I don’t have any plans on going ghost hunting…I just was wondering if it’s considered sinful. For example, there are a few cry baby bridges in my area, if I were to go to those, obviously seeking to see/hear something…would I be committing a sin?
I believe we are forbidden to try and conjure-up these things.
As far as what you are planning to do … I don’t know.
I’m sure more will follow.
I’m not planning to do anything, I just wondered if that would be considered sinful. I would be too scared to do it, and especially don’t want to do it if it’s a sin.
People in the West once strongly believed in ghosts. For example, in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” the ghost of the deceased king appears. As in the case of “Hamlet,” ghosts were believed to be people from purgatory.
I live in the Philippines where people strongly believe in ghosts, and the Catholic Church there doesn’t say belief in ghosts is sinful. Also, I have looked extensively at official Church documents, and I have never seen anything forbidding belief in ghosts.
Calling up the dead would be sinful, but this has nothing to with simply believing in ghosts, or thinking there may be a ghost in a certain place.
I don’t particularly believe in ghosts, though family members here in the Philippines do. Perhaps, I think, there are ghosts. I think things shown about movie ghosts are often ridiculous though.
I don’t know what a cry baby bridge is.
Yes, I knew the belief in ghosts wasn’t sinful. I’ve read up on what Peter Kreeft has to say on ghosts. I personally believe in them, and I agree that ghost movies are ridiculous, and that they are no where close to realistic, if ghosts are real.
A cry baby bridge is a bridge where babies have said to died nearby either being thrown off, or some other reason. Each cry baby bridge has their own supposed hauntings, some you’ll supposedly hear a baby cry, or see an object floating over the water, etc.
It is the word “hunting” that bothers me. We shouldn’t go searching for these things. They show a weakness, a curiosity, for things occult. If God wants a soul to bring us a message, that’s one thing. We will be visited. Other than that, we really should stay out of it, and keep our minds clear of that kind of curiosity.
It is dangerous. I’ve spoken to people who have seen ghosts. It is not a good idea to go look. Based on my research, there are three types of entities: some who appear and disappear, some that physically move objects, and noisy ghosts, as you are describing. There is no way to tell which are violent or connected to crime or occult activity.
So far, there is practically no legitimate scientific research that has been published. Ghosts are real but other types of spirits or individuals may be involved and/or attracted to sites where they manifest themselves. The cries may also be a trap by the living to lure out victims.
Ghost hunting is not scientific, at all. It doesn’t matter how much expensive equipment you bring. I’ve spoken to a ghost hunter in person who claimed he has seen things. But there’s no value in it. And trying to communicate with the dead is wrong.
Seeing a ghost by accident or being visited by one with no intent on your part is not a sin.
What is advantageous to your walk with God about hunting ghosts? If there is a soul in the Beatific Vision or in Purgatory that God has deemed to speak with you, then they will come to you, you will not come to them.
You will notice a very consistent pattern with the history of miraculous appearances, which is that they happen to people; people themselves don’t make them happen. It is just like the sacraments themselves. They come from the top down to us; we don’t go up to take them. The Holy Spirit descended to make The Son incarnate among men; nobody went up to become incarnate with God. This is because everything we would ever need has been richly prepared for us before we even ask for them. It is a one-way street. Graces always, without a single exception, flow from the top down. There is not a single occasion where any prophet or apostle conjures God or his angels. They are the ones that experience an intervention from God.
God appeared to Jacob to wrestle with him
God appeared to Abraham & Sarah to proclaim their miraculous conception
God appeared to Moses in the burning bush
God appeared to Ezekiel to make him prophet
Gabriel appeared to Mary to proclaim the Incarnation
Gabriel appeared to Elizabeth to proclaim her miraculous conception
Christ appeared to the apostles to proclaim his Resurrection
Christ appeared to Saul to proclaim his new vocation
John experienced his apocalypse on Patmos from God
The last example is particularly relevant, because you will also notice for every post-Biblical mystic after John the Apostle, that with all of them, these mystical experiences happen to them. They don’t hunt for them. They don’t conjure anything. They don’t work magic. They just happen, as a grace from God in order to serve a purpose.
I was listening to an old Coast To Coast AM show a while back and there were two “ghost hunters” on there.
While it made for an interesting hobby, one of them was clearly, very tired and very stressed. This man in particular stated that,“sometimes whether you like it or not, things follow you home”.
Not sure I’d want to mess around in a notoriously haunted area only to have something follow me home! :eek:
C’mon. Why waste time with fantasy, when we have limited time for reality? Spend that ‘ghost hunting’ time with friends, or praying, or learning something about Catholicism, picking up a new hobby, doing charitable work, helping some kids learn math, etc.
