Ghosts Essay, Research Paper
(Sociologically In Tuned)
Throughout the years, society has sustained a fascination with ghosts. Stories of ghosts and hauntings date back to the beginning of time. Ghosts have been immortalized in literature, theater, opera, movies, video games, and toys. Until recently the only scientific knowledge of ghosts was live encounters. Now through scientific studies of mass and origin, there has been many hypothesis s put together. There are various explanations for ghosts, a lot of which are made by ordinary people. Some people have religious beliefs about ghosts, and some people have incredible stories as well. There are also the people with real life encounters who know absolutely, positively that there are spirits among us. Sociologically ghosts play a pretty important role in a lot of peoples lives. Learning about ghosts and reading research is one definite way of incorporating the phenomena into society. Sociologically I think you must start at the scientific level of learning, and progress all the way down to personal experience. Starting with scientists, it seems they are discovering more facts about ghosts and spirits day by day.
Scientifically speaking a ghost is generally thought of as the image of a dead person that appears to humans. However some ghosts are of things or animals rather than people. Different ghosts behave in different ways, just as living people do. A few are frightening, or even dangerous, but most are perfectly harmless. The only damage they do is to shock the people who see them. The one-thing ghosts all have in common is they come from out of nowhere and disappear into thin air. Many scientists have a problem with this because any person knows that mass can only be changed not rid of. Therefore how can a ghost be there, then just be gone? Many understand the rule but disagree when it comes to this subject. Most encounters or phenomena s seem to begin after a sudden, violent, emotional, tragic or traumatic death such as a murder, suicide, or tragic accident like a car or plane crash. The current theory is that because of the way that people met their demise, an energy is released at that location and can be seen, felt, smelled or sensed in some way by people passing through the area. Other times a location where a person might have spent a great deal of their time such as a house, restaurant, church or bar could become haunted by the deceased simply because the ghost might come back to check in once in awhile to see loved ones or the place itself. If the place is changed in some way, it seems to make ghosts mad because they would like it to remain the way it was while they were alive. Scientists stress that ghosts are not harmful and should not be feared if encountered in a house or structure. Never has there been a case of a spirit or ghost harming anyone physically. There are reports though of broken arms and legs being caused by ghosts, but in further investigation of the report, the person upon seeing the ghost became so frightened that he or she fell down perhaps a flight of stairs or something of that nature. Scientists can clear up a few misconceptions people have of ghosts. Some examples are ghosts are not always white and misty looking and can be normal solid colors, or if a person dies a harmful death the spirit will not be a mangled mess. Last, one of the biggest misconceptions is that a ghost may not appear as a ghost or as something that is dead. Religion and beliefs seem to add an interesting twist to ghost awareness or believability.
The term ghost refers to the animus or disembodied soul. Adaro being the ghost that is the bad part of the soul, Aunga, which is the good part of the sole, and Figaro the spirit who has never had human form, make up your basic species of ghosts. Many religions would think of the devil as being Adaro because of the strong aura of evil it brings. When a person does something bad, like committing a crime it is believed they are influenced by Adaro to commit such wickedness. Just the opposite with Aunga, it is believed people are influenced to do good because of the guidance from this spirit. The best way to describe Figaro is through the basic Christian belief, which is the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is believed to be the 3rd person of the trinity, the other persons being God the father and God the son. This sprit protects you from harm, and helps guide the good spirit while steering the bad away. Many religions have these beliefs, but many also believe in angels as well. Whether an angel is a ghost or not is only found in beliefs by one self. In society many people feel different about the subject. Many ghosts encounters and stories that are known in society today come from legend also.
