You are hereForums / Mysterious Britain / Hauntings / "modern ghosts"

"modern ghosts"


8 replies [Last post]
Ziaria
User offline. Last seen 1 year 37 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 15 Jan 2011

While discussing the appearances and reported hauntings of ghosts in today's society, it was pointed out that these sightings always consist of people in period clothes, ie, from the 16th, 17th, 18th C etc.  It was queried as to why this was so, why there seem to be no reports of ghosts wearing tracksuits or jeans.  This question interested me, asa I had not given it much thought before.  Clearly places that using reported hauntings as a way to build up tourism are going to have a ghost with an interesting and tragic story behind it, that will capture people's imagination.  However, I was wondering if anyone has heard of any hauntings of people that have died in tragic circumstancs more reccently then our "traditional ghosts?"

Mysteryshopper
User offline. Last seen 2 years 46 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Re: "modern ghosts"

I can't give details due to confidentiality but, in my experience of ghost investigations, a large number - probably the majority - of ghosts reports I've looked at involve contemporary dress. I even know of a report of someone in a tracksuit! It should also be noted that most cases of haunting do not involve any sightings of apparitions. Most ghost reports these days seem to be one-offs, not associated with any other phenomena.

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 54 min ago. Offline
Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Re: "modern ghosts"

As with Mysteryshopper I have come across and investigated some cases were the apparitions clothing either did not immediately appear out of place or were contemporary.  Again as Mysteryshopper says confidentiality stops a lot of cases becoming public knowledge.

This is an interesting topic Ziaria as I dare say there are other differances with the experiences had today and those reported say 200 years ago, or perhaps it is all down to quality of how they were reported.

These days we seem to get reports of shadow people and corner of the eye figures and in the past some ghost stories had the apparitions actually communicating, which doesn't seem to happen now.

Ziaria
User offline. Last seen 1 year 37 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Re: "modern ghosts"

It is interesting, particularly as it is a subject that I had not considered before. I suppose if you considered that in past centuries it was considered heretical not to believe in the supernatural, and therefore conversations and sightings of ghosts would be considered normal and would have the support of the priests, who would usually assist in the removal of any troublesome spirits. Nowadays of course, due to the changing nature of belief, it is not as widely accepted, and therefore it may well be that many people who have sighted ghosts or even had conversations with them will not publicise their experiences, believing it to be a figment of their imagination, or fearing that they will be thought crazy by friends and families if they mention their experiences. Given that we now know that certain medical conditions can lead to people sighting people or things that are purely in their minds, and due to the confedentiality mentioned, it is perhaps not surprising that sightings of contempary ghosts are not so widely known. Nevertheless, if you guys have any imformation in regards to contempary ghosts, that is publicially available, I would be very interested to read it :)

Mysteryshopper
User offline. Last seen 2 years 46 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Re: "modern ghosts"
Ziaria wrote:

Nowadays of course, due to the changing nature of belief, it is not as widely accepted, and therefore it may well be that many people who have sighted ghosts or even had conversations with them will not publicise their experiences, believing it to be a figment of their imagination, or fearing that they will be thought crazy by friends and families if they mention their experiences.

That was true a decade or two ago. However, people are now happy to get in the papers or go on TV with their ghostly experiences.

I agree with Ian that cases of old seemed much more dramatic. I think, perhaps, that some old accounts have become exaggerated over time and were not investigated with best modern methods.

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 54 min ago. Offline
Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Re: "modern ghosts"

Each experience is personal to the witness, so it is not just their cultural background and the year it happened that we have to consider but their personal opinions or bias, or perhaps those of the person investigating and reporting the experience when looking at an old case. 

Don't forget that the emergence of spiritualism and the occult revival in the late 1800's probably had an big influence on cases reported in the Victorian era, of which there are many.

Back to clothing though, it seems quite common for people who witness an apparition to not realise they are seeing a ghost at the time.  I know of a few witness accounts covering two seperate pubs where staff have encountered a phantom punter, but not realised it was a ghost until they approached a fellow member of staff to queery if they were serving said customer.  These people were not dressed in the most upto date clothing but certainly did not look out of place in the pub setting.

Red Don's picture
Red Don
User offline. Last seen 38 weeks 2 days ago. Offline
Joined: 19 Oct 2008
Re: "modern ghosts"

Do you think the current views of ghosts and the paranormal are similar to those of the the Victorians in as much that mediums and psychics are probably as if not more popular and we also seem to have a growing interest in paranormal tourism, something that I think started to develop in the late 19th century.

Ziaria
User offline. Last seen 1 year 37 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Re: "modern ghosts"

I don't think or views have changed that much.  Those who are serious about contacting the paranormal often use similar methods, such as seances. although some people today use electrical equipment to measure potential disturbances etc. However, the general view of ghosts seems to be that they were mostly harmless spirits trapped between this world and the next, although I think poltergeists did occasionally appear during Victorian Seances http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_sisters.  The traditional method of spirits knocking on tables to comunicate still seems to occur today,

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 54 min ago. Offline
Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Re: "modern ghosts"

Table tilting/rapping, seances and such belong in the realm of pseudoscience and no genuine investigator should be using them, although, as you rightly point out, they appear to be in common usage by some.

I was wondering whether it would be feasible to create a timeline of paranormal experiences in Britain, to map out any changes in how they were reported and whether these have changed over time.  We could cross refence it with key dates such as the introduction of such ideas as spiritualism and when certain haunting theories became popular.  Look at the most famous ghost cases or even photographs from the past a guage how far they spread and what influence they may have had.  You never know, it might make an interesting little project.



Share/Save

Navigation

Recent comments

Featured Site