Why do some people become ghosts and others don’t?

This is a question many of us ask. 

Some ghosts appear to have died with unfinished business.

Other ghosts seem reluctant to accept that they have died.

Either way, time has passed, and they need to move on.

Unfortunately, we can’t even prove that ghosts exist. No one can prove why one spirit becomes a ghost, but another one doesn’t.

In folklore, stories such as The Canterville Ghost try to explain why some people become ghosts. Those stories follow a formula.

1. Someone died.

2. He or she has something left to do or say.

3. The ghost connects with someone who’s in the world of the living.

4. The unfinished business is completed.

5. The ghost is grateful for help received, and crosses over.

In real life, most hauntings aren’t that simple.

– Sometimes, the ghost needs help and accepts it.

– More often, attempts at help are futile.

During investigations, stories can emerge.  That may happen often if someone on your team is a psychic or a medium.

Notes about ghostly communications

candle and clockSome ghost hunters are psychic. That attracts many people to this field. At any investigation, about 30% will say they’re sensitive or psychic.

When you’re at a haunted site, focus on one thing at a time.

Are you a medium?  That is, are you the go-between – or medium – conveying messages between the spirit world and our realm?  That can be an important personal or spiritual mission.

However, that’s different from science-based paranormal research.

Don’t be offended by that comment. Maybe your psychic impulses are confirmed by your science-based tools, such as EMF meters.

Perhaps the scientific investigation is guided by your psychic insights

They’re still different approaches to this subject.

Define your main focus, first.

As a ghost hunter, which path are you on?  Are you both a psychic and a scientific investigator? (I am.)

Identify which role you’re focusing on during that particular investigation. Then, be sure your team knows what you’ll be doing.

Your work as a psychic medium might be part of your team’s goals. Some teams like to include a medium.  At the very least, you can detect the best “hot spots” for your team to focus on, first.

Some teams refuse to let psychics join. (I’m not kidding. But, I do understand when it’s a religious issue, or if any team members have had bad experiences with psychics.)

In general, keep your priorities straight. If you’re like me, psychic readings can become very emotional. Make sure your team is okay with that on that investigation.

And, even if they say they’re prepared for whatever happens, be sure you’re not distracting them from their research.

For example: If your team is recording some great real-time EVP, they’ll be focused on these things:

– The silence (or noise) that’s ideal for their EVP recordings.

– The quality of that recording.  (If they’re listening to it in real time, they may need to adjust each microphone until the quality is at its best.)

– How believable the recording will be.  (If the neighbors are having a loud party, it’s difficult to defend EVP recorded nearby.)

– Information for future study. (Note the GPS of the microphone location. Also record where it is in the room, and its position related to nearby people and objects.)

If your psychic “chatter” (vocal or moving around) interferes with their EVP efforts, it’s reasonable for your team to object.

(When I’m in “psychic mode,” I sometimes babble. I articulate what I think I’m sensing, to see if the spirit confirms it. I’m rarely loud, but even low muttering can affect EVP quality.)

Also, during a startling, scary, or purely scientific investigation, it can be easy to lose sight of the humanitarian and spiritual aspects of this work. Be patient with yourself — and especially with others — if this occurs. Everyone has a “Dude, run!” impulse, now and then. That’s especially true of people who have a singular, skeptical view of ghost hunting.

Likewise, you might need absolute silence to focus on your psychic connection to spirits at the site. Some mediums find electronic devices unnecessarily distracting. However, many ghost hunting teams consider those tools the essence of the team’s efforts.

Remain respectful of your individual and team goals. In the heat of the moment, don’t let stress and frayed nerves highlight your differences.  Remember why you’re there… all of you as a team and as individuals.

Before an investigation, reach an agreement about your work. Decide how you and your team can work synergistically.  (This can take some trial-and-error experimenting, over several weeks.)

KII meter -EMFDuring at least 90% of team investigations, I rarely mention what I perceive as a psychic. My attention is wholly on the scientific evidence we’re collecting.

Later, I may return to the site informally.  Often, I’ll invite a couple of other mediums so I get a second and third opinion.  We’ll  focus on spiritual and energy-related research.  It’s completely different from my work with scientific tools.

I can either pay attention to my psychic impressions, or I can look for scientific evidence.   I can’t do both. It’s like trying to play the piano and the violin at the same time: Possible, but not practical.

Your experiences may be different.

Can a ghost follow you from place to place?

If you feel like a ghost is following you, here’s what you need to know. Most ghosts can’t (or won’t) leave the place they haunt, but there have been exceptions.

Can ghosts follow you?

The simple answer is: no, not usually. At least 99% of the time, no ghost follows you – or anyone else – from place to place.

Ghostly phenomena seem tied to specific locations.

In most cases, I believe that if ghosts could go somewhere else, they probably would. (If you had a choice, would you spend relentless years at a site where people ignore you, or are afraid of you? Probably not.)

Yes, some ghosts remain at a location by choice. Green ladies are among the most famous. They protect the homes they once lived in.

