Have you ever seen one of those shows on TV where paranormal experts go hunting for ghosts? Human beings have always been curious about the afterlife. What happens after we die? Do we continue to exist? If so, what is it like? Is it possible for people to die and not know they’re dead? Can the souls of the deceased refuse to meet their judgement? Is there any kind of paranormal or supernatural activity of any kind?
I am not a paranormal expert, and I do not claim to be. Yet, I have always had an interest in paranormal or supernatural activity. I have even read books on demonic activity. It is this interest-on top of some experiences I have, which will not be discussed here-that compels me to write on this topic. Much of the information you will find here will be my own opinion. Some of it will be factually based.
The first thing you might ask is, “David, do you believe in an afterlife?”
Since I am a Catholic Christian who believes in the Bible I must answer in the affirmative. I believe that when the body dies the soul goes to judgement. From there the soul may go permanently into eternal reward, eternal punishment, or temporal punishment.
Now you might ask me, “So you believe in ghosts then?”
My answer to this question is not as simple as yes or no. I believe in angels, demons, and human souls (both good and bad). So, in that sense, you might say I do believe in ghosts. Yet, if by ghosts you mean spirits that haunt Earth, my answer is a little more complex.
I do believe that human souls can appear on Earth after bodily death. I also believe that angels and demons can, have, and do appear on Earth from time to time. What I do not believe is that such entities as human souls remain on Earth after bodily death.
The soul is pure spirit. When it is unified with the body it is subject to all the frailties of the body. When the soul is free from the body, however, it is no longer subject to these weaknesses. I do not believe a human soul does not know when the physical body it is united to dies. Being pure spirit, the soul would be able to detect a difference in its “mode of existence”, shall we say.
I also do not believe that human souls can remain on Earth and avoid judgement after the physical body dies. Once the physical body dies the soul has no reason to remain on Earth. The soul has no need of physical objects, and its time on Earth is finished. Once the physical body dies, the soul is compelled to go to God, as it were. Hence, I do not believe that human souls remain permanently on Earth after the body dies to avoid judgement, haunt other people or places, or our of ignorance of the body’s death.
As a Catholic I do believe in the existence of Purgatory. Thus, I do believe souls there can be ordered by God to visit places they frequented in life. The purpose for this could be that the soul was too fond of the place whole on Earth. It could also have been a “near occasion of sin” for that soul on Earth.
I also believe that souls can visit Earth (should such be God’s will) after death to deliver messages. I also believe a soul whose body underwent a particularly traumatic death may frequent places connected-either directly, or indirectly-with their death. They may even appear to help us solve a mystery connected with their death.
It is my opinion that, more often than not, so-called paranormal activity is either the work of angels or demons. Being pure spirits, angels (good and bad) take up no amount of space, and they can take on any shape they wish. They can also imitate voices of human beings.
I would not say that demonic activity is more prominent than angelic activity; but I do think it is more misunderstood. It is my opinion that an awful lot of people blame the souls of deceased human beings for the activities that are actually caused by demons. Demons are very clever.
Delving too deep into demonology can be very dangerous. One must remember that demons do not usually want to draw attention to themselves. It serves their purposes better if they can fool us. Even if that means we cease to believe in their existence. That would explain why demons might often try to disguise themselves in various ways.
Much of my knowledge on demonic activity comes from reading various works about real cases. My favorites are by Fr. Gabriele Amorth, former exorcist for the Diocese of Rome. These works don’t just give signs of demonic activity, but ways in which we can fall victim to such.
I do not wish to go into detail here about such activity, but I can attest not only to the reality of the existence of demons, but to the reality of their activity, as well. There are three basic levels of demonic activity (outside of their normal attempts at tempting us to sin). The three levels are demonic oppression, obsession, and posession. Possession is the rarest and worst of the three.
I believe that every person on Earth has a guardian angel. I also believe that, while most people’s guardian angel is from the lowest choir (angels), some people do have a guardian angel from a higher choir. Some people, I believe, even have more than one guardian angel.
It is also my opinion that angels are active in our lives, and we usually don’t realize it. In fact, it seems to me that the role of angels is the least appreciated. We are much more likely to recognize demonic activity than angelic activity. This is sad, since angels (especially our guardian angels) are some of our greatest friends!
In summary, I do believe that souls continue to exist after the death of the body. I also believe that souls can visit Earth after bodily death; but I do not believe souls can avoid judgement, or are ever ignorant of the body’s death. I also believe in the existence and activity of both good and bad angels. Let me know what you believe about the paranormal and supernatural.
Peace in Christ,
David J. Pollard
American Catholic Solidarity