This article is from 2021 and may be outdated. We're working on restoring a newer version.
This is a tricky question.
To ask this, you must believe that ghosts have physical form of some kind.
That’s plain ol’ grade school science.
Even if it’s mental or psychic energy, if you feel as if it’s in a particular location in space, it must have mass. Otherwise, no “close” (near or far) is possible.
Does a ghost have physical form? I’m not sure. Consider other explanations.
– It might be something normal that we sense but cannot see, like an EMF field or a wave of infrasound.
– If it is a spirit, maybe we perceive them “through the veil” to the afterlife. That veil may be physical energy in our plane of existence. But, spirits on the other side are not actually in this plane.
– Maybe that the spirit is alive and well in a parallel realm.
I’m convinced that many “ghost” encounters don’t involved spirits of the dead. They’re not demons or anything non-human, either.
They’re people like us, and we sense them, but they’re in their own worlds. (If this interests you, look into quantum studies, String Theory, and other explanations for alternate realities.)
However, their physical forms must exist in some plane, reality, or realm. If that’s what you’ve encountered, you can have a “near” experience, sensing a spirit close to you.
Often, when ghostly energy is nearby, a physical reaction occurs. Unseen hands might move an object, or there may be an energy spike on an EMF detector.
At some locations – especially on some ghost tours – ghosts make physical connection with the living. That’s when some people seem to receive slaps, punches, scratches, or their hair is pulled.
During routine ghost investigations, that kind of activity is incredibly rare. If you’re touched physically — especially if it’s an attack — be on your guard.
You might like to believe you’ve had a remarkable encounter with a ghost. Unfortunately, ghostly physical phenomena like that are rare.
Look for other explanations, like a prank.
Also, in rare cases, it might be something paranormal but not ghostly.
During most paranormal encounters, people describe unique sensations when a ghost seems near.
- Sometimes, the person feels something like a breeze on his (or her) arms when the air is still.
- Others describe it as stepping into a freezer compartment.
- Still others talk about everything going completely silent, as if they’d lost hearing for a couple of minutes.
Except for poltergeist activity, there’s no reason for concern if you think a ghost is near you. In most cases, it’s slightly unpleasant. Injuries are rare.
If you’re worried, step away from where the ghost might be. If you’re still uneasy, leave the location completely.
The vast majority of ghosts cannot leave the sites they haunt.