Ghost Culture

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I recently received an email from an individual that has some paranormal activity occurring in his presence that has become more than bothersome to him. This man, I’ll name him William, asked for my help. Now here’s the kicker…he currently lives in Korea and previous to this he lived in France since 2005.  He did not state exactly where he moved from, but it is clear he lived somewhere here in The States before the move to France.

Rather than go into the specifics of his particular case, let me address something that is of great importance. Something that is seriously overlooked by most paranormal investigators when trying to discern the nature of a ghost, or what is happening, why it is happening, and how best to remedy it. Something that is often overlooked by paranormal investigators when trying to understand the cases they work on.  Culture.

Culture is what groups of people know and do.  I’m not an expert on this topic, but due to co-teaching one of my classes with a cultural anthropology professor, I’ve learn a thing or two that helps me serve those with ghostly activity better.  Learning from my teaching partner has moved me to explain the nature of ghosts in more depth with more specifics, thus better serve and educate my students and the public on the nature of ghosts or as we call them in the paranormal field, entities.

For years I’ve explained that an entity’s persona will reflect what his/her personality was while living amongst us. If Uncle Joe was a jokester in this life, he’s going to be a jokester in the next. Barring of course, they are not stuck in a death state or the like (even in a death state, underneath the confusion and sense of being lost, the same person that they once were here in this realm is still there.)  However, the something I’ve often failed to explain is all the other factors. An entity’s religious beliefs and collective social upbringing while living in this realm will be reflected in an entity's behavior too.  What defines a person’s culture is their association to a group of people and what they know, do, and believe.

An individual’s beliefs are influenced and defined by the experiences they’ve been exposed to, and the adoption of the specific social and religious confines of where the live, what they are exposed to, and what and/or who they identify themselves with. A Buddhist from India will have a very different view of ghosts than a Catholic from Indiana here in the USA.  Essentially, human’s act according to their culture. A set of thoughts, values, and beliefs that determines what they do and how they do it.

William claims he has been experiencing ghostly activity for several years, since about 2001. However, the events and nature of what has been occurring with him has changed more recently. The recent changes are making him very uncomfortable and even frightened at times. This change probably indicates that the original attachment he had is not the same and/ or one in the same now. He has more than likely either moved into a home with an entity attached to it and/or he has picked up another attachment along the way.

In general, there are so many variables when it comes to trying to deduce what specifically may be going on in a haunting case.  Some specific to the person, some specific to the location, and some are specific to circumstance.  When an investigator is presented with a case like this….it’s a crapshoot. The obvious distance between Korea and me is vast. This makes it almost impossible to offer great advice or a quick solution. It just simply cannot be done. Working with a “client” requires a LOT of information to be exchanged. For every answer given by a client, there is another question to be asked. Being a paranormal investigator requires observation, correlation, and deduction. All of those things require a lot of information to be exchanged before the investigation even begins.  Not being able to speak to someone in person and at great lengths, and not being able to be in the client’s surroundings makes the task of investigating near to impossible. In a case like this one, the trained observations an investigator would normally make themselves cannot be done.  Now, the observations, etc. is only coming from the perspective of someone who hasn’t been educated and/or trained to deal with the supernatural. This creates a deficit for both you and the client. The best someone like me can do if offer up some knowledge and some opinions.

In my opinion, if culture defines a person, and people define a culture, then culture is one of the most important aspects of knowing a person and/or a ghostly entity.  Both will act according to how they think they should act. If a person believes while living in this realm that when they die there is no afterlife they will reside in darkness and it’s lights out for them when they leave this plane. If a person believes that the dead only attach to a person to protect them or make them ill, then that is what will happen. If a person believes you immediately go to heaven and cannot have contact with the living, than more than likely this is what will happen when they themselves pass on from this world. The point I’m making is that a living person’s culture ultimately defines how they will experience life on the other side and how they should behave and interact with the living people here…you and me, here and now, in this realm we now reside in. Simply put, ghosts’ act how they think they should act….just like us.

So the next time you are wondering why dead Uncle Joe is behaving as he does, and doing what he is doing, you should do some research into Uncle Joe’s life and consider asking Uncle Joe’s family and friends a LOT of questions while keeping your eyes and ears open to all of his surroundings.