I own a haunted inn in Connecticut called Captain Grant's, 1754—built in, you guessed it,1754. In back of the home is a cemetery dating to the mid-1600s, and across the street is a new cemetery dating to the 1800s. This long history amplifies the paranormal activity at the inn. In doing the research for my book, The Ghosts of Captain Grant's Inn I held hundreds of sessions talking with the spirits in the home. I did this with divining rods, crystals, and a bit of good intuition.
What I have learned is somewhat different than many of the beliefs of the ghost hunters and guests that frequent the inn. Although many people may disagree with me, I decided to tell you what I have learned. You decide for yourself. Below are five myths about ghosts that I'd like to debunk.
- Myth: Ghosts Do Not Exist.
Think of this. There are currently over eight billion people on the planet, and articles about population growth have stated that about the same amount have died since man began. If you believe in heaven and a soul created by God, then I ask you this: Where have all of those eight billion souls gone? Heaven? Hell? Purgatory? What I was told by the spirits was that the soul leaves the body at the exact moment of death. If this is true, they don't go to the grave. This is what I have reasoned to probably be closer to the truth.
Maybe some go to heaven. I don't believe that anyone goes to hell. I believe that there will be a judgment day and hell for some will be decided then. Maybe a few chosen very good people will be in heaven when they die. The vast majority lie somewhere in between. They are here with us on a plane that we cannot see. Billions of them. There lies the problem of believing: as humans we want everything proven to us. If I can't see it, it does not exist. You need to show me.
A strange thing about this denial is that more women believe in ghosts than men. Since we have had over 35,000 people stay at the inn, I have a good sample from which to pick.
There are people who are terrified of ghost; I blame Hollywood for this. "Have you ever seen anyone like Freddy Kruger?" Probably not. We have more dangerous living people than we do dead ones. And, by the way, if you are terrified, then you do believe ghosts exist. Otherwise, why would you be scared?
Ghosts are caught on all types of equipment. Pictures are captured on a regular basis. Voices are recorded. Psychics know something they have no normal way of knowing. It is time that the world accepts that ghosts are real.
- Myth: Ghosts Only Appear at Night.
Ghosts are with us twenty-four hours a day. Think about it. Why would they only be available at night? It doesn't make any rational sense. Most of the ghost pictures that I have captured were actually taken during the day.
When ghost hunters come to search for evidence at the inn they insist on being able to stay during the night. Why? Do they believe something about a timeline for spirits? A vampire existence where they can't come out during the day or they burn up? This is simply not true. The spirits' sense of time is totally different than ours. They have told me that they live in the fourth dimension called time. That would make it possible for them to appear in a lesser dimension. When they do they are no longer in their timeline, but instead are in ours.
Ghosts need energy to manifest themselves. Since they are energy, being in the light makes it more difficult to see them, but they are there. At night energy is more apt to show itself, though an exception to this rule can be made for cameras that can see them equally well during the day and at night.
Think about this: when lightning strikes during the day, it is not as often seen; when it strikes at night, it is almost always seen. But even during the day, we hear the "crack" and the ensuing thunder, so we know that lightning has struck somewhere, even without seeing it.
- Myth: All Ghosts Are Evil.
My husband and I have had several people leave the inn once learning it was haunted because of their belief that all spirits are evil. This idea simply is not true. In our world, there is good and there is evil. When good people die, why would their souls become evil? I believe that this is a distorted fact propagated by the teachings of fear in certain religions. When I first began to communicate with the spirits, I was also in doubt about whether or not this was something that I should do. One weekend I had two priests stay at the inn. I asked them about all spirits being evil. One of the priests said, "What about Saints Peter and Paul?" That made the issue go away for me.
Guests have told me that Satan can disguise himself and pretend to be someone benevolent. This may be true, but when you focus on that answer you lose all perspective of what happens after death. You deny all of the good souls that have gone before us. I also found out from the spirits that benevolent spirits and evil spirits don't occupy the same habitat; in other words, they don't hang out together. If there is a place where terrible, unexplained phenomenon is occurring, I wouldn't go there. I don't want to be influenced by anything evil. But, the vast majority of hauntings are safe.
- Myth: Only Some Places Are Haunted.
To this, I beg to differ. I take my rods everywhere that I go, and I have only been in one place where I was unable to contact a spirit. (It happened to be a shop that sold paranormal paraphernalia...How ironic!) I believe that spirits are everywhere. Most don't let themselves be known. Remember those eight billion souls? They have to be somewhere. If you ask them to leave, more than likely they will go or they will become silent. If you talk to them they will likely stay. I have found that they like to communicate with the living.
- Myth: There Has to Be a Tragedy to Have a Haunting.
I am asked quite often if someone died in Captain Grant's Inn, the supposition being that that is the reason the home is haunted. I tell them that, prior to the 1950s, many people died at home, and they were laid out in the home's parlor rather than at a funeral home. (This is one of the reasons that the name "parlor room" became less popular and the name "living room" became more popular.) So, this could mean that all of the homes prior to 1950 that hosted wakes or where someone died would be haunted. There is no way to know if that is true or not.
A murder taking place in a particular location is said to be another cause of a haunting, the thought being that the spirit might have unfinished business there. This does often seem to be the case, but it is only one of many causes of hauntings.
In short, there doesn't need to be a death or a murder associated with a location in order for it to be haunted. It could be just as likely that a grandma wants to be close to her grandchildren; she may want to be with them and try to protect them. Many people see their loved ones after they have died.
In my conversations with the spirits, I ask if anyone at the table with me (living) has a spirit that follows them; it is one of the most common questions to which I receive a yes answer. It is most often a caring relative that died, but it can also be a spirit that was assigned by God to watch over someone. This would be part of the spirit's atonement for the life it lived.
Great tragedies can also produce great hauntings. I think of Gettysburg, where so many thousands of men died a violent death. It is known as one of the most haunted places in America. Did you know that all of the bodies were recovered and buried elsewhere? I believe that this is evidence that the soul does not stay with the body, but it might stay where it met extreme violence.
- Myth: You Have to Believe in Order to Have a Paranormal Experience.
Whether or not you believe in ghosts or the paranormal has no bearing on whether or not you will have a paranormal experience. I have had guests that totally believed in the existence of ghosts; they want to see one or hear one almost to the point of having an obsession. I have explained to them that wanting is not the key, and that they may never see a ghost no matter how much they may wish to see one. Conversely, not believing will not protect you from a paranormal experience. (In The Ghosts of Captain Grant's Inn, I talk about a young actor who did not believe at all in the existence of ghosts. One morning, he awoke to an apparition stretched across his entire body. This is a tough way to learn that ghosts exist!)
Looking for more about my hauntings and ghosts? Read The Ghosts of Captain Grant's Inn for more about the story of the saints and spirits that helped me buy and renovate Captain Grant's Inn.