Legends, though drawn out through the years, bring great significance to the power of understanding ghosts, and help the way people and society feel or look at ghosts. Everybody knows what a legend is but if you need a recap, it can be described by a famous if not classic story told throughout generations, and generations of people. Most the time with each generation the story gets a little longer and in this case spookier. A lot of legends are based on cultures and ethnicities as well as just general legends. Many legends are known to be fiction, and just for the point of fun and education. There are also many legends told that are swore to be real encounters or happenings. An example of a fictitious legend is the Ghosts of Christmas. Almost everyone has heard of Mr. Scrooge the greedy old miser who has no Christmas spirit. Only to be awakened, by three spirits taking him on a journey through time. One, taking him to his past, another to the future, and the last to present day. Families across the world share this story and legend every year for the joyfulness it brings. Nobody remembers that it was just a story written by Charles Dickens, they think of it as cool legend that makes the Christmas spirit shine bright. Another very common legend, which has been turned into a popular kid s cartoon, is Casper the friendly ghost. This story is about a ghost who loves everybody that is nice, but always seems to scare people despite his cheery disposition. This legend was created to show the younger crowd that ghost are not to be feared they are to be looked at as friendly soles or spirits. One legend famous to student residents in the northern suburbs of Denver Colorado, are the Gates of Hell. The Gates of Hell is a place in a field where a now half burnt down barn sits atop two holes in the ground. Each hole is big enough to walk down into and pretty much party in. Legend has it that down the right hole, which is now basically abandoned except for thousands of what seem to be cow bones, there were satanic rituals conducted. Legend also has it they sacrificed many animals, and also killed a woman. People say that the woman s spirit lives on down that hole with all the animal spirits protecting her. If you walk down that hole you will hear her screaming one time and singing another. No one has ever really wanted to pursue telling anyone about it, because it is like an attraction or place to go get a thrill, and nobody wants the place to get torn up or closed down. Another popular legend with young people is the legend of Bloody Mary. Supposedly if you are to look into a mirror in the dark and say the words bloody Mary five times, you will unleash a devilish spirit and it will come to haunt you. It is supposed to be a sort of legend that gives you a rush for second, and leaves the rest to mind games and imaginary visions. There has been no report of this ever working, but who s to say that everyone that has done this doesn t have an evil spirit by their side, scaring them at appropriate times without them even knowing. In other countries there are many ghost legends as well. Like in Mexico, ghosts of people who had died violently were said to be able to cure illness. The ghost of the famous bandit, Pancho Villia, cured an insane boy by whipping and shouting to drive out the evil spirits thought to posses his body. Or in Africa, people believed that if a witch doctor dug up a corpse and stole part of the body, he could turn its ghost into a slave. Then the witch doctor sent his ghost out to do evil deeds, and spread illness and kill all his enemies. In Japan, Japanese ghosts were believed to be deformed as a punishment for evil acts they committed while alive. Many were legless, with their lower limbs engulfed in flames. According to legend they warned people when death was near. Legends are great ways for societies to express, and except cultures and beliefs. Many people have fun telling these legends, and many people have fun living like legends are true. And there is also the people who swear up down that the legends are true because they have experienced them. They seem to be a select few with either a gift or a real creative imagination. In this century we now have many documented case studies of ghosts or hauntings.
One case study that proved to be an ongoing haunting or warning if you will, is the warning from the water. Apparently there was a ghost sighting in the Hebrides of Scotland one-day in 1921. Two men were visiting and decided to go for a walk along the water. After walking awhile the two men came across a bay that enchanted them. There were tumbled rocks along the bay, which protected the shore from big ocean waves. One of the men decided to collect shellfish for dinner that night. As he was wading down into the water prying the shellfish from the rocks, the other man decided to rest for a while, then take a little dip in the water. He got ready and as he was about to dive into the seemingly glassy ocean he was struck with terror and let out a scream for help. Rising out of the water was an apparition of a young lady. The figure floated in the air over the water, and she waved her arms about as if urging the man not to get into the water. Faced with this ghost the two men fled from the bay and returned to their hotel. They learned later that a young woman named Molly Machay drowned in that same bay some years prior to their visit. Locals and scientists seem to think that her ghost comes out when some one tries to swim in hopes to prevent some one from drowning like she did. This is a case study in Scotland that has just been excepted as it is after several years of study. Another study widely documented was that of a ghost ship. This ship was called the Flying Dutchman, and stories about this ghost ship have been told for almost three centuries. It s said that the ghost is that of a Dutch merchant ship captained by a man named Van Der Decken. He was trying to reach the East Indies, but the ship ran into a terrible storm, and the captain cursed both God and the Devil in his anger over the storm. For this sin it was proclaimed that he would have to sail the ship doomed forever. This tale could have easily been thought of as a legend, if it were not for the fact that many respectable people have reported sighting the ship. On July 11, 1881 Prince George later King George V, was serving on the HMS Inconstant, in the Pacific Ocean. One clear night, supposedly he and twelve other men saw a large old ship drift two hundred meters, or six hundred fit off their bow. The strange shipped was reported to be glowing if not ablaze with red light that seemed to illuminate from every part of the hull and masts. After being in plain view for quite some time the ship suddenly disappeared and the light was gone and so was the ship. It was said to be the ghost of the Flying Dutchman. Reported cases of ghosts are everywhere in the world. They stretch from the United States all the way to Japan. It is hard to really draw a personal response from deep inside reading these cases, just because they seem to be so old and don t really scare or affect us that much. However, documented stories seem to grab societies attention a little more.
