I studied the occult for years, trying to reduce what I read to a comprehensible set of rules.
My suspicion is that most “ghosts” are not ghosts at all, but rather a version of Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”…
**7 … Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. ****8 ****Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, ****9 **but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-9.
We see these “beating” spirits in the occult. Whitley Strieber confesses in Communion to being struck at various places by night time beings. A girl from Tennessee whose home was haunted by a night time entity told me that she was struck on the hip. I can’t remember where, but I have read about the hip-striking at various points in my occult reading. My suspicion is that it is demonic humor. The ancient Hebrew equivalent of the modern cliche “as dead as a doornail” was being cut down “hip and thigh.” Before the Old Testament Committee “elegantized” the language of the Book of Judges, Judges 15:8, instead of…
**8 **And with repeated blows, he inflicted a great slaughter on them.
…the original Hebrew read something like the classic King James language…
8 And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter.
So, in Genesis 32, when Jacob wrestles with an angel, the text makes great hay of the fact that Jacob is struck on the hip. “Uh-oh,” ancient Hebrews hearing the story would have thought, “Jacob has been struck ‘hip and thigh.’ He’s going to be ‘deader than a doornail’ in this story.” And yet, Jacob survives, and even wins. Being struck on the hip actually marks jacob as the “dead one” who would defeat death – Jesus.
Modern folks being struck on the hip by a “thorn in the flesh” demon would be an ironic use of Genesis 32:26 for an UN-holy purpose, to say, “This one is dead in the sense that he is Hellbound.”
God lets the individual be haunted by a demon to tell him, “Look oooouuuuuut – you’re one heartbeat away from Hellllllll !”
Whereas Paul may have begun to encounter his thorn-in-the-flesh demon due to his own sins, God apparently declined to remove his evil spirit, to keep him humble.
There is one true “ghost” in Scripture. Saul asks the witch of Endor to conjur up Samuel’s “ghost,” and she does! See 1 Samuel 28:7-25.
Probably, Samuel was successfully called from that un-Heavenly place where the souls of the deceased waited for Christ to release them when He “descended into Hell.”
Would that still be possible today? Who knows?