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What Makes Ghosts…Ghosts?

Clean Up 01A friend suggested I watch a series called Borgias. The other night I watched the first two episodes.

During the second episode, a diplomat or royalty or something from Turkey factors into the interests of two of the show’s main characters. Ever since we went to Istanbul, I perk up whenever Turkey is mentioned.

As I watched the two characters plot the Turkish character’s demise, I thought back to when we were in Turkey. Or even before we went. I used the Internet to research haunted places there. Found very little. Found even less while we were there.

Which was odd. Turkey is loaded with history and historical sites. If they ever develop their paranormal tourism there, it could be huge and extremely fascinating.

However, I’m not sure you’ll ever see Ghost Tours of Istanbul launched anytime soon. I discovered people have very different attitudes towards ghosts there than we have here. Or even from the attitudes people in other parts of Europe and Asia have. (I list both continents since Turkey, specifically Istanbul, occupies both.)

They believe in spirits of sorts…evil ones. Hence all the Evil Eyes we encountered there. But ghosts? As in any kind of remaining essence of people who once were? Not so much.

I’ve pondered this and have been perplexed by it ever since. What makes ghosts, ghosts? Do we have more active imaginations here than they have over there? Are we actually responsible for conjuring any ghosts or paranormal activity we think we experience by just wanting it to be? Or is it really there?

The more I jaunt, the more I believe in the majority of cases reported activity is embellished and/or there can be logical explanations for it. But then I think of some of the encounters I’ve had…specifically the one that haunts me the most, my haunted night at the Shilo Inn.

I heard giggling children. When it happened I thought it could be ghosts, but…naw. Just my sleepy brain playing tricks on me.

Before I stayed there, I had no idea six siblings had been murdered there. When I learned about the hotel’s tragic past, I was convinced I’d experienced the ghosts of the children.

But will I ever know? Nope. Maybe I didn’t really hear or sense children. Maybe I did. Again, I will never know.

And that’s what drives so many of us to keep searching, doesn’t it? We want to know what makes ghosts ghosts.

Istanbul felt ripe with paranormal possibilities. Or did it? Was I just presuming that since there were so many old buildings still standing with so much history associated with them that there should be ghosts associated with them too?

No one there gave any of that any never mind. Not even down at Ephesus, where I felt not so much the presence of supernatural entities as I did a crazy connection with the past.

It wasn’t as if I’d felt I’d lived there before. It actually had to do with these pizza-shaped symbols our guide pointed out to us.

This was not an ancient symbol for a pizzeria. Rather, it was a secret symbol to denote a gathering place for Christians.
This was not an ancient symbol for a pizzeria. Rather, it was a secret symbol to denote a gathering place for Christians.

I may have been a Roman in my past life. Or some kind of pagan. I was absolutely incensed by this image after our guide told us what it represented. It was a very strange feeling. Much like the ones I’ve gotten when I’ve sensed spirits are around…or what I presume to be spirits. But this had nothing to do with ghosts. Or maybe it did. Ghosts from my past lives.

Again, I’ll never know. I just felt so much hatred, betrayal, disgust upon seeing these symbols. The craziest thing was the words that echoed in my mind. They weren’t even my voice, it was almost like an EVP in my head, that shouted, “The audacity of those people coming here and making their religion the right one!”

It was as if a former resident who had lived in Ephesus during the time when it became Christianized was reliving it. Bizarre!

I apologize if this offends anyone reading this who is of the Christian faith. My present self is also not a Christian, but I don’t have any feelings of dislike against Christianity either. I’m of the Coexist mindset. I believe everyone should be free to worship however is best for them. There is no right or wrong to spirituality.

But apparently I wasn’t always like that. It’s lead me to exploring past life regression more seriously.

But I digress…I was simply intrigued how my questions of, “Are there ghosts here? Has anyone ever reported anything unusual happening?” were met when we were in Turkey.

Sometimes here people shake their heads and smile, maybe even laugh. In some cases they get mad and accuse me of being evil. There? I don’t know quite how to describe it. They just sort of dismissed me with polite smiles and almost all had the same response, “Oh, we don’t really believe in such things as ghosts. When you die, you’re gone.”

Very interesting. I tried and tried to find a ghost there. But none would show themselves.

So what makes a ghost a ghost? What do they need to exist? Some believe they need certain elements. Water. Rock. Stormy weather. Even railroad tracks have been said to help them manifest.

No one ever says they’re like Santa or fairies. You also need to believe in them for them to have life. The more I jaunt, the more I think that’s a necessary ingredient too.

What do you think?

 

 

 

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her on a tennis court somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
http://www.courtneymroch.com

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