All people have heard stories of ghosts and have probably told many stories them selves. Ghost stories are a big key to understanding if not believing in ghosts, or not believing if you will. Stories differ from case studies in a way, do to the fact that stories may be more directly related to you, or may affect some thing you are real close to or are around. Simply put, stories are the things that give the cold shivers and send shrills down your back. There are many stories of ghosts that touch you right to core. One example comes from a web site dedicated to making people shrill with fear.
It was a Tuesday morning on Hillsville Avenue. My sister was outside riding her brand new bike on the sidewalk. I didn’t know why she ran outside into the road, maybe she was over excited on the bike or she wasn’t looking where she was going. Anyway, a truck, a large truck drove by and I saw fresh blood smeared over the side and on the front wheels. Probably a meat truck coming to sell us a product for a cheap pri.. . Wait, that isn’t a meat truck. I noticed through the chunky, bright red blood was a worn out sign that advertised a sport store down the road. The driver was a man, given away by his light mustache and short, grayish hair. He seemed to be holding some object in his hand and started coming up the stairs. I realized what the object was, it was curved with two handles belonging to a “new bike.”
I quickly opened the door, slamming it behind me revealing the grayish haired man.
He frowned with water in his eyes and then said, “I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry… I’m sorry… I’m sorry.”
The next day was a Friday. We’ve gone though our regular family routine, such as morning grace and setting the table. The day went by quickly leading on to Friday afternoon. We finished supper, our regular steak and with salad on the side. My mom and dad went out to play poker with the neighbors. I got ready for bed climbing up the stairs in a slow pace looking like a zombie. I felt a slight breeze on my face realizing the window wasn’t closed though I specifically remember closing it before going to bed. A voice called out to me, first thinking it was my own thoughts then realizing it came from the living room. I came down the stairs hearing childish laughter surrounding me. As I walked in, I caught a slight glimpse a small human form riding a small red bike. “It’s you!” I bawled out. I was happy and afraid at the same time. But at the first sight of her she rode away leaving me in sorrow.
I woke up. Sweating from head to toe, I slowly walked down the stairs toward the living room. Looking at the grandfather clock, I realized it was 12 o’clock at night. I looked toward the grandfather clock again as I saw a human shaped figure.
Many people know tons of stories like this one. Though it may be sort of hard to believe, these are ghost stories, and these are what most people hear. Not all stories of ghosts need to be authentic reenactments of real life experiences to scare people. There is though, many real life encounters out there.
