GHOSTS

(Investigator 25,  1992 July)


These are some of the recent headings in respectable Australian magazines. When people die in sad or tragic circumstances and their "spirit" allegedly stays around and manifests itself in some way it's called a "ghost" or "haunting".

For 47 years last century Port Arthur (Tasmania) was a penal settlement. Of 13,000 convicts who went there 1,800 never left. This has resulted in numerous stories of unexplained visions, lights, footprints, suicides, eerie feelings, etc. The Tourist Office there runs a "Ghost Tour" at nights.

In Adelaide The Chalet, a restaurant at Waterfall Gully, is claimed to be haunted because a fireman died there in the 1920s. Glenside Hospital has a ward that nurses refuse to enter at nights because a patient killed a nurse there in the 1940s. A police residence near Mount Barker is supposedly haunted and policemen refuse to live there now. A video was allegedly made which shows flying objects flying around the room,

Australia has hundreds of reports of ghosts and Britain probably thousands.

The idea of ghosts goes back to the dawn of history. Scientists, however, have virtually given up trying to pin them down since most turned out to be hoaxes, imagination, or lies. The evidence of near-death experiences and alleged reincarnations has also been explained other than by the idea that a "spirit" leaves the body. (See Investigator #6 and #17) Catholics think that ghosts are souls in Purgatory
souls in Heaven or Hell being unable to manifest themselves as ghosts. Appearances of the "blessed virgin" are a special case. The Virgin is in Heaven but is able to appear since she never died and so is not a ghost.

Popular phrases using the word "ghost" include:
Alleged cults result in cult-busters and alleged ghosts in ghostbusters. An article in Woman's Realm (February 20,1990) narrated some ghostly experiences and provided addresses of several research groups including the Grimsby Ghostbusters in the UK.
(M)


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