I decided to ask my father to help me write this month's article. It seemed appropriate since my E-Zine topic right now is GHOSTS, and since my father has now been dead five years...
The definition of ghost and spirit is as varied as the number of books and years they were published. However, the general consensus agrees with Sylvia Browne, one of the nation's most popular psychics, that ghosts are people that have died who are either not aware they are dead or remain because they are caught in a very strong emotion (fear, anger, love etc). Spirits, on the other hand, is the part that we all are, that, at death, goes "to the light" and feels only joy and love. For me personally, through all the thousands of pictures I've seen, the many haunted abodes I have visited, and numerous ghostly encounters I have had, I think a ghost is energy, wrapped in very strong emotion that makes a vibrational imprint on this, our dimension. I also think these ghosts all have a story to tell and all are able to go "to the light" and become again, a pure spirit.
One of my father's stories when I was a child sparked my life long interest in the Other World. My father's grandfather sought political asylum in this country from Ireland. He settled in West Virginia and, with his considerable wealth, bought acres of property there and eventually married an illiterate girl and raised a family. Through this grandfather, and probably with a mixture of Irish folklore and Appalachian superstition, the ghost story of the baby with brass buttons was told. It seems for generations that a baby, dressed in a long burial gown with large brass looking buttons would be seen in the windows of a house where there would shortly be a death. The ability to see this apparition was passed through the males of the family. I lost a brother, but my father was so ill himself at the time, that I did not and could not ask him if the baby foretold. My father is now gone and we children are getting older. As Death makes his rounds in the coming years, I hope I have the courage to ask one of my remaining four brothers "Did the baby come?" Perhaps, one of us after all these years, will be able to direct this little ghost, so drawn to impending grief, to find it's way to spirit.
The first auditory ghost experience I had was at about 9 years old. Our family had temporarily moved into a house with the only restriction that the attic, where the previous deceased owner's stuff was still stored, was off limits. Beginning shortly after we all moved in, we would all occasionally hear a baby cry. Now we were a large family and my Mother was nine months pregnant, but this was the cry of a new baby. One day, I was home from school recovering from some childhood illness and feeling better and bored. My mother, in her last month of pregnancy, was feeling about the same. She decided that we would just peek into the attic. Like two people ready to commit a crime, we crept into the closed up attic and was immediately met with disappointment. No old doll houses, or glorious dusty books, or clothes of a by gone era. It was a clutter of trash, and not one clue to the woman who once put it there! We were about to leave when in the corner, separate and plain was a box. We decided that we had come this far, so we might as well look. Inside the box, lying on faded silk was the skeleton of a baby. My brother was born a few days later and I like to believe, as the Catholics, that a soul enters a child at conception and not at birth, because after my brother's first surprised gasp of air.....the ghostly baby we heard ......never wept again.