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Is There a Law for Becoming a Ghost?

Thanks to the Haunted Formula AutumnForest is working on over at Ghost Hunting Theories and Lisa Logan’s Where Would YOU Haunt guest blog, I can’t stop wondering: is there a law to becoming a ghost?

You know, like the Law of Gravity, the Law of Attraction…is there a Law of Lingering? (For lack of something else to call it.)


In a previous post I wrote about how AutumnForest is using six criteria to determine whether some places may be more predisposed to hauntings than others. Basically, she’s trying to figure out if certain conditions must exist before a person’s spirit could remain behind somewhere.

I’ve thought this is a very interesting way to examine haunted places, but now it really has me wondering some things. Especially after Lisa’s post yesterday.


Maybe you can pick where you’d like to haunt. Maybe you don’t have to die there necessarily. But can you only haunt places where the conditions will allow you to? (This is assuming you need certain conditions, such as proximity to water, sand/granite/limestone/or other such “conductors” that seem to appear in many environments where ghosts “live”…basically the criteria AutumnForest proposes in her Haunted Formula.)

So now I’m starting to think about how it is ghosts come to be differently than I was before. All of this has raised a whole new batch of questions, such as:

  1. If there’s something to the Haunted Formula, can ghosts still haunt places that don’t have conditions conducive to letting them “live” there? (For instance, if someone dies in a place without the necesaary elements, can a ghost still manifest, or do they “feed” off certain elements to live?)
  2. Why is it some people’s spirits remain behind at all? I guess this is the question most ghost enthusiasts want the answer to, but now I’m thinking about it in a different way than I used to. I used to think you either died suddenly, or tragically, or with unfinished business, or just so much love for a place you wanted to stay there forever. But now I’m wondering if maybe there’s physical properties about places that make it easier for people’s spirits to remain behind…if they want to stay behind. But what if they don’t want to stay behind? Which brings me to the next question…
  3. Are ghosts made by choice or by circumstance? Meaning, when we die, do we have the option to become a ghost if we so choose? Or is it the place, specifically elements about the place, that sort of “trap” them and don’t let people’s spirits leave? (Maybe there’s something about places with residual hauntings in particular that act as “recorders” instead of traps, but with intelligent hauntings…that’s what I really wonder about. Are the spirits there by choice or because they can’t leave?
  4. And what if it’s not about the physical elements of a place? What if ghosts don’t want to go to the Beyond (for lack of knowing what’s really After this life) so they stay Here. Or, what if the Universe is the greatest recycler of all and some ghosts exist because there wasn’t a new body for them to go into at the moment of their death?
  5. How would the major religions of our world reconcile their beliefs if somehow one day we are able to prove there are ghosts, we find a way to communicate with them, and we understand how it is they come to be and what it takes for them to exist?

I don’t know if there’s a law to becoming a ghost or not, but maybe one day with all these different people investigating the paranormal we might find out. (Who knows, the next Einstein or Newton might be out there right now as we speak on the verge of making the next great discovery!)

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 in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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3 thoughts on “Is There a Law for Becoming a Ghost?

  1. Interesting theory! I'm thinking the laws can be broken, or we wouldn't have the unusual ghost we have at our house. She's a "historical period" ghost haunting our modern apartment, as out of place as a clown in a funeral home. Mayhap a subject for another Haunt Jaunt guest blog?


  2. Thanks so much for referring to my formula. I'm glad it has you thinking. The more I learn with applying it, the more I'll be able to tweek it, but ultimately the goal is to find out why some places are haunted, others are not. Even with the ideal elements, sometimes a haunting doesn't occur, other times with what seem like rather weak conditions, they do occur. I've always taken the attitude that the right people on site can actually either: a. pick up the activity because they're sensitive or b. cause it to stir up by their own psychic energy. Can a place be haunted when no one is present? That's the old "tree falling in the forest, does anyone hear" scenario. I hope to continue narrowing down the types of hauntings and types of physical conditions necessary so that some day we can say "if it's atop of granite and near a waterway–it's going to be poltergeist" and such… I'm not totally convinced that people leave an imprint where they die necessarily–I used to work in a hospital ER and witnessed many people die and I must admit that the place did not feel terribly active, except perhaps the first few minutes after a passing, you could feel the air kind of charged, thick, and hard to breathe, then it seemed to dissipate. I also have a theory that ghosts aren't linear like we think, "one spirit, one body." I think that a spirit can be in multiple places and not stressed by the limitations they had in a human form. That's why folks see their dead relative at the same time in different parts of the country… That's just my take on it so far. Ask me in a couple years and I might have refined that theory.

  3. Lisa…LOL about the "clown in a funeral home!" Another classic! And YES, please feel free to guest blog away!!!

    And AutumnForest…wow. There you go making me think some more! I like yor non-linear hypothesis. I think there's something to that.

    Also, I'm not as inclined to believe our spirits are tied to where we died. (Again, that's my whole attachment theory. I think we haunt where or what we were most attached to.)

    And I really related to what you said about activity just pre or post death. The evening my mom passed in the hospice the air changed. I wasn't there when she actually went, but I was there as she was approaching and "charged" is an EXCELLENT way to put it. It reminded me of the energy I'd felt when I was in the delivery room as my friend's daughter was being born…except it was sadder. And I felt like something was there to take my mom. (And also that it wanted me out of the room when it did it. But not in a mean way. It wasn't menacing or hostile…if anything it was compassionate.)

    As usual, great comments again, ladies!

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