What is a Ghost?

What is a Ghost? An explanation free of religion & superstition

What is a Ghost? Simple question, complicated answer.

I know what you’re picturing right now… a spooky, see-through, white figure floating up and down inside an abandoned house.

It’s the stereotypical view of a ghost mostly to outside skeptics looking in. They see this and laugh at anyone who believes. They think, thanks to opinion of many mainstream tv shows and movies, it’s all ridiculous.

“Ghost Hunters” are simple people addicted to easy scares, wander around in the dark and are always disappointed or mistaking the natural for the paranormal.

Focused on this limited view point, the best way to answer “What is a ghost?” is to talk about what people think as compared to the truth.

What people believe is… a ghost is the dead.

Grandma Sue dies. Her ghost stays inside the beloved family home. She walks around upstairs, slam doors, turn on lights and whispers while you sleep. She’s trapped. Positive energy means she’s happy, negative energy means she’s sad or angry.

A psychic can communicate with Grams like you talk with your friends. Her memories are intact, her feelings and thoughts remain, and she’s the same Grams you knew.

Why we dislike this view point —
Disclaimer… this is only a theory. It’s called the “unknown” for a reason. Like ufos, loch ness or bigfoot… nobody can know for sure. What we are left with is personal experience.

Much is learned from believable ghost stories. Get enough of them and patterns emerge.

I’ve been witness to experiences and told countless stories. From this a strong belief has emerged, void of superstition or religion because my life is void of both.

What remains is, ghosts are energy.


Ever wonder what makes you move? I have.

There’s an energy all around us. It keeps me alive, my organs pumping, my fingers typing on this keyboard. An unseen force powering the universe.

We all know something leaves the body when we die.

Anyone attending a funeral can sense it. Looking into the coffin and seeing their loved one. Nothing’s there, the person you once knew is gone and this is just a shell.

What is missing? This is the energy of life.


Science has sight into the molecules of reality. A microscope sees down to the germs on our skin. And more advanced methods see down to atoms.

Atoms make up everything, vibrating to create matter. Reality is the realization of matter into objects.

I’m not a scientist, but am pretty sure there is no concrete reason for why atoms choose specific forms. Why a tree is different from a car.

My personal opinion is conscious energy controls it, the reason for the law of attraction … a deep thought for another time.

The point here is… if conscious energy makes material in our reality, then why can’t something get left behind.

The Residual

Residual means “a remaining piece of a departed whole”.

Unconscious, brainless, disconnected, but familiar. 9 out of 10 valid ghost stories can be explained as residual energy.

For example —
The Butler Ghost in Canada’s most haunted town

Told to the Ghost Walks of Niagara-on-the-Lake in 2005.

In a townhouse off King Street, a little girl wakes up in the middle of the night.A man stands quietly in the corner hidden by shadows. The girl pulls covers up to her face, but not over her eyes as he steps from the darkness.

Tall, serious, one arm held up with a white towel draped over. He walks across, looking straight ahead to the far wall and never at the girl.

He doesn’t hit the wall, but instead passes right through it.

Morning, the little girl tells her mom. Mom thinks it was a dream, pats her head and sends the daughter off to school.

That same day, mom is having coffee in the kitchen with her neighbour.

“Do you know what my daughter told me…” conveying the experience. The neighbour now silent, turning white. “What’s wrong?”, the mom asks.

“My daughter saw a man in her room last night.”

The story remained a local legend for decades. The townhouses then demolished for a new elementary school.

The two units once occupied by the mom and her neighbour are removed, revealing a secret chamber underneath. It’s a wine cellar belonging to the stately home predating the townhouses.

The mysterious man was a butler. He walked the route from wine cellar to dining room for every meal. Over and over, creating energy repeating long after his death.

Is the Butler really there? We say no. He didn’t react to either little girl and never swayed from his task.

This is common ground for many ghost stories.

Can a ghost be conscious?

There’s the remaining 1 (out of 10).

Stories featuring a witness who communicates with the ghost. This does exist, but is very rare.

Exclude anything religious, or told by people who seem a little off. Talk only to people who live normal lives, and react to the paranormal in a calm manner.

Two outliers…

  1. Confusing experience with interaction
  2. The Ouija Board

Experience vs. Interaction —
Two hats are left on the floor in the scared room of a Freemason lodge. This happens three times in a row to a tour guide for The Ghost Walks.

A woman is using the bathroom in an old English castle (now a hotel). Down the hall, she sees a man who removes his head and rolls it at her before disappearing.

Both are valid experiences, and both can be mistaken for interaction.

The missing piece is communication. Neither witness communicated with the ghost through voice or body language. Instead we have actions being witnessed with the assumption it was just for us.

When hearing this type of story, always ask, “Am I the only one?”

The Freemason sacred room is the most haunted at The Scottish Rite in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. And the man rolls his head at all the ladies and men who witness him in that castle.

The Ouija Board
Not going to get into the details of this ancient divination tool.

If you wish, read How to Safely use The Ouija Board. Over there, you might notice the idea of “talking to ghosts”. This term is used for simplicity’s sake.

In summary, the Ouija allows people to combine their living energy for connection with the dead. Energy is raised around the board and connection happens.

The problem… this may not be conscious communication.

A divination tool works off your energy (pendulum, Ouija), or that of the earth (divining rods).

Communication on a Ouija board may seem like a talking ghost, but could just be an impression translated into words by our mind.

Think about the origins of each thought randomly popping into your head as if out of nowhere. For more detail on this, I recommend Free Will by Sam Harris.

A talking Ouija could just be these left impressions being converted to thought.

Have I answered the question? —
Not really I’m sure.

In the end, this is the unknown for a reason. Nobody can claim to know.

But there is something I can say without a shadow of a doubt. Ghosts, whatever they might be, are real.