that night. The water in the tank when he got back was completely black, and all of the fish were dead.

    I'm sold. Stuff falling off of shelves could be any number of things, but that?

  • Ghosts are real

    I think this because I wake with bruises, my dog barks at stuff I do not see, I even here knocking on my door every night. I believe in God so I believe when they rise to heaven they get stuck on the earth universe. Do you agree with this statement?

  • Yes yes ysessssss

    When I was in fourth grade in music class near Halloween are teacher said our school was haunted by a ghost named John that was responcabale for the odd activity in our school we started singing a song about him the door was closed but about half way past the beginning the door opend.

    I beleve that they are real.

  • It's rational to believe in ghosts

    We know so much more about the universe now than we did 100 years ago. During the time of Jules Verne the public believed space travel to be science fiction. Family story says that when my Great grandmother first read the Verne story where people went to the moon, she never believed it would be possible to go to outer space. We went to the moon and are now planning a manned mission to Mars. Same goes with something like plate tectonics. This fundamental scientific concept for how the world works wasn't accepted until relatively recently. What I'm saying is that the body of scientific knowledge is always expanding. We can't even imagine what scientists will know 100 years from now... Certainly some of this knowledge will come from disciplines which haven't even been created yet.

    To disbelieve in ghosts today, you're essentially arguing that we, in the early 21st-century, have as complete a knowledge of how the universe works as we'll ever have. There are many compelling stories out there of the paranormal... Those who disbelieve the stories are trying to explain them with only what is known today. This is an error of judgement... It is possible we will be able to explain these things in a 100 years time. Reality is reality... We just don't know it all. When it comes to many stories of the paranormal, [following Occam’s Razor], it makes far more sense to say that these phenomena represent a reality of how the universe works which science hasn't yet caught up to, rather than to say that these phenomena don't fit into our current understanding of the universe, so therefore must not exist.

    Still, I accept that belief in ghosts can be tough, even if you agree that science has not yet plumbed all the mysteries of reality. I would likely be a skeptic myself, but have seen or been close witness to numerous paranormal events. Most notably, I've seen two apparitions at the Whaley House in Old Town San Diego. One apparition I saw (in the 2nd floor master bedroom) appeared out of thin air in the back corner of the room and proceeded to run across the room before vanishing in front of the closet (which is a hallway that connects to the theater). While this apparition ran it looked as real and solid as any flesh-and-blood human being, and affected the real world as though it was physically real. It moved a chair, ruffled the rug, and ruffled the curtains before vanishing. I saw this with my own eyes... The apparition was mere feet away from me. I was allowed in this room afterwards, and of course there were no cameras or strings or trap doors or anything of the type. I've never been able to wrap my head around what I saw... All I can say is I believe I saw a real phenomena operating under the rules of reality, but that science hasn't yet figured out all the rules.

  • They are not real

    E es e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e

  • History supports ghosts

    Throughout history there have been many tales of people coming across the supernatural. The undead coming back to life in order to finish business. As well as people believe that heaven and hell exists so why can't ghosts the spirits we "turn into" be real. And honestly we all have different opinions on this matter so its to the point that some people just think its fun why not believe what we want.

  • History supports ghosts

    Throughout history there have been many tales of people coming across the supernatural. The undead coming back to life in order to finish business. As well as people believe that heaven and hell exists so why can't ghosts the spirits we "turn into" be real. And honestly we all have different opinions on this matter so its to the point that some people just think its fun why not believe what we want.

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