If you’re a positive, loving person during your life time, does it make it easier to transit to the other world when your time arrives for the crossing? Conversely, if anger or negativity is a dominant feature of your personality during your life time, does it make it tougher for you when it comes to journeying to the other world? In both cases, the answer is a resounding “yes”. But why and how so, you might question, after all when you’re dead, well, you’re dead, isn’t it. However, in a nutshell, your physical body dies, but your personality with all its traits doesn’t dissolve immediately. Neither do your emotions evaporate in one stroke, which is why it is so important to be at peace at the time of death.  In fact, at the time of your death, whether your personality traits and the state of your emotions were positive or negative in your life time are the twin factors which often form part of the reason for ghosts being characterised as violent ghosts or angry ghosts or vengeful spirits or melancholy ghosts and so on.

It is also well established that strong emotions, particularly ‘attachment’ or vengeful emotions, are amongst the reasons for a person being unable to make the crossing to the other world and becoming a ghost. To give just one example of traits and emotions remaining alive even after death, “History Collection” records that  Henry VIII who lived between 1491-1547 A.D. and is popularly remembered as “The fat king with all the wives”, began his reign as a “talented and vigorous young man who excelled in learning, sport, and music. His love of food, however, led to him reaching a great size—his waist size was at least 60 inches, based on the last suit of armour he had tailored—developing gout and an accompanying foul temper…It comes as no surprise that a historical heavyweight—no pun intended—such as Henry looms so large (Ibid.) in English ghost lore…”

It is said that visitors to Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom have heard him pacing the corridors, “moaning and groaning at great volume, and those lucky enough to have seen him describe ‘a large, anxious, angry man pacing furiously and shouting loudly’.” Significantly, these apparitions of Henry reflect several personality traits and emotions of his life time. “He is never the outstanding young king who patronised the arts… but always the grossly-fat and cruel tyrant of later years. His Windsor ghost’s groaning is probably a reference to his gout, a condition caused by overindulgence in food and drink which makes walking agonisingly painful. His ghostly pacing is probably a reference to his marital frustration…”

Supernatural Wiki, states that “Ghosts are neither good nor evil, as their behaviour is ultimately dictated by who they were in life and how they died…” and quotes Tessa in “In My Time of Dying”: “How do you think angry spirits are born? They can›t let go, and they can›t move on…” In a post on “Psychicsavant.org” Darcy Reed has raised some intriguing possibilities about the “making” of angry ghosts and the post-death role emotions can play in reincarnation. I’m thinking, Reed wrote, about the millions of people who have been killed in the genocides of the planet. What must all those people think, dying all at once by the thousands? Do they gather together with the other murdered ghosts? Do they comfort one another when they realise they are dead? Do they move on to other places in the heavens or do they form groups of souls who plot revenge? I believe that many of the angry lost souls do create soul groups intensely bent on revenge. These groups do not necessarily move on for post-death processing and reflection and healing before they abruptly reincarnate instead with a mission of revenge.

Personality traits and emotions have been inseparably linked with death since ancient times. “Ancient Origins” narrates that in the ancient religions of Sumer, Babylon and Assyria, at death the ghosts of the deceased would retain their personality and memories of their lives, and travel to a netherword ruled over by the dark queen Ereshkigal. According to “Ancient Origins”, a heavy heart was a fate worse than death in ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptians believed that a soul would be judged by Osiris in the Hall of Truth, by measuring the soul’s heart against the weight of a feather. If the heart was lighter, the soul continued on its journey. If the heart was heavier, it was devoured by a monster and would no longer exist—nonexistence was considered a fate worse than death.

Of course, emotions such as anger or unhappiness have also been known to be ignited or activated in souls or a ghost long after a person has died. Amongst numerous fascinating incidents, this was amply demonstrated in 2014 when Siberian elders voted to re-bury a 2,500-year-old mummy with an angry spirit. Giving the background, writer April Holloway explained that the Siberian Ice Maiden, also known as the Princess of Ukok and the Altai Princess of Ochi-Bala, is a 2,500-year-old mummy of a woman found in 1993 in a kurgan  or mound of the Pazyryk culture in the Republic of Altai, Russia. It was considered to be among the most significant Russian archaeological findings of the late 20th century.

The Ice Maiden was extensively studied at the Museum of the Novosibirsk Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, and included facial reconstruction, DNA tests, and other research projects on the Maiden. Altai locals said that scientists troubled her remains and angered the powerful gods. Activists had been campaigning for years to have the Ice Maiden returned to the burial hill from which she was removed.

The indigenous people of Altai believe the Ice Maiden was a priestess who chose to die to protect the Earth from evil spirits and that the scientific testing on her remains angered her spirit, causing natural disasters. Many people in Altai believe that her tomb was placed in its location to keep a gate to the underworld closed and the absence of the guardian led to natural disasters in Altai, including the 2003 earthquake and record floods in 2014. As a result, a council of elders in Russia’s Altai Region and spiritual leaders voted to rebury her remains in order to appease her spirit and avoid new disasters.

It is evident from the instances above and innumerable others which are on record that not only in life but in the afterlife as well, no matter what phase it may be, personality traits and emotions are a very powerful force and cannot be obliterated, erased or deleted easily, if at all, or discounted. And author Earl Riney’s quote, “Our emotions are the driving power of our lives” applies equally to the afterlife as well.