Who’s got time for something, that even by some far off chance is ‘real’, has nothing to do with anything - as the Scriptures say ‘let the dead bury the dead’!
I don’t know what the Church’s position on this is, but I have a neighbor who is catholic who does paranormal investigation. He talked to his priest about it, and the priest didn’t see a problem with it-- but:
My neighbor is a true skeptic. He’s willing to believe in ghosts, but he understands a lot about human psychology and how much a desire to believe in something can bias one’s perceptions.
He has never investigated a phenomena where he couldn’t determine a physical cause. Not once.
I realize ‘ghost hunting’ is a fairly new hobby, there are numerous tv shows about it, specialized electronic equipment relating to detection, photography of ghosts, but I think majority of these people going out looking for ghosts are doing it as a thrill, just like people into extreme sports, they like the thrill involved, plus there is the unknown involved with ghosts…nobody really knows what they truly are, so its kind of exciting, kind of scary, but not usually dangerous, I think theres only a couple documented cases when a ghost/ spirit has harmed or killed a living person, so its relatively safe, but still exciting enough to lure people into it.
Even in biblical times, the apostles themselves knew what the word ‘ghost’ meant, they thought Jesus was one when he appeared to them after being crucified, that shows, even back then, people knew what a ghost was and there was a word for it…its likely we are seeing the same things today… whatever they are.
I think it may be a stretch to call it ‘reaching out to the dead’ or trying to communicate with the dead, after all, we dont really know if ghosts are dead people/ spirits, we just assume that…maybe they are something else, something we know nothing about?
Ghost hunting isn’t a sin as long as they’re in season and you have the proper permits.
St. Anthony said that if you ever meet an apparition you should ask it two things before anything else.
- Where do(did) you come from?
- Who are you?
If the apparition doesn’t answer straightforwardly, then it’s definitely evil.
As for the question at hand, I think it depends on the intention.
Anything related to the occult is strictly forbidden. As for “ghost-hunting,” even the phrase sounds too silly to be taken seriously. And those reality shows on it…Clearly staged and hyped. Anyone can fake such things. I’ve read from Catholic sources that ghosts of human souls who have lived are nonexistent. Anything “ghostly” is a demon in disguise.
I wouldn’t try to deliberately seek out ghosts. What you describe is harmless, but… curiosity in this area can lead to pursuit of things not directed toward God. Seances are a way some people try to get in touch with “ghosts” and can open the door to poltergeists and demons.
On the other hand, I think that some “ghosts” may be people working out some type of purgatory. When my sister was about 11, she used to visit with the granddaughter of an old lady who lived up the street. At 3:00, they could hear a man’s voice saying the rosary. (The lady was a widow.) My sister and the granddaughter went into the bedroom where the voice came from. It had been the bedroom of an uncle who had been killed in the Korean War. The voice seemed to come from the man’s picture. The grandmother said that she thought it was her son praying, since it started right after his death. (This was in the late 60’s.)
My aunt and uncle bought a house where a man committed suicide. For years, there were strange occurrences, especially in one particular room. There was one bedroom where the bed shook at 6:30 in the morning. My mother stayed in that room one time. She locked the door as she was getting ready for bed. She heard footsteps, saw the door open, heard footsteps again, and then saw an indentation on the bed. Eventually, the indentation went away. Naturally, she had trouble sleeping. The next morning at 6:30 the bed started shaking. On other visits, she saw things like a loaf of bread go flying off the counter top, and her teacup sliding off the table then drop straight down. These types of things went on for about twenty years and then stopped.
I truly believe that some “ghosts” are souls who are doing some type of penance, but others are of a demonic nature. As a child, I knew an evil man that people said had a shadow that looked like an upright goat that followed him. They claimed it could be seen in a hallway with no windows. If something like that was actually following him, I would say it was a demon.
So… bottom line don’t go ghost hunting, you might find something else instead.
Paranormal investigation is much broader than ghost hunting. Based on my research, events ‘beyond the normal’ do occur. They are documented. A true paranormal investigator would have to know several disciplines to actually study paranormal activity and events. I won’t list them to deter the curious. I have considered being a paranormal investigator but without the proper knowledge, tools and equipment, I wouldn’t be any good at it. And while the vast majority is either nonsense or human manipulation, the remaining fraction is highly dangerous, especially if you don’t know what to look for.
I wouldn’t try it based on what I know now.
I’m willing to believe they occur, but I think they are very rare. I’ve never been tempted to go looking, but as I said, the one person I know involved in investigating this has never found a situation he couldn’t establish a physical real world cause. (Tracing vibrations to work sites miles away etc., lights from reflections of cars off of multiple windows/reflective surfaces -including wet surfaces, which accounted for apparently random occurrences of shadows/moving lights).