Ghost and Haunting FAQs

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about ghosts, hauntings, and life after death.

Are deathbed visions real?

Ghost on a rock, in the woods
Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy/The Image Bank/Getty Images

"I am 400 miles away from my father, who is 91, in a rest home," writes Janet W. "My mother and daughter have told me he has been visiting with his family for about the last ten days. The visits get more and more often during the day. I am a firm believer in deathbed visions. I just wanted to know if he might know the end is closer than we think."

Are some people more susceptible to incubus and succubus attacks?

"I was reading an article about the incubus and succubus having sex with people while they are asleep," says Tracy. "Is there something that makes people more susceptible to this?"

Can animals be ghosts?

Can animals be ghosts?

Can ghosts attack?

"Have you ever heard of a ghost punching somebody?" asks a reader. "This happened in my bedroom in the middle of the night. It was a powerful forearm strike. If you know of others who have had this experience, it might help me comprehend what happened."

Could there be ghosts on other planets?

"After reading about Nibiru, I got to thinking about extinction-level events (ELE), other planets, and ghosts," writes Jerry. "If ghosts exist and are around us now, what happens if an ELE destroys all life on Earth? Would ghosts remain or also be destroyed?"

Do good ghosts exist?

"Everything I read seems to be about bad ghosts," says Betty. "I have only had good or sometimes strange experiences, but not scary. Do good ghosts exist?"

Footsteps and voices: What is going on?

"We are sure we have something in our house and could really do with your help," says Pete. "We have experienced footsteps around the house, things being moved, unexplained voices, and being touched. Both my partner and I have woken up with unexplained marks on our bodies and we would really like to get to the bottom of what's going on as it is starting to affect our lives."

How can I make my parents believe in ghosts?

"My parents are skeptics of paranormal phenomena," writes Jessica. "They've watched programs like The Haunting and still are not impressed. How do I make them believe in ghosts? Do they have to experience ghosts themselves?"

How do I communicate with a ghost?

"My wife and I live in mobile home," says David. "I have been awakened by the sound of the floor creaking just out side our bedroom. I have been awakened to a young girl laughing very loudly. It sounds like it is coming from our living room. I was wondering if there was a way that I could try to communicate with the little girl or tape or record this to see if it is just me dreaming or that there is something going on."

How do I get rid of a demon?

"I am dealing with a demon and it has been controlling my life and will not go away," writes A Fan. "I was hoping you would tell me if you know based on your paranormal research."

How Do I Get Rid of a Shadow Person?

"Could you please tell me how to get the shadow person out of my home?" writes Crystal S.

I'm hearing whispers. Can you help?

"I've been hearing whispers and seeing things," writes Nicole. "I'm pretty sure one of the contacts is my grandfather, who has been deceased for nine years. I'm not sure what to make of this anymore. I want to be skeptic... but I don't know. Can you help?"

Is there any way to get in touch with the dead?

Is there any way to get in touch with the dead?

Is there a scientific explanation for how the Ouija board works?

Is there a scientific explanation for how the Ouija board works?

Ouija board: Is it dangerous?

Is the Ouija board dangerous?

Can the Ouija board solve problems?

"I would like to know if the Ouija board can help with solving problems as well as give good advice," writes Dawn Rose.

Ouija board vs. ghost hunting: What's your opinion?

"Wondering what your opinion is on this," writes Connie. "I tell my kids never to mess with Ouija boards because you may be inviting yourself to unwanted entities, yet when I go on a 'ghost hunt' I call out to 'whomever' for signs of their presence or invite their touches, etc. So what's the difference, if any?"

Should I be concerned, curious about EVP?

"I began recording EVP," says Julie. "I was incredibly successful on my first try. I record voices on a digital device, and they are talking to me, but I can't see or hear them... and I'm NOT supposed to be concerned? Not the least bit curious?"

Should I try to talk to apparitions?

"I have seen spirits, one that looks about five years old and another the appears to be about three. I want to go further with this: trying to talk to them. I want to know who I should converse with and who I shouldn't."

The Vanishing Jacket

"I was at home and my friend left his jacket hanging on the back of my bedroom door," reports George. "A few days went by and my friend phoned and said, 'I'm near your house now. I'm coming to get my jacket.' So I went to get it from the back of my bedroom door... and it wasn't there...."

