Scary, dangerous, ugly, angry, malevolent, evil—these are just a few of the not too complimentary adjectives routinely attached to ghosts. Lemurs, to give just one relatively mild example, are dubbed as very angry wandering ghosts often associated with darkness, doom and misfortune.  As a result of such negative descriptions, a fear psychosis has built up over the ages around ghosts. However, the truth is that the vile reputations they have acquired thanks to a single “terrible” brush inaccurately and unfairly applied to all categories of ghosts are way off the mark. Not all ghosts are evil.

In February last year, “Listverse” carried an updated article by Johnny Peter in which he had written: “Nowadays, ghosts and spirits are all the rage in popular culture. Every channel you flip on, there seems to be a plethora of ghost based shows. There are reality shows and even dramas based on the subject, such as Ghost Whisperer and Being Human, among others. In these shows, you have the typical paranormal  phenomena being showcased, like full body apparitions, orbs, shadow  people, EVPs, phantoms, poltergeists—in other words, all the usual suspects. They get spoken about so much, the everyday person, whether skeptic or believer, is familiar with these classifications of ghosts….” Peter went on to describe their “lesser known brethren” or hall of unknown spooks like the kobold. “Like a poltergeist,”, wrote Peter, “the kobold is a mischievous little spirit, playing tricks on humans and doing things to unsettle whoever is occupying its space. Kobolds can be malevolent or benevolent, depending on circumstances.”

 The Paranormal MD Investigative Research & Science Organization, founded by Mary Marshall who helped develop one of the first Paranormal Studies Program in the USA that was taught at an institution for higher education at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois where she taught paranormal studies classes, lists seven basic types of haunting or Ghosts : intelligent, residual, demonic, demonic possessed Intelligent human entity, poltergeist, shadow people, and elementals. In Intelligent Haunting, according to this organisation which attempts to place ghosts in a correct perspective, you are dealing with an «intelligent» presence that can communicate with you, and interact with you in a seemingly «intelligent» way.

 An intelligent ghost haunting is best described, it says, as a responsive usually human entity with whom you have interactive intelligent communication. This type of entity is seemingly the personality of a person who once lived, and who is either «trapped» in our world or in between ours and another realm or has already moved onto the next plane and can now freely travel back and forth between our realm and theirs, and or presumably elsewhere.  Intelligent ghosts are not «evil» or «dangerous» as some people would have you believe. «Intelligent» ghosts are simply human personalities, and if the spirit was a kind and caring person in life, the spirit will most likely be the same way in death… An intelligent haunting/ghost will likely seek to get the attention of living people.

To get attention, the ghost may try turning things on and off, hiding objects, moving things, make noises, and other type of annoying or nuisance behaviour. The ghost/spirit may be looking for assistance to pass over or for assistance to accomplish a certain task, or may just be letting you know they are around with no other intent or need…The ghost has somehow been trapped between two planes of existence and is unable to move on. However, more times than not though, the entities we come across are able to move about freely, coming and going as they choose.

 I’ve written earlier about Ratti Ram, the sweeper who remained gentle, conscientious, a soul who cared. Long after he died, he rescued injured animals and left them at our door. There was Kaliya, the chief baker in a bakery. After his death, a formless Kaliya was back at work, managing the locked bakery as if he›d never died. Kaliya made the bread for exactly seven days. Much later, the owner realised that Kaliya had drawn an advance for the month, and exactly seven days had remained when he died. His ghost had ensured that the accounts were level. Then there is the case of  Khemchu, a half-witted Rajput, who drew water from the higher caste well in a remote village and filled up all the lower caste pots. Khemchu died after a raging fever, and naturally, he was mourned more intensely by the lower castes than the higher castes. In village memory, this happened many decades ago, and Khemchu is still there—invisible, but always at their service whenever someone is needed to draw water for the lower castes from the higher castes well—the caste system has changed but still exists in several forms in some remote areas. Other such examples of ‘good ghosts’ are not only fairly common, but easy to find.

  “The Haunt”, a site created by Helen, an amateur ghost hunter who lives with her ghost cat and wants to spread awareness about ghosts and incidentally, is open to being referred to a skilled psychiatrist, provided information about different kinds of ghosts. For instance, it says that “Traditional Ghosts” are the types of ghosts most commonly seen in literature and movies. This type of ghost haunts either the place it died, where it lived, or sometimes a person he/she was attached to during life, like a spouse or a child. «Traditional ghosts» is the broadest category of spirits, according to the Haunt. It encompasses all spirits that don’t fall under more concrete categories. Depending on the ghost›s strength, interaction with it can vary greatly. You might see one ghost, but only be able to hear another. Another spirit might not be able to communicate at all, but you can still sense its presence.

 Traditional ghosts, it continues, have varying motivations, or “Unfinished Business”, which influence their temperaments, and are the ultimate reasons why they remain among the living. One method of removing these types of ghosts is to communicate with them, find out what they want, and try to help them find closure.  Obviously, there are ghost and ghosts and all kinds of ghosts, but only a section of them are evil. Most of them need help, need understanding and if you can give them both, not only will you be contributing to a valuable onward transition for them but will also be able to dispel your  own fears and misconceptions about ghosts.

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