What does the Bible say about ghosts?

And what it doesn’t say

Are ghosts real? I am sure this is not the first time that question has been posed to you and it doesn’t help that the answer is often subjective. I personally have remained undecided. I have had paranormal experiences; experiences that despite my logical approach to problems I have not been able to explain.

But what if I push it a step further? Are ghosts real according to the Bible? The Bible has many things to say about the afterlife. And with the spooky season approaching, questions about ghosts and ghouls are on our minds, and I love to ask these kinds of questions. 

Furthermore I am not the first Christian to ask this question. In the gospel of Luke chapter 24, one of the disciples saw Jesus walking on water and the passage reads: “While Jesus’ disciples were talking about what had happened, Jesus appeared and greeted them. They were frightened and terrified because they thought they were seeing a ghost.” 

So if Jesus’ disciples get to ask this question, I feel you and I get to ask it too. 

There is also one other mention of ghosts in the Bible; one that has scared me a little since the first time I read it. When King Saul visits the witch of En Dor to speak to the prophet Samuel who had died. 

King Saul was able to speak to Samuel but he would have been better off not seeking him out at all since God specifically commands not seeking out the dead. First Samuel 28 verses 3 through 20, a big chunk of text — basically, Samuel is like, “Why did you bring me back from the dead?” and then tells Saul that the next day he and his sons will join him in the afterlife. Pretty crazy shit there. 

This exact passage is why I don’t mess around with tarot cards, mediums, psychics, witchcraft or anything else that falls under that umbrella. I have no interest in learning about my future because when Saul did it when he talked to a ghost, he died the next day.

That’s all without saying that if you believe the Bible to be true, you also believe that there are such things as demons. Jesus cast out demons from a man and when he asked the demons what their names were they said, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” Which is, ya’ know, horrifying. 

But as much evidence I have presented to you saying that there are ghosts, there is some evidence saying otherwise. Hebrews 9:27: “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,”. This suggests that immediately after we die, we go to face judgment. 

Other verses refer to death as “the long sleep.”  The hardest part about this topic is the Bible doesn’t truly confirm or deny the existence of ghosts. If you believe the Bible to be true, then we can be sure that the devil and demons are real, but ghosts are a grey area.

You can pull up countless passages, argue and compare, debate and converse but, ultimately this isn’t the kind of question that determines salvation. And as a result, not a lot of information is available on that topic biblically. 

What I can tell you is that I have had supernatural experiences. And I do think there’s a world beyond this one that we cannot see; things that science can’t really explain. 

I have had experiences like that. I have had them all over the country. I have heard footsteps and felt malicious entities. Whether those were ghosts or not I cannot say. As October continues I will be talking about some of these experiences here in the paper and for the final special issue, the Spooktrum, the week of Halloween. 

If I had to put money down on an answer, I would say no, there is no such thing as ghosts. I think when we die, we are either going upstairs or downstairs. However in terms of spirits, I believe we all have souls and are spiritual beings, but our souls do not linger once we have left this earth. 

Which means that all the supernatural encounters I have had have been entities not of this world at all. So I would implore you, dear reader, to be extra careful when messing around with spirits because you never know who, or what, will answer your call. 

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