Why so many of us believe in ghosts - Deepstash

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Ghosts are a mainstream area of belief

A ghost is seen as a bodyless soul or spirit of a dead person or animal.

As unlikely as it may seem, ghosts and hauntings are a mainstream area of belief. Studies in the UK and the USA show that between 30% and 50% of the population believe in ghosts. Belief in ghosts appears to be global. Since ghosts are contrary to nature's laws as we understand them, it calls for an explanation.

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What people believe of the dead

  • Ghosts have often been thought of as vehicles for justice. In Kenya, a murdered person may become a Ngoma - a spirit who pursues their murderer. In Russia, the rusalka is a spirit of a woman who drowned and now lures men to their death. She may be released when her death is avenged.
  • Ghosts can also be friends and protectors. Many people think that their deceased loved ones are watching over them and even guiding them.
  • Many people believe that death is not the end of existence and that the dead can communicate with the living.

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Separating body from soul

One philosophical idea is that humans are naive dualists - naturally believing that our physical being is separate from consciousness. This view allows people to entertain the idea of a mind that can survive separate from the body.
The experience of hallucinations is very common.

  • The SPR collected thousands of verified first-hand report of visual or auditory hallucinations of a recently deceased person.
  • Another source of hallucinations is sleep paralysis. The temporary paralysis is sometimes accompanied by the hallucination of a supernatural figure in the room.

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