Miroku

Spooky ghost discussion - experiences, theories and reasons

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Hey,

 

not gonna lie I have spent basically entire corona virus lock down watching ghost hunting channels on youtube (g team paranormal and omargosh thank you). And a question came to my mind. It seems to me that the US is more haunted than many places. Or people are more open to it? Which is weird because basically every single place where I live is waaay older than most of those homes in the US. Plus an actuall history went through this place, from nazis to communists. There must have been a plenty of suffering and death and yet ... no ghosts. Why do you think it is that some places are more prone to ghosts? What do you think causes one to become a ghost? Do you have a ghost story/experience? 

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My take on these things is following.

While I do not have any proper ghost experience (just some dreams and weird vibes) I have some theories. I think one of the reasons why people become ghosts is through very strong attachment which basically keeps them locked to the place where they lived after their death (not an extraordinary theory). And the reason why the USA has such a huge amount of ghosts is probably because of its wealth. People are simply more attached.
And while there is the general pretense of US being a christian nation, local people are very interested in witchcraft (srsly basically 70% of all americans I have met are into witchcraft), which could lead to either invoking a strong spirit or in a way becoming one yourself.

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Could be the native shamanic traditions. Or maybe its not more haunted than anywhere else but there are just more tv shows about ghosts there for English speaking audiences. 

 

I live in probably the most haunted part of England (Kent) and it seems almost everyone you run into here has a story. My brother and his boy scout group saw a green shape racing toward them down a sidewalk next to a graveyard, and my sister's typewriter started typing by itself. Loads of crazy stories. Seems everywhere is pretty equally haunted.

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Posted (edited)

There are many black magic hotspots in Asia, and all Asian cultures acknowledge the presence of spirits and elementals, but somehow, most of these are believed to be potentially harmful. Asians are quite aware not to offend such spirits and elementals - said to reside usually in trees, shady groves, caverns, and so on. Those who accidentally offend one of these fiercer elementals on a casual jaunt thru a forest have been known to fall sick, and conventional medicine offers no help in relieving such maladies. Only occultists, learned priests or shamans have the power to heal the afflicted. 

 

Some degree of superstition and granny tales play an active part in propagating this belief, but some aspects of it are definitely 'true', that is, verifiable anecdotal accounts where details given by witnesses match. Even today, enough educated folks still seek intercessions from shamans, bomohs (Malay shamans - some quite powerful ones too), mystics, monks, yogis etc. to help in overcoming various troubles, personal or professional, or for improving one's lot in life. Almost everyone here believe in ghosts, poltergeists, and other nocturnal visitors. Even CambridgeCore (research arm of Cambridge U) did a study on this Asian phenomenon by concentrating on one demographic - Thailand - where black magic and the supernatural are very much a part of its culture and way of life. 

 

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/trans-trans-regional-and-national-studies-of-southeast-asia/article/baby-ghosts-child-spirits-and-contemporary-conceptions-of-childhood-in-thailand/B32D75D87F257FBD5BCB6D340913546B/core-reader

 

Personally, I have assisted in a handful of exorcism rituals, am convinced of the presence of harmful beings, and although haven't physically seen a ghost or demon per se, my intuitive ability in detecting negative energetic presences/fields is quite refined. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by C T
tweaked for tidiness
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Thanks @Vajra Fist! That is quite interesting. The thing is that despite coming from a part of country that has been effed over quite a few times in just the last 100 years there does not seem to be much. That is except this one strange small valley where I am pretty sure either lives a ghost or there is a local presence as there are no birds and it is just creepy there (and a guy died down there and nobody knows how he got there or why he went there).

Yeah the simple amount of the shows could play a part. There is also something that I like to call american evangelical shamanism, which is what I have noticed many of these "ghost hunters" are evangelical christians but their faith looks and feels more like shamanism as it is full of crystals, witchcraft and other things. So maybe just mere presence of people who work like that could be a trigger (or they just notice it more).

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1 minute ago, C T said:

There are many black magic hotspots in Asia, and all Asian cultures acknowledge the presence of spirits and elementals, but somehow, most of these are believed to be potentially harmful. Asians are quite aware not to offend such spirits and elementals - said to reside usually in trees, shady groves, caverns, and so on.

 

I'm always fascinated by Asian spirit lore. Seems like the folk religion of Shinto in Japan is entirely built around propitiation of these spirits and elementals. Almost every wooded glade there has some sort of shrine to the local spirits. The wife's grandma lives on a place called Sado Island (incidentally the place where Nichiren was exiled to), and the spirit world presses upon our world so heavily there I always feel the air is dense with it. Going for a walk in the countryside feels like treading on eggshells. Very creepy.

