Thursday, July 30, 2009

Can Ghosts Hurt You? I Mean, Really, Can They?

By Lisa Oliver

Have you ever known a situation where you don't think
about something for ages and then all of sudden one topic seems to crop
up in different places in a short space of time? Take for example the
question of whether or not ghosts are capable of hurting physical
people. In the past week I have come across that question three
separate times - firstly in an article by Tom Cooney, secondly as part
of an investigative paranormal television program and then as a
question from my own ten-year old daughter. So can ghosts hurt us?

the first instance of course there has to be an assumption that ghosts
do exist in our physical world. I for one, am a person who not only
believes in ghosts but I have actually seen some, and felt the presence
of others at a number of times in my life. So for me it is perfectly
normal to assume that ghosts do exist. But what about people who don't
believe in ghosts - are they capable of being hurt (assuming ghosts
could hurt living people) by something they don't believe in - well
this is another assumption we will make - that if ghosts were capable
of hurting people, then they would be able to regardless of whether or
not they were believed in or not.

The second consideration that
has to be thought out is a definition of hurt. Tom Cooney, who has
written a number of different articles on the paranormal, asked this
question in one of his discussions. He noted that if the term "hurt"
included not only physical pain (which is often what the term is used
to define) but also emotional, spiritual or psychological pain then it
was possible that a ghost's presence could have that effect on some
people, so then the answer would be "yes" ghosts could hurt people.

me though, I would be more interested in the intent behind any
spiritual action, and it is my belief that true ghosts, as opposed to
other spiritual entities, do not intend to hurt anybody living. They
simply have a different method of communication than some people are
used to.

If you watch any popular television programs that deal
with ghosts there is generally some hysterical person who is in a state
because he/she has been impacted by unexplained phenomena and quite
often the program goes on to show an almost textbook case of mass
hysteria occurring within the one building that is supposedly haunted
by a ghost. It is this personification of haunting that have greatly
maligned the whole idea of ghosts in our western society.

word "hurt" implies to me a malicious intention; if you set out to hurt
someone then there is often a negative emotion behind this action. Of
course it is possible to hurt people through omission or even by
accident; it is also possible to feel remorse over an action that may
hurt another person but do ghosts have these same problems despite the
fact that they operate on a separate plain of existence? Well I guess
that depends on the ghost, but we are getting ahead of ourselves.

a ghost is not capable of physically hurting a living person simply
because they do operate on a different plain of existence. They do not
have as solid a physical state as we do; while they may manifest
themselves in a way we may recognize in terms of dress and mannerisms,
the image is one that has no actual physical substance. So if you had a
ghost walk up to you and slap you around the face it is unlikely that
you would sustain any bruising or even feel any of the expected impact
from the blow. You may feel a draft, you may feel a chill for a short
moment as your energies meet the energies of spirits, but that would be
the extent of the physical damage.

The question as to whether or
not a ghost might emotionally or psychologically hurt a person is more
difficult to address. Without being rude many negative ghost/living
interactions are caused more by a living person who has his/her own
reasons for rejecting the encounter, than being a fault of the spirit

Many people have a social or religious reason for
rejecting the concept of ghosts, so any paranormal activity in a family
home could cause stress to the family. There are other people who
believe that any paranormal experience could only be the work of the
devil and so these encounters can be seen as evil - and unfortunately
popular movies such as the Amityville horrors perpetuate this myth.

both of these instances a ghostly encounter could cause emotional and
psychological harm and there is plenty of evidence to show that major
stress can cause negative physical symptoms. Is this the ghost's fault,
I personally don't think so but of course situations involving persons
who reject ghosts, can cause a negative reaction in a physical person
so I guess the answer is relative and nothing more.

Oliver has lived with ghosts her whole life, firstly in her home in
England and then later in the wilds of Kaihu, New Zealand. She is the
author of two books about living with ghosts and how to contact ghosts,
which can be found on her site,

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