More often, the ghosts simply haven’t moved on, literally or figuratively. Something from their past – often a grudge or unfinished business – holds them there. They’re not going anywhere until that’s resolved.

So, if something seems to follow you from a haunted site… it may not be a ghost. Ghosts rarely change locations.

Of course, there are other kinds of entities. Many could be described, generally, as “spirits.”  They include angels, spirit guides, benevolent entities, faeries, and – yes – demons.

And, for all we know, visitors from other worlds and times could be visiting us, and have the power to remain invisible. (I’m reminded of the “prime directive” in Star Trek.)

My point is: we use the word “ghosts” to describe a category of phenomena, and perhaps a kind of entity. And, when they really are people who lived in this world, then died, but haven’t left this plane of existence yet… they don’t move from location to location.

Exceptions to this rule are rare.

Judith Thompson Tyng’s revenge

In my entire ghost hunting career – spanning decades – I’ve heard of just a few ghosts that moved from one location to another. They’re that rare.

One of them is Judith Thompson Tyng. Her ghost moved around Tyngsboro, Massachusetts (USA) for many years.

Witnesses say her ghost still lingers there, over 200 years later.

According to folklore, Judith tormented (and perhaps killed) two 18th century men she held responsible for her death.

One of them was John Alford Tyng, the father of her child. He killed her and buried her under the hearth of their home.

Then, when Judith haunted him, he moved to another house. Judith’s ghost followed him.

He moved again, but the results were the same. Judith’s ghost would not leave him alone.

Finally, when John Alford Tyng was dying, Judith’s ghost stood at his door and prevented anyone from helping him. (That’s not just folklore. It’s from the handwritten diary of a Revolutionary War hero – a friend of John Alford Tyng – who tried to help the dying Tyng, but was blocked by Judith’s ghost.)

Judith’s other victim was an itinerant doctor – actually, a quack – nicknamed “Dr. Blood” because he bled people and adminstered “snake oil” type remedies.

In this case, Dr. Blood pretended to be a minister or a Justice of the Peace, and conducted the marriage ceremony between Judith Thompson and John Alford Tyng.

The whole thing was a sham set up by Tyng and Blood, and Dr. Blood may have been involved in Judith’s murder, as well.

That’s why Judith’s second victim was the infamous Dr. Blood.

When he was found dead on a country road, Judith’s distinctive boot print was on his back. Folklore claims her ghost had forced his head into a puddle, and held him there – with her ghostly foot on his back – until he drowned.

(You can read further details of the story at my Hollow Hill article, The Haunting of John Alford Tyng.)

And, as I said, Judith may still haunt Tyngsboro, Massachusetts and nearby Nashua, NH.

At the very least, Judith Thompson Tyng’s curse has caused continuing problems at the grave of John Alford Tyng.

Other Entities Can Change Location

Of course, stories like those must be studied closely. As I said, about 99% of ghosts seem to stay in one place.  Anything that moves from one location to another might be something else.

101 Ghost Hunting Questions, Answered

For example, poltergeists can follow and torment the people they select as targets. That’s why many researchers don’t believe poltergeists are just ghosts.

Demons can follow people or even become attached to them. Demons can mimic ghosts.

Few credible stories describe a ghost changing locations.

Even the Bell Witch was probably the product of several entities. Those included at least one opportunistic (and, at the time, very alive) person in that community.

So, if you’re worried about going on a ghost tour – or visiting a haunted place – and are afraid that a ghost might follow you, you probably have nothing to worry about.

(However, if you’re that anxious about ghosts, perhaps you shouldn’t go on ghost tours or visit haunted places. Perhaps you are more vulnerable to spiritual influences, and you should pay attention to your “gut feeling.”)

If You Think a Ghost Is Following You

sympathetic and comforting handsIf you think a ghost has followed you from a haunted location, visit a priest or spiritual minister immediately.

Chances are, the problem isn’t a ghost.

It might be a guardian spirit… an angel, for example.

It could be some other benign spirit.

Or, it could be something worse, and you might be at risk.

Please, don’t seek help from strangers, online.

Not even me.

Offline (in real life), find a priest or full-time minister to help you, even if you are not a religious person or a member of that congregation, and even if you don’t believe in God.

(A good minister won’t care.  His or her job is to help with spiritual matters, period and full stop. Ghosts, angels, and demons are spirits, and that’s what the clergy study – and deal with – every day.)

Most important: if you think a ghost is following you, get help right away. As I said, you could be at risk.

That’s a danger you should rule out as quickly as possible.

You’ll get the best results by talking with someone who’s spent years studying all kinds of spiritual matters.  Also, genuine priests and ministers provide this kind of help free of charge. It’s part of their religious calling.

But anyway…

If you’re simply worried about ghosts following you, the answer is: no, you’re more likely to win the lottery than be followed by a ghost.

However, if you think you’re already being followed by an entity – possibly a ghost – get help immediately.

Recommended reading: The Ghost Hunter’s Survival Guide: Protection Techniques for Encounters with the Paranormal, by Michelle Belanger.

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