 

Its strange that in the west we normally associate the paranormal with spirits of the dead though, while in Asia paranormal activity is associated with minor deities and spirits.

 

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Thanks @C T! I did not know about that. Do you have a story you feel comfortable sharing?

 

I have met few people who think they can do magic. My mum says she was once cursed by her ex-husband. She didn't believe it until she fell down the stairs and broke one or two ribs. However, she has managed to elevate the curse by beating the crap out of him. :lol: Those fearless slavic women, last person you want to curse.

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2 minutes ago, Vajra Fist said:

Its strange that in the west we normally associate the paranormal with spirits of the dead though, while in Asia paranormal activity is associated with minor deities and spirits.

 

 

Yeah that is interesting. I guess that it is a way the local deities and beings were degraded into ghosts and demons through the influence of the church. Surprisingly enough one all mighty god cannot stand the existence of a minor deity living in a tree.

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Ghosts are a very big deal for my family in Malaysia. Accusations of witchcraft have caused major family rifts. 

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20 minutes ago, Miroku said:

 

Yeah that is interesting. I guess that it is a way the local deities and beings were degraded into ghosts and demons through the influence of the church. Surprisingly enough one all mighty god cannot stand the existence of a minor deity living in a tree.

 

Eh, this really isn't true. Spirits of dead humans are a major part of religion throughout East Asia at least. Pretty much all the earth deities (tudigong) in China are supposed to have been virtuous humans (though it is rare that anyone can identify exactly who). And propitiating ancestors is of course at the core of piety for most people.

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Just now, SirPalomides said:

 

Eh, this really isn't true. Spirits of dead humans are a major part of religion throughout East Asia at least. Pretty much all the earth deities (tudigong) in China are supposed to have been virtuous humans (though it is rare that anyone can identify exactly who). And propitiating ancestors is of course at the core of piety for most people.

It was about the situation here in Europe and USA. :) 

 

That is quite interesting this point of view. Is it like that also in Malaysia with propitiating ancestors?

 

Here in Europe we don't really do that, but it is very easy to see how it is a sort of a natural response of humans. After the passing of my father, mum talked to his ashes quite regularly. She also swears he haunted our cottage and flat for a while. Which I think was more due to her feeling alone and under pressure at the time.

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, Miroku said:

It was about the situation here in Europe and USA. :) 

 

I'm referring to the idea that paranormal activity is ghost-oriented in the west but has to do with deities in Asia. I would say ghosts are held to account for a huge proportion of paranormal activity, at least in Sinospheric cultures. Placating, helping, or exorcizing ghosts are a prominent feature in normal religious life. Of course there is not always a clear line between a ghost and a deity.

 

Generally hostile or unhappy ghosts are designated as gui, whereas the spirits of ancestors who have been properly buried and venerated are shen, which is the same word used for gods and nature spirits. The Japanese kami uses the same Chinese character as shen and similarly encompasses both human spirits and gods. I think one difference between Chinese and Japanese deities is that the Chinese deities tend to have a stronger bureaucratic flavor- they are treated like officials overseeing such-and-such office in such-and-such department. I don't think Shinto has the same bureaucratic impulse but those more familiar with Shinto can correct me here.

 

 

Quote

 

That is quite interesting this point of view. Is it like that also in Malaysia with propitiating ancestors?

 

My family is mostly Chinese, so they mostly have Chinese customs, including ancestor worship, though there are Borneo indigenous in the family too. The latter are a mix of Catholic and animist- I don't know what degree of ancestor worship they practice.

 

 

Quote

 

Here in Europe we don't really do that, but it is very easy to see how it is a sort of a natural response of humans. After the passing of my father, mum talked to his ashes quite regularly. She also swears he haunted our cottage and flat for a while. Which I think was more due to her feeling alone and under pressure at the time.

 

It probably depends on which part of Europe, and how far the Reformation changed people's mindsets. In places where there is prayer for the dead and patron saints are commonly venerated it's different.

Edited by SirPalomides
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28 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:

ancestors who have been properly buried and venerated are shen....

