Does scripture tell us there are no such things as ghosts?

I was watching a video on Youtube and one of the comments said “A pity, the scripture says the dead have nothing to do with the living. Except, the saints in heaven.The rest are asleep, some in the Lord, some not.”

Where in the Bible does it say this? :confused: And does this debunk the existence of ghosts?

Youtube comments sections are about as reliable as using a jet engine to cook a steak.

Well, to point out the obvious, what about the Holy Ghost? :slight_smile:

I disagree with everything in the statements quoted in the opening post. The dead are not “asleep”–those in heaven see God–how can they be asleep? And in fact the prayer and worship of those in heaven, of “all the nations,” is seen in the Book of Revelation (as Rev 7:9-15; 15:2-4). Nor do I see anything in Scripture that says the dead have nothing to do with the living. The ideas these statement make have nothing to do with Scripture, and simply pass out the ideas of some non-Catholics.

I have noticed a lot of Evangelicals who seem to think the dead are all asleep until the Final Judgment. It’s a phrase that was used in the early Church a lot, especially by St. Paul. I don’t think it means what they think it means (obviously), but if you cut yourself off from the sacred tradition, you have to basically interpret texts as you receive them. This is how many of them do it.

One example to contradict the supposition, I suppose, would be pointing out where the early Church referred to the Dormition as the Blessed Mother falling asleep. But clearly the Blessed Mother is not literally sleeping somewhere between the physical universe and Heaven.

Another example would be to point out that during the Transfiguration, both Elijah and Moses were present with the Jesus and the three apostles. Those persons were obviously not asleep. They were alive and conscious with Jesus.

I think what happened here is that moderns are interpreting a phrase used in late antiquity in a way that it was never originally intended.

Just because the Bible does or doesn’t mention an alleged phenomena, it doesn’t mean the event is true or untrue. It makes no mention of the nothern lights, for example, but we know the northern lights are visible to people living near the earth’s poles.

On the other hand, there are a few references to dead people appearing to the living. In Samuel 28 King Saul orders a woman to summon Samuel’s spirit. She succeeds, and Saul cannot see what the woman describes as a “godlike being coming up out of the earth…an old man cometh up; and he is covered with a robe.” However, he does converse with Samuel, not only appears conscious (in that he recognises Saul, asks questions, and answers them) but able to predict Saul’s death and the Philistines’ victory. Of course, there are competing views of this scenario, and some argue that the woman was a ventriloquist.

While Elijah and Moses were not asleep when they appeared with Jesus, I don’t think the text says they were alive, and whether they were conscious is also unclear. The apostles see and hear the prophets “talking with Jesus,” and the experience feels real enough that Peter offers to construct shelters for them. However, there’s also a supernatural quality about this event not quite so strong in the Book of Samuel. Whereas Samuel’s ghost seems out of the loop but otherwise as interactive and perceptive as he was in life, Moses and Elijah are removed from the apostles, and it’s not clear if their speech is intelligent or mechanical.

Now there were seven brethren; and the first took a wife, and died leaving no issue.

21 And the second took her, and died: and neither did he leave any issue. And the third in like manner.

22 And the seven all took her in like manner; and did not leave issue. Last of all the woman also died.

23 In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise again, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.

24 And Jesus answering, saith to them: Do ye not therefore err, because you know not the scriptures, nor the power of God?

25 For when they shall rise again from the dead, they shall neither marry, nor be married, but are as the angels in heaven.

26 And as concerning the dead that they rise again, have you not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spoke to him, saying: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?

27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You therefore do greatly err.

Umm considering the OT Law very specifically says to not commune with dead or practice necromancy then it would be strange to say that it is impossible to commune with the dead.

BTW that is not the same thing as praying with all the congregation of the saints and all the saints who have gone on before.

God Bless

The belief in ghost was believed, because the apostles thought Jesus was a ghost when he walked on water. Saul also had a witch conjure up Samuel.

But ghost in the sense of how Hollywood has portrayed it is not accurate. Spirits of people don’t haunt houses and so on. But God has allowed the souls of people to leave their abode, whether heaven or hell, in order to serve some sort of purpose. Many saints have written about the souls of people appearing. St. Gregory in his dialogues wrote a lot about it.

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