I conducted an interview on a student by the name of Brad Allshouse. Brad is a current student at Colorado State University. He is also currently a member of the fraternity Sigma Gnu, which has been around since the school opened. Brad was observed one day saying that his fraternity house was haunted. This, sparking a curiosity in me, led to me asking him to do an interview about these supposed ghosts. He said he would, so I began. First I asked him to give me a brief history on his fraternity. He replied that he knew the history of the ghost and asked if I would like to hear it. I of course said yes and he began. It seems in nineteen seventy-two there was a party like that of any fraternity would have. People from all over the school were there and it was just your normal drink fiesta. He said that some of the brothers were really into this girl that was always at their parties. She was supposedly just a fox with a fabulous body and she had no problem wearing provocative cloths to show it off. But supposedly she was a real guy tease at every party she came to. After about four parties with this girl not giving any guys any action, the brothers thought they would teach her a lesson and rape her. So they all got a hold of her and took her down to the room they called the snake pit. It was a room with a table carved by brothers from previous years. They threw her on the table and about seven or eight guys began to take their turn having both vaginal and anal sex with her. This went on for about three hours each getting for or five turns. When they were all finished they left her there on the table for the night. The next morning they awoke to the screams of the cleaning lady. They ran down to the snake pit to see what was up, and the girl was dead on the table. She had apparently hemorrhaged so badly that it killed her. To this day she lives in the house. I asked him why he thought she would still be haunting the house. He said, Cause man we have proof. I asked him if he could prove it to me because I was still a bit skeptical. He told me sure he could and took me to their archives. He pulled out a picture from nineteen seventy-five and plain as day, there was the woman standing inside the house in her dress, haunting there group picture. This was no put on either because I personally got chills and felt a strange sort of aura around me. I told him that he had me convinced, but did he have any personal accounts with the ghost. He said, Oh yea and began to tell me. He said that ever since she had died they have had that table in the snake pit. Whoever takes it out of there and say sleeps with it in their room will for sure become a believer. He continued to tell me that one night he decided to sleep with it in his room. A little worried himself he took some Nitol, which is a sleeping agent just in case. It started off that he put the table up against his far bedroom wall. It was pitch black in his room except for the stream of moonlight, which was seeping through his blinds lighting exactly where the table sat. He really thought that was weird so he got up and moved the table. When he jumped back into bed and looked back at the table, the stream of moonlight lighted it up again. He just rolled over and closed his eyes. He said that then he started to hear his clock ticking every second. This bothered him so he took the batteries out. About ten minutes later his clock began to make the ticking noise again. He really flipped out he said, and jumped out of bed running to door, when he tried to open the door it was locked. He tried to unlock it and get out but it remained locked. He said he started screaming and his brothers ran to his door. He screamed that there was a ghost in his room and to get him the hell out of there. In his frightened state he heard the brothers laughing saying he s got the table in there. With one last try he said the door just opened right up, and he said to this day he will never disrespect the table or anything it means again. Brad seemed to be really spooked about this story and he is usually a pretty down to earth guy. I asked him if he had any ideas on why the ghost was there and he said, I guess to protect any girl that comes to one of our parties , he pursued to laugh aloud but I think his silly assumption may have a really good point to it.
Real live encounters like this make ghosts seem a lot more believable. But there are a lot of people who still have trouble believing in ghosts. I have no doubts any more and I will close by telling you a story that directly affects me. My Mother s best friend, who happens to be my Moms boss, had a sister that was trying to get pregnant. After several tries she finally did it. Through out her entire pregnancy she had nothing but trouble. She went through hell for a strait nine months. She was going to have this baby, and it is going to be great, so she always said. She had wanted a child for as long as she could remember and was not going to give up until she had this baby. When it was time to go, she went through a grueling labor and in the process died on the delivery table. Her baby was as healthy as could be. Now that is not the scary part. That night in the nursery there was only one nurse on call. She was sitting around the corner from where the baby was sleeping. She was startled by the sound of a woman s voice talking to the baby. As she listened in shock she heard the voice say, Its all right baby mama is here, I ll always be here. The next day the nurse told the family what had happened and they all knew right then that Mom was definitely there and would be looking over her child. As I listened to this I cried and felt a total shiver come over my body. Ghosts are there, and they are watching us. And those people, who may not believe, let them, maybe one day they will have experiences of there own. Ghosts are one of the world s greatest phenomena s. Sociologically I believe they should play a big role, because I know they are there and I believe any society should be aware. I am definitely intrigued and hopefully now, you are too, because ghost are a part of society.