 

In these parts of Malaysia, spirits of the departed are termed 亡灵 (wánglíng), whereas souls = 灵魂 (Línghún)

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Posted (edited)

My theory, and its a bit of a skeptical one, is if ghost hunting Youtubes are like the ghost hunting shows on  TV then I wouldn't give them too much credence.  In that they play games like putting microphone sensitivity to the highest so any vague sound is loud and spooky.  

 

Maybe some are valid but they need ratings and imo are playing to audience expectations.  Same with Big Foot 'hunts' on TV.  

 

Your finding 70% of Americans to be into witchcraft is interesting.  I don't doubt that 70% of the people you run into may be into it, but thats not a representation of the US.  Like if you were into bird watching you'd mention it and find lots of Americans are enthusiastic about it, but that wouldn't mean it was a majority, rather it'd be selective bias at play.   

Edited by thelerner
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1 hour ago, Miroku said:

Thanks @C T! I did not know about that. Do you have a story you feel comfortable sharing?

 

I have met few people who think they can do magic. My mum says she was once cursed by her ex-husband. She didn't believe it until she fell down the stairs and broke one or two ribs. However, she has managed to elevate the curse by beating the crap out of him. :lol: Those fearless slavic women, last person you want to curse.

 

There was a wealthy Indian man whose business rival sought the help of a black magician to put a curse on him and his whole family. Suffice to say, after the curse was planted, various aspects of his life & that of his family's deteriorated gradually but alarmingly. Even the plants in the once flourishing garden started to get diseased, as was the people in the house. He sought help from my teacher. Invoking the help of a protector oracle, my teacher was informed of the id of the black magician, where the curse was placed (beneath the marbled flooring of the living room in his mansion), and the appropriate ritual needed to neutralise the curse and restore harmony to the afflicted home & inhabitants. An auspicious date was set. At the house, my teacher, after performing appropriate rites, identified the exact position, workers broke the marble (about 1.5 x 1.5 meters), and digging about a foot down, what we found were nine slimy critters that looked like hybridized salamanders (like a cross between a mudskipper and salamander) - definitely did not belong to the local Malaysian fauna, so its suspected that they were nefariously acquired through magical means. After extraction, they were disempowered & sealed (to prevent potential future abuse of their nature), and later released unharmed at the banks of a nearby river. Further purifying rituals were performed at the location, and also for another 7 days and nights back at the temple. Later, we got news that the black magician MIA'd, never to be seen again. The troubles soon ceased, and things returned to normal for the man and his loved ones. The garden began thriving again. 

 

*pardon the omission of specifics. 

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19 minutes ago, C T said:

I have met few people who think they can do magic. My mum says she was once cursed by her ex-husband. She didn't believe it until she fell down the stairs and broke one or two ribs. However, she has managed to elevate the curse by beating the crap out of him. :lol: Those fearless slavic women, last person you want to curse.

 

Oh ya, p.s. Thank you for the tip re fearless slavic women. Good to know ^_^ 

 

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4 hours ago, thelerner said:

My theory, and its a bit of a skeptical one, is if ghost hunting Youtubes are like the ghost hunting shows on  TV then I wouldn't give them too much credence.  In that they play games like putting microphone sensitivity to the highest so any vague sound is loud and spooky.  

 

Maybe some are valid but they need ratings and imo are playing to audience expectations.  Same with Big Foot 'hunts' on TV.  

 

Your finding 70% of Americans to be into witchcraft is interesting.  I don't doubt that 70% of the people you run into may be into it, but thats not a representation of the US.  Like if you were into bird watching you'd mention it and find lots of Americans are enthusiastic about it, but that wouldn't mean it was a majority, rather it'd be selective bias at play.   

 

Oh yes, definitely, there are some shenanigans and such. However, as a phenomenon the mere existence of such a huge amount of ghost hunters is really interesting. Many of them really amateurs and probably not in it to make a quick buck ... although ... who knows.

Hh, yes I would never apply the few americans I have met as a significant group to apply on the entire society. For example none of them were black, which does not mean there are no black americans. However, the "shamanistic christianity" they apply in those videos is quite fascinating to me. Not only is it probably a direct descendent of the "spiritism" of early 20th and late 19th century, but it has all kinds of stuff in it. Quite exciting from the pov of religious studies if you ask me.

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A lot of American Pentecostalism, which claims to be channeling the Holy Spirit, does seem to be channeling … something else.

 

An interesting thing to read about is the "spiritual church" movement of New Orleans- nominally protestant churches with strong influence from Catholicism, voodoo, and spiritualism. These churches seem to have largely faded away but it was an interesting phenomenon of the mid 20th century.

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