For our discernment:
MORE SUMMER ODDITIES AT A TIME WHEN 'GHOST' SHOWS AND VIDEOS OR IMAGES ON INTERNET SEEM EVERYWHERE
Exorcists occasionally mention ghosts -- "disembodied spirits" -- in cases they investigate: the factor of unsettled souls.
Such is the case with famous ones such as Father Gabriel Amorth of Rome (who performed an exorcism with John Paul II).
Sometimes it's difficult to tell between souls of the deceased who seemed to be "earthbound" and demons. Both can be nettlesome. Both can cause fright. Both can cause ill effects. Neither should be around.
In the case of the earthbound, they should be "prayed to the Light," while, in the Name of Jesus, demons should be "cast out." Often it helps to simply praise and thank God over and again until a place that seems plagued by the unseen settles down. The occult and "new age" infiltrate everywhere.
Never should they be summoned. Never should we communicate with them.
Ask Jesus to sweep your property clean.
We certainly have more reports of such things than ever. Largely this is because of the internet and cell phones. Cases that the media never allowed to see the light of day are suddenly out there on blogs and Youtube, while cameras in cell phones have allowed many to capture images they would have missed (for lack of a camera) in previous decades.
Add to this: security cameras. They're everywhere these days, and they have picked up some interesting lights, shadows, silhouettes, falling objects, and other oddities. Even outlets like Fox and CNN carry stories about them.
With all this, and especially Photoshop, there is another factor at play: hoax. No question there are tricksters out there. And they can be very clever. But also no question, some of it just plain doesn't look staged or manipulated.
Perhaps most impressive of late was the case of the Ellacoya Country Store in Guilford, New Hampshire, where employees have long heard strange sounds and whistling from no apparent source. The store was once somebody's home. And surveillance video last March (2014) caught a glass tray top mysteriously moving across and being thrown from a counter after an employee, Heidi Boyd, had left the room (she came back in running). The images are here (though caution: this is an English tabloid).
At another store was the assertion that a security camera caught something unseen pushing a shopping cart to a ramp and making a right turn. Was someone pulling it with a string? That was also the claim of one "debunker" in New Hampshire (though we can't see where he really made his case in the latter one).
Pubs in Europe are a favorite. We can attest to the fact that they can be spooky places (had quite a night of it one time in Armagh, Ireland, and not because of the spirits served at the bar).
Footage from Bolton, England, claims to show a ghostly image in the window of a 763-year-old pub called Ye Olde Man and Scythe. (Now: something with a name like that has to be haunted, no (see here)? They say something strange can be seen in a first-floor window.
We are often reluctant to run images. Sometimes, they can transmit a sensation. It is certainly good not to overly dwell on them. But fools die for lack of knowledge and a lack of knowledge (of God's goodness) leads some poor souls, it seems, historically, to cling to this earth (like purgatorial souls, they need our prayers).
And so we occasionally discuss them (check back here around the end of October).
We have our share in many places in North America also. Just visit Canada's lovely old town called Niagara-on-the-Lake! (Or Gettysburg, or Savannah, which get downright creepy, if also touristy).
A "ghost" made TV news at the Maid-Rite Restaurant in Iowa, causing items to tumble off a shelf above a cook. (A week before a shadow was captured on cameras.)
It is a delicate balance, between knowing what is helpful to know and falling prey to curiosity.
In Dubai is a luminous man at a prayer service, swathed in cloth; ditto in Bogota, Colombia. In China one is said to be on an elevator (we could see it). There are strange figures seen running at sporting events -- across the stands. A priest who "sees" such things once told us that spirits hang out where there are many people (to draw from their energy). One video shows a strange "shadow figure" moving oddly across the stands at Hernando Siles Stadium in Bolivia during a soccer match (like so many, making TV news: un fantasma?)
He always brings the Blessed Sacrament to malls and airports.
Everywhere is a good place to pray.
Do we pray for all the souls in purgatory each day?
Sometimes, as in Miami, in 2009, there are ghostly images in car wrecks. Here are some creepy images. Just exercise discernment (and caution).
Can the supernatural inflect onto the natural? Of course. Can we imagine things? Same answer.
In one hospital, a very dark, eerie "demon" is seen walking over a person in bed. Not sure this is authentic. But Holy Water should always be on the nightstand.
One video seems to show a nebulous dark form rising upward from a fatal collision.
A TV crew, from Fox 43, on assignment in Hanover, Pennsylvania, claimed a reporter was attacked upon investigating a "poltergeist." This made CNN. The photojournalist, Nick Petrillo, felt his hand burning and saw a scratch on his wrist. "I felt like hot metal," he said. "I've never felt anything like this in my life. I never believed in it before this happened." A door was filmed closing of its own accord.
Movements. Orbs. There is a history of grisly deaths in the place.
Only those who are unfamiliar with the hazard "investigate" hauntings.
They are best left to prayer.
"Ghosts" are often demons. Shadow men.
Distance yourself from that which may afflict you.
Never harbor ghostly entertainment (including shows on TV).
In Mitchell, Indiana, two sets of footsteps in a large old Victorian home: one of a child (said to have died there). The other loud and stomping [see report].
"Many agree there are things that bite, growl and push in Whispers Estate. But for ghost hunters and the curious, the lighter steps in the home are almost welcomed. Rachael Gibbons, the adopted daughter of Dr. John and Jessie Gibbons, is one of the children believed to throw jacks in the home and roll balls in the empty rooms or down the hall. Many visitors have formed almost a love affair with the spirit of the little girl who tragically died in the home. Rachael was in this room on around Christmas Day in 1912, sneaking a peak at Christmas gifts is the main story, and she got too close to an open flame -- knocked over an open flame," Renier explained. "A fire ensued, and she died two days later in the upstairs bedroom," says a news item. "Burn marks from that awful day still remain on a pocket door between the parlor and the dining room, and many believe the child's spirit lingers, as well."
Summer oddities. Also: prayer needs.
Advanced spirits never frighten; spirits from Heaven never "haunt."
--Michael H. Brown, 8/8/14
[Note also: Michael Brown retreats: Connecticut and Announcing two retreats in California]
[resources: The Spirits Around Us and An Exorcist Tells His Story]
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