Are ghosts real?


Is there such a thing as ghosts?


The just after death Go to heaven. Unless God has a purpose for them to come back to either share something about the Catholic Faith or to help someone get to heaven or some sort of warning.

The damned go to hell after death. Unless God allows them to come back and give a warning to sinners to repent or to show something as to the legitimacy of the Catholic Church.

These cases are very rare.

In almost all cases it is demonic spirits coming to either confuse, scare, or to do some other type of malicious activity towards humans.


It is a fascinating subject. Here is a link to a previous answer on these forums:




I thought this post from Catholic Answers Apologist Peggy Frye was good enough to warrant reposting (as some people don’t always follow links).

Catholic Answers Apologist
Join Date: May 4, 2004
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 393 Re: What’s the Catholic theory behind such phenomena as ghosts?
First, the Church forbids us to conjure up the dead (*Catechism *2116-2117). Peter Kreeft in his book *Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Heaven *(pgs 34-35) says the reason for “this stricture is probably protection against the danger of deception by evil spirits. We are out of our depth, our knowledge, and our control once we open the doors to the supernatural. The only openings that are safe for us are the ones God has approved: revelation, prayer, His own miracles, sacraments, and primarily Christ Himself…The danger is not physical but spiritual, and spiritual danger always centers on deception.”

“Nevertheless, without our action or invitation, the dead often do appear to the living. There is enormous evidence of “ghosts” in all cultures. What are we to make of them?” He goes on to say “We can distinguish three kinds of ghosts, I believe. First, the most familiar kind: the sad ones, the wispy ones. They seem to be working out some unfinished earthly business, or suffering some purgatorial purification until released from their earthly business. These ghosts would seem to be the ones who just barely made it to Purgatory, who feel little or no joy yet and who need to learn many painful lessons about their past lives on earth.

Second, there are malicious and deceptive spirits—and since they are deceptive, they hardly ever appear malicious. These are probably the ones who respond to conjurings at seances. They probably come from Hell. Even the chance of that happening should be sufficient to terrify away all temptations to necromancy."

“Third, there are bright, happy spirits of dead friends and family, especially spouses, who appear unbidden, at God’s will, not ours, with messages of hope and love. They seem to come from Heaven. Unlike the purgatorial ghosts who come back primarily for their own sakes, these bright spirits come back for the sake of us the living, to tell us all is well. They are aped by evil spirits who say the same, who speak ‘peace, peace, when there is no peace’. But the deception works only one way: the fake can deceive by appearing genuine, but the genuine never deceives by appearing fake. Heavenly spirits always convince us that they are genuinely good. Even the bright spirits appear ghostlike to us because a ghost of any type is one whose substance does not belong in or come from this world. In Heaven these spirits are not ghosts but real, solid and substantial because they are at home there: One can’t be a ghost in one’s own country.”

“That there are all three kinds of ghosts is enormously likely. Even taking into account our penchant to deceive and be deceived, our credulity and fakery, there remain so many trustworthy accounts of all three types of ghosts - trustworthy by every ordinary empirical and psychological standard - that only a dogmatic prejudice against them could prevent us from believing they exist. As Chesterton says, 'We believe an old apple woman when she says she ate an apple; but when she says she saw a ghost, we say ‘But she’s only an old apple woman.’ A most undemocratic and unscientific prejudice."

Recommeded reading:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Heaven
By Peter Kreeft

Ghosts and Poltergeists
By Herbert Thurston, SJ

Seven Kinds of Ghosts
Seven Kinds of Ghosts (article)
By Bro. John-Paul Ignatius


Does the Church have any teaching about it?


How come you have a Star of David on your signature?


Because as Catholics do we not profess to hold the same faith as David?


The new covenant replaced the old. Or hadn’t you heard?


No, the New Covenant fulfills the Old Covenant. They are equally important. This is typical of Protestantism that the Old Testament is worthless, yet they are both equally important. How is the faith of David any less than the faith of us Catholics. I don’t know about you but I hold the same faith as David, I just happen to live in modern times so I know about things that David did not when he was living. However David knew what would happen.


You talk as though only men born in modern times were intelligent. I happen to think it is actually the complete opposite for the most part.

The Star of David is a Jewish symbol:

“It is supposed to represent the shape of King David’s shield (or perhaps the emblem on it), but there is really **no support for that claim **in any early rabbinic literature. In fact, the symbol is so rare in early Jewish literature and artwork that art dealers suspect forgery if they find the symbol in early works.”


“The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value, for the Old Covenant has never been revoked.” (CCC 121)

“Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of God. the Church has always vigorously opposed the idea of rejecting the Old Testament under the pretext that the New has rendered it void” (CCC 123)


The Jews do not recognize the New Testament…hence, I am wondering why you have a Star of David on your signature.


Wow! I sure never heard this. Could you please give a reference? Thank You.


What is modern? a way to speak about the present, that is all, and to examin the abilities from now (or present) and then. There forexpressing a change and difference in then and what was or is present.

Even though the symbol is not used often or not used in use of documents, doesnt realy mean that it is not used nor least important. I have heard and at many times the star to which the herders and wise men see, is in the shape of the Star of David. Plus a sign we Catholics hardly see anymore is the such:
Nessuno Nome uploaded this image to
Does it or was it not important then as it is now? Is it not still important not just to our history, but idea and belief?


Thanks on this one. I couldn’t help but wonder myself - and appreciate the suggested reading material !


Um, holdencaulfield and piouswomen, keep the (unrelated) debates to PM!


I’d agree that demons appear as ghosts, to make people doubt Catholicism’s explanation of the after life.

Isn’t it a dogma that a damned is static in hell and can’t get out ever? I’m not sure but if you can quote a dogmatic sentence in this matter it’d be helpful.


Thank You.


Thank You.

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