Is the ocean haunted?

Some of the most enduring ghost stories describe haunted ships and galleons.

– For over a century, we’ve heard tales of the ghost crew on the Flying Dutchman.

– Ghost ships regularly visit Salem (MA, USA) harbors.

– According to a recent PBS series, a ghost ship appears before the death of each Duke of Argyll.

Ships - is the ocean haunted?Stories like those are difficult to investigate.  Those ships appear without warning, and at different locations.

Nevertheless, sightings are so well documented, it’s a mistake to think all of them are folklore.

Evidence suggests a connection between ghostly anomalies and water. Famed researcher Colin Wilson noted the poltergeist-water connection at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose (CA, USA).

Researchers reported far more ghosts in New Orleans’ after it flooded during Hurricane Katrina. Of course, graves and crypts were disturbed or destroyed by high water. I think it was more than that.

However, I’m not sure the ocean is more haunted than land masses.

Maybe it is. For example, I’ve heard reports of normally stalwart divers feeling uncomfortable around the sites of sunken ships.

For now, it’s an interesting question, but one I can’t answer.

I think lakes may be as haunted as parts of the ocean. Visit almost any isolated but popular lake in the off-season, and see for yourself. If the lake has an island and you have access to it, rent a canoe or motorboat and investigate it.

Similarly, coastal islands seem to have more ghosts (and ghost stories) per square mile than many nearby towns on the mainland.

The problem is the inconsistency of reports. Until we know when seafaring ghosts and haunted ships will appear — and how soon they’ll vanish, once reported — we can’t confirm these great legends.

Besides Ouija boards, how do people talk to ghosts?

We’re asking ghosts to talk to us. But are we certain the spirits hear us when we talk to ghosts?

I’m not sure many ghost hunters have considered this issue.

Sure, look at past episodes of ghost-hunting TV shows like Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures. You’ll see “ghosts” talking to investigators through  ghost hunting tools, from loosened flashlights to EVP recordings to real-time communications devices.

However, that may not be the question.

Maybe people aren’t asking how ghosts communicate to us; they’re asking how people can talk to ghosts.

(I’m ignoring the fact that we don’t use Ouija boards to talk to ghosts. People talk out loud to them, while poised at the Ouija board. Does the board help ghosts hear us? It’s possible, but I’m not sure it’s likely.)

So, is it as difficult for people to speak to ghosts, as it is for them to contact us? I think this needs to be considered and explored. I’m not sure if ghosts if have difficulty receiving messages from us.

In many cases, when someone is troubled by a ghost in his or her home, I say, “Just talk to your ghosts, out loud.”

So far, readers report success with this.

However, they may have a special connection with their ghosts. After all, they share the same space, day in and day out. That may improve communications across the divide.

When I’ve talked out loud to ghosts at haunted sites I’ve visited, I’ve had mixed results.

– At Gilson Road Cemetery (Nashua, NH), I get the feeling the ghosts really don’t care if I talk to them or not.

Oh, they’ve misbehaved when I’ve investigated the site with skeptics. (That always amuses me, but that may be a reflection of my sense of humor.)

They also manifest in various ways when researchers are there. But, do ghosts actually care what we say to them? I have no idea.

Old house in England
We may not need to talk to ghosts in England’s Stratford-upon-Avon. Some of them seem to read our minds.

– I’ve seen the other extreme, too. It was at Falstaff’s Experience/Tudor World (Stratford-upon-Avon, England).

There, at least one ghost responded to almost everything that was said. He also seemed to read thoughts. It was disconcerting.

– Between the extremes of Gilson Road Cemetery and Tudor World, ghosts have responded inconsistently, even at very active sites.

So, how do people talk to ghosts?

So far, we just talk.

Maybe we need to try other means. Many of us — including me — have assumed ghosts are hanging on every word we utter.

But, what if they hear only 10% of what we say, or less?

There’s a lot to consider.

  • Maybe ghosts can read what we write.
  • Can they detect EMF spikes on their side of the veil? Perhaps we could try turning EMF generators on and off, repeatedly, to get their attention.
  • Maybe they can hear whistling, or singing, or… well, this could be a very long list.

Do we really know the best ways to talk to ghosts?

I think it’s a time to explore better way to communicate with ghosts, instead of focusing exclusively on better ways to hear from them.

How can you catch a ghost?

As far as I know, you cannot catch a ghost.

CryptSo far, no one has proved that ghosts have physical form in our world. So, there is no trap to contain them.

Some people believe that “dreamcatchers” also snag ghosts. I’ve seen no evidence of that.

However, dreamcatchers may confuse ghosts or prevent them from entering a home.

That defense might help if a ghost is immediately outside your home. (Of course, that’s the opposite of attracting and catching them.)

You might convince a ghost to remain in a particular location, temporarily.  For example, if the ghost has unfinished business and you act as if you could help, the ghost might linger. (If you know you can’t help, it’s cruel to suggest that.)

Other than that, I don’t think there’s any way to catch or entrap a ghost.

I’m not sure why anyone would want to do that, anyway.

Some paranormal entities can be caught. For example, some believe you can trap a leprechaun — or at least a clurichaun (in Irish, clobhair-ceann) — in an open bottle of whiskey. This requires having a clurichaun on the premises, and leaving an uncorked bottle of whiskey near him. Around dawn, the trapper must sneak up on the clurichaun and cork it while the clurichaun is still inside.

Some people believe a bottle can hold a ghost, as well. As I’ve heard it, the person waits in a haunted location until shortly before midnight. (That’s another “between time.”)

As midnight approaches, place a candle inside a bottle and light it. When any ghost is so attracted to the light, he or she goes into the bottle, cork it quickly.

That particular idea is riddled with problems. For one thing, some bottles will crack or explode if exposed to flame.

Another is more obvious: If ghosts were actually attracted to light, they wouldn’t show up at night.

Finally, I’m not sure how anyone could tell if a ghost enters a bottle.

I’ve also heard variations of Vodun and Voodoo practices involving. One “ghost catcher” uses cemetery dirt and a metal-lined (or lead-lined) box with a lid. I don’t know the specifics.

If someone tries to convince you that this works, run in the other direction. Vodun and Voodoo are intensely spiritual practices. The Guédé should not be treated lightly.

Likewise, “summoning” ghosts is a bad idea. You might summon something much darker. Sending it back might require expert spiritual help.