Ghosts Question

Firstly, I thank CA and all of you for providing this opportunity to ask Catholic questions, esp as I do not have any immediate Catholic circle that I can ask these of, especially questions aout life, death and the hereafter

I have recently lost both my (devoutly Catholic) parents at my relatively young age and both had a full requiem mass and Catholic burial. I miss them both dearly but as they both passed after receiving the full Last Rites, my sadness is for me rather than any fear for them. However, I have, at various points in the last three months felt their presence, or that they were with me, almost willing me on when I have been quite down. I do ask them to pray for me and for various intentions.

I do not claim to have been haunted or anything like that, but I am wondering if there is any official Catholic guide on death, what happens after, spirits and whether we have some parental supervision when our parents leave us?

I would appreciate any wise insights, links, or any stories of experiences that any of you may have had that shed any light, as I am trying to make sense of all this at the moment.

Many thanks in advance.

I found these up in the Ask An apologist forum and they may help.

*]Do ghosts exist?
*]What’s the Catholic theory behind such phenomena as ghosts?
You might also give a listen to this from Dr, Edward Sri.
The Last Things

Although ghosts per se form no part of Church teaching, the Church does not categorically deny them, either.

Our LORD’s friends believed in ghosts (they thought He was one) and He did not correct them.

The “cloud of witnesses” in Hebrews suggests that we are seen from the other life, even though it does not mention them being ghosts.


‘If we were thoroughly convinced of the torments of Purgatory, could we then so easily forget our parents… if God would permit them to show themselves would see them cast themselves down at our feet “My children”, they would cry out, "have mercy on us! Oh, do not forsake us!’. - St. John Vianney

Your parents sound like wonderful people, but just because they received the last rites, do not assume they are already in Heaven. Purgatory is a place where souls work out their attachment to sin as well as any temporal punishment due sins that were forgiven.

If you died today, with the benefit of last rites, do you feel as though, faced with the goodness and beauty of God, that you would be fit to walk into Heaven? Purgatory is the place where the inadequacies are purged. If one is a little vain, impatient, intolerant and quick to anger, stingy, immature or all those other things that otherwise good people hang on to, those are the things that keep us from the presence of God.

If you are feeling their presence, maybe they are asking for your prayers to help them work through the sufferings in Purgatory. Without our prayers, souls can only suffer until the last impurity is corrected. Prayers are never wasted! If your loved ones are in Heaven, those prayers go to some other soul, maybe someone you know that has needed prayers for years and has been forgotten. Grateful souls in Heaven are our advocates and God Himself is grateful for the prayers offered for suffering souls, how awesome to think of our God being grateful to us!

I do not think we will ever know exactly what ghosts are, and more than likely they are just something we cannot comprehend, I think even if it was explained to us what they were, we would not fully understand it.

However in our time, ghosts are believed by many as being spirits stuck in our world, or people who have not moved on for a variety of reasons, they still have something to accomplish here, etc etc. Movies and shows portray ghosts like this all time, and that is dangerous, it is implying that there is no judgement, it basically takes God out of it, so I guess that explains why the secular world views ghosts like this and wants everyone else to as well.

I think there is probably **less ** to ghosts than meets the eye.

Our head is a pattern–finding machine. It will see patterns where none exist. And that goes double for the human face or form. Anytime that “someone” seems to be where we then find there to be nobody, the reflex for many is to scream “ghost!”

What does not follow is to assume that if there is anything there, that it is a life-challenged human being.


Well that explains people that get spooked by weird shadows and seeing faces in vague areas, but not the very obvious incidents where it is clear, ‘something’ is there, the one time I saw what can be called a ‘ghost’ or orb, It was not vague or a shadow…something was there, I was 20 ft away from it, and it had some type of intelligence, but I was not fearful or happy, it was neutral in that regard, so I just chalked it up to something existing that I did not understand and was just happy with getting to witness such a thing.

Calling it a spirit of a once living person is just an easy way to explain them to many, it also serves the narrative of no God, or an afterlife that the bible is wrong about, as many will say, if ghosts are the spirits of dead people, the idea of heaven, hell must be wrong.

Does not sound like any question about “ghosts”…

But rather about the communion of the saints.

Those who have gone before us can pray for us!

And we pray for them.

Saul and the Medium at Endor

Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.”

“There is one in Endor,” they said.

So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.”

But the woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?”

Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As surely as the Lord lives, you will not be punished for this.”

Then the woman asked, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”

“Bring up Samuel,” he said.

When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!”

The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?”

The woman said, “I see a** ghostly figure** coming up out of the earth.”

“What does he look like?” he asked.

“An old man wearing a robe is coming up,” she said.

Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.

Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”

1 Samuel 28

Can the souls of those who have passed on somehow reveal themselves to the living, provided that God permits it? Of course.


IF ‘ghosts’ exist and are deceased human beings, they do not disprove the theological afterlife; such persons could be doing Purgatory.

There is no reason a priori to associate ‘orbs’ with dead human life.


Father Mike Schmitz did a video on ghosts recently:

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