Was It My Dog's Ghost?

"On December 14, 2010, I had to put Tucker, my beloved golden retriever, to sleep," writes Peter F. "I was not ready to throw out his personal items, so I put his large stainless-steel bowl in the back of the pantry behind the sack of dog food. "Six weeks after his death... there in the middle of the kitchen floor was Tucker's bowl! Did Tucker do this himself?"

What ghost hunting equipment do I need?

"What equipment is recommended for ghost hunting?" asks Dylan. "My friends and I try to contact ghosts in my house, and we've had a lot of success lately! There have been misplaced items, banging on walls, apparitions in pictures, etc. We are also thinking of making a ghost hunting group of our own." Veteran ghost investigator Stacey Jones responds.

What is a ghost?

What is a ghost?

What is a haunting?

What is a haunting?

What is a poltergeist?

What is a poltergeist?

What is EVP (electronic voice phenomena)?

What is EVP (electronic voice phenomena)?

What is the apparition trying to say?

"My mother, who has been sick these past three years, says she was seeing people in her room," says Rosalva. "We used to think that it was because of her medication, but not long ago, the tall man appeared again and this time my mother woke my father and he saw the ghost. My mother doesn't feel frightened by the ghosts, but she thinks that they are trying to tell her something. We want to know what's going on."

What is the difference among a ghost, a poltergeist and a haunting?

What is the difference among a ghost, a poltergeist and a haunting?

What is Old Hag Syndrome?

What is Old Hag Syndrome?

What's the difference between spooklights and orbs?

"What is the difference between spooklights and orbs?" asks Laine. "I would really like to know since orbs have taken such a hit and gotten a bad name recently, yet spook lights are a real thing?"

What was that mysterious green light?

"There was a flash or electric lightning outside," says Alicia. "It buzzed and was watching me, kind of swaying like it stood there face to face with me. I got so scared I stood up and started to run with the dog following me. It hit me and I fell. Half of my body felt weird. What do you think it could be?"

The White Lady of Durand Eastman Park: Any information?

"Do you have any information on the The White Lady of Durand Eastman Park in Rochester, New York?" asks Tony M. "I live not too far from there and it's always been an interest to me about the history of her. If there's any information that you could share it would be deeply appreciated."

Why can't I see ghosts?

"I am your average 52-year-old male," says Paul. "I watch the paranormal shows on TV. My question is: Why can't I see spirits or feel spirits? I would like to. Is there anything I can do to increase my own ability to see or hear spirits? I guess what I am asking is, Do I have any control at all? Can I learn it? Am I doing something wrong?"

Why don't they help ghosts move on?

"I watch many paranormal shows," writes Jill, "and my question is this: Why don't the people on these shows try to release the spirits? I was just reading your article where the little girl's spirit on the Queen Mary was mentioned. Why aren't people trying to free spirits like her? I can't see why they would leave little children's spirits to wander like that, or the spirits of victims who were murdered. Don't these spirits deserve to move on to a happier place?

Why do some spirits remain?

"I was wondering if you have an explanation for why some spirits 'go on' to where they need to, and others seem to be 'trapped' on the earthly plane," writes Bonita. "It is especially upsetting to hear innocent little children who are left behind and continue to search for their parents (like the little girl on the Queen Mary).

What Was That Unexplained Fog or Smoke?

"My husband and I witnessed a strange phenomenon," says Kelly. "We were sitting in our living room. Just then a puff of smoke or fog rushed between us, stopped in front of our faces, swirled up, and quickly vanished. We don't smoke... no open windows. To me it was definitely a spirit. I would like to know, but I'm not willing to do something to cause my family harm."

Will an angry ghost hurt us?

"My dad passed away December 10," says Cathy. "Is it possible that he is here? My mom swears that she saw and heard him the other night. He was really angry because she is going through some stuff and getting rid of unusable items. She is worried that he will hurt her. I don't think he can, but you never know.... Can he? Or is that just the grief that is making her mind play tricks on her? Should I do a test to see if he is there, or should I just let it ride? What do I do?"