To begin with I lifted the following quote from a moderator's reply to someone's query about church teaching on "ghosts"
You are also correct that there are not "lost souls," in the sense that there are not souls that are caught between death and eternity unable to "cross over" to "the other side." After death, a soul is judged and is either saved or damned. A damned soul is in hell; a saved soul is either in heaven or in purgatory.
That said, it may be that purgatory might in some way involve the life one lived here on earth. It is not incompatible with a belief in purgatory to believe that our purgation might include "revisiting" places that were significant during our earthly lives. It may be that occasionally God allows people to see such souls in order to inspire prayers for them or in some way to teach a lesson to the people who see them.
To move on - I've mentioned before that my old Protestant once predicted - "I think you’ll be doing a cleaning job for a short time. You won’t like it much, and you won’t be doing it for long, but I think the Lord will just want you to hear about a ghost.”
Now I knew him pretty well by that time, but even so I thought that one was over the top, so I basically ignored it.
But in 2006, I did some cleaning for a short time with a company. I didn’t like it either – 600 kms a week driving, split shifts, and doing a job single handed which should have been for two people.
However I was being shown around an old store in the main street at Ipswich when the young bloke showing me the run suddenly remarked, “This place is haunted”.
So here was my cleaning ghost the old pastor had predicted around 15 years before, and I didn't like it much, and I only did it for about 4 or 5 months.
The young chap thought a former manager had hanged himself upstairs in the 1890’s. I spoke to the staff there, and they thought it was in the 1960’s, and downstairs, which I think was more accurate. He must have planned it pretty well, as the ceilings downstairs were very low.
The young bloke didn’t like being there after dark. He said one night all the stock on one complete row of shelves just jumped off and landed on the floor. At other times he could push this very heavy 2-wheeled buffer with his little finger, as something was pushing it with him.
I tried and it was all I could do to move it with one hand, let alone one finger.
However I used to feel rather good “vibes” when I was there, and to cut a long story short, I think the ghost may have wanted me to get a mass said for him (after all, if “The Lord just wanted (me) to hear about a ghost”, then there had to be a reason). One night I was there, after all the doors and rollers were shut, and only a couple of staff still present, a bloke walked out from behind the last aisle, smiled at me, and walked back again. I didn’t see him again. Whether it was him I don’t know, but he certainly wasn’t a customer.
A couple of years later I finally got around to ringing the Ipswich priest, and told him the story, and he said he’d get a mass said for him.
However I had my doubts about whether he really had said a mass, as from his point of view, I was just a strange voice on the phone with a rather weird story.
But about a year ago I happened to see an Australian priest on this site, and checked his details. Lo and behold, he was the associate priest at Ipswich. Now it’s most unusual to even see a priest on this catholic forum as it is mostly lay people, and in addition it’s American, so the chances of seeing an Australian priest was almost zero. Yet just when I was wondering about the mass for the “ghost”, along came a priest who was domiciled no more than about 500 meters from the store in question.
With my spiritual experiences and a conviction that God is real, I don’t think that was a coincidence. So I emailed him, explained the situation, and he replied that he would ensure a mass was said.
And I’ve left it at that.
Now a few pointers – for my old pastor’s prediction to be fully realized –
1. I had to lose my then public service job (which he predicted).
2. I’d have to become Catholic, or having a mass said for him would never have even crossed my mind (he also predicted I’d become Catholic).
3. I had to be driven to apply for a cleaning job, which was not exactly one of my ambitions, which I wouldn't like much, and which I didn't do for long (he predicted this to the letter as stated above).
4. I’d have to hear about a ghost (which he also predicted).
5. To finish it off, I’d have to hear about an Australian priest domiciled no more than about 500 meters from the store, on an American forum which hardly has an Australian priest on its membership list.
Not a bad prediction.
But, and this is the nitty gritty from my point of view, I think the suicide was bound to that store for over 40 years as part of his Purgatory (which Protestants don’t believe in, but which I think is a logical necessity). He was bored stiff, so to amuse himself from time to time he’d have a bit of a scare campaign against people who might have irritated him eg. The young cleaner who was my predecessor.
The moral of the story is … don’t even think about committing suicide, or you could find yourself bound for a very long time.
As far as I can see, the pastor's uncanny prediction, and the ghost in the store fit in quite well with the quote by the moderator as given above. Clearly he was "revisiting a place which was significant in (his) earthly life", inspired me to get prayers said for him, and taught me, and I hope, readers about the potential results of suicide.
AND - My old pastor was right, once again. He was uncanny, believe me!