Don’t make fun of ghost “stories”

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Unexplained whispers. Glimpses of a translucent figure slowly disappearing into nothingness. We hear footsteps coming down the stairs when no one is there. Small orbs of light that travel quickly across a room. Objects that sometimes move a few centimeters on their own.

By now you’ve no doubt guessed what I’m talking about – paranormal phenomena, things that haunt houses, and ghost stories.

When I was younger, I would have laughed at the whole thing as a product of an overactive imagination, or maybe the person was a little “touched” (pun unintentional). As I got older I realized that many of these experiences came from very believable and straight people who had no reason to lie but were very motivated not to – there was often a stigma associated with people who told these stories. Maybe they were a little “off center” mentally.

This stigma is evaporating with the popularity of paranormal research teams with their haunted house shows and investigations on television. Is part of that rigged in the lucrative pursuit of popular TV programming? Probably yes, but not everything.

My wife Susan and I took a ‘haunted house tour’ while vacationing in Pensacola, Florida. It was basically a bus tour with our guide telling the stories of these houses and the experiences people had there. These were often very old houses built in the late 1800s with a sad history of murders that had taken place there. New owners, often completely unaware of the house’s history, would experience the horrifying phenomena just described. They usually sold these houses very quickly to someone else who was equally ignorant.

As a devout Christian, I have noticed that many Christians struggle to incorporate these types of experiences into their theology. If they aren’t angels or demons (I believe in both), what are they? I have found a personal interpretation that works for me, and it involves the spirits of deceased people.

In my personal Christian belief system, the souls of true Christians immediately go to death to be with Jesus, or as the apostle Paul said, “…to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” What about all the souls of non-Christians? I grew up in a church that taught that the souls of the unsaved immediately went to hell after physical death to suffer eternal punishment. When I have researched the subject myself, it sounds much more like the “Second Death” referred to in the Revelations after the great White Throne Judgment. During this event, the Scripture speaks of “death and hell” thrown into the “lake of fire which is the second death”.

The Old Testament Hebrew word is “Sheol”, while the New Testament Greek word is “Hades” for the intermediate realm of departed spirits, which was often thought of as a kind of underground holding area. What I am proposing is another “dimension” – a “spiritual realm” that co-exists right alongside our physical realm. It could be the “chains of darkness” realm that scripture speaks of – a dark, dark dimension inhabited by immaterial souls with very little interaction between that dimension and our physical realm.

It would already be a “hell” of terrible frustrations to be trapped in this dimension. You retain your human intelligence and memory, but you cannot interact with the physical world you see around you as humans do every day. You exist with just a small amount of “spiritual energy” in this realm of shadow and cold eager to communicate and interact with the people you once knew, but can only muster a faint whisper, a translucent image fuzzy, a footstep, a certain smell, a small orb of light, the occasional movement of an object a few centimeters away, etc. It’s the limit of your energy hoping someone might notice. It is the dimension in which you are consigned until the great Day of Judgment when God sends you to your final destination.

My hunch is that demons and “fallen angels” inhabit this same dark spiritual dimension with a key difference being that they can exert much more energy by interacting with our physical dimension – in malevolent ways. When people are scratched, burned, jostled, or “possessed” or terrified in their homes by flying objects, that’s usually the cause in my opinion. In our Christian motorcyclists association, some members have bought a second-hand house and have started to experience this type of menacing phenomenon. An appointment was made with a pastor to come to his home for a prayer/deliverance session.

The appeal was emailed to all our surrounding chapters to pray for this pastor when he was there in this house. After this session, all activity ceased and they were able to enjoy their house. I have heard several other similar first-hand accounts.

You can laugh at all the “ghost stories” you hear being subjective emotional experiences of unstable individuals or outright fabrications, but if you ever buy a second-hand home and start experiencing these kinds of unfortunate phenomena , you may want to exercise some careful wisdom in the effort to circumvent your skepticism and consult a minister of the gospel who actually has experience. Sometimes grief is good for the soul.

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