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Apparition Types: "Haunting"

Started by PPI Tracy, April 22, 2010, 04:37:31 PM

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PPI Tracy

(reposted from "Public Parapsychology")

The term apparition, from the Latin word apparere (meaning ?to show oneself?), may be formally defined as:

An experience, usually visual but sometimes in other sense-modalities, in which there appears to be present a person or animal (deceased or living) ... who/which is in fact out of the sensory range of the [witness]? (Thalbourne, 2003).

In other words, it is the experience of the presence of a person or animal ? living or dead ? that is not actually there, which seems to occur primarily through sight, but at times can seem to occur through the other senses (sound, smell, taste, and touch). This term is a bit broader than the more popular term ghost (from the German word geist for ?mind? or ?spirit?), which refers to the apparition of a deceased person, usually in connection with a haunting. 

There are actually several known types of apparitions that have been documented by psychical researchers and parapsychologists since the late 19th century.
They include: crisis apparitions, post-mortem apparitions, deathbed visions, haunting apparitions, and apparitions of the bystander-type. 


As many paranormal enthusiasts are probably all too aware, most of the apparitions seen at allegedly haunted sites do not take the form of the classic ghost of folklore, instead appearing as shadowy forms, floating lights, and hazy mist-like clouds. It seems that, in most cases, these kinds of apparitions are more likely to have a geophysical and/or psychological explanation (for reviews, see Persinger, 1974, Pt. II; Persinger & Koren, 2001; Roll & Persinger, 2001), and are less likely to be indicators of survival. However, there have been a few rare cases in which apparently well-defined apparitions of deceased human individuals have been repeatedly seen over time in the places where they once lived or worked. One such case is the ?Gordy? case, initially investigated in the late 1980s by Dr. William Roll (in Roll & Persinger, 2001, p. 160), which we briefly summarize here:

Soon after moving to a new home with her family, a little girl named Heidi Wyrick had met a man in her neighborhood named ?Con,? who invited her to play on a swing. When Heidi asked for permission to do so, her mother asked about Con and Heidi described him as ?having blood all over.? Concerned that Con may be a kidnapper or a child molester, Heidi?s parents had the neighborhood searched for the man, but were unable to find him. A short time later, Heidi began speaking of regularly meeting with another man in the neighborhood named ?Mr. Gordy? to play on the swing, and her parents figure that Con and Mr. Gordy are the girl?s imaginary playmates. Eventually they discover that an elderly gentleman named James Gordy, as well as a man named ?Lon,? had actually lived in the neighborhood many years back, and that Lon had lost his hand in a machinery accident. The descriptions that Heidi gave of the two men were later found to closely match photographs of them (she was also able to correctly pick them out of a random collection of old photos), and Roll could find no normal way in which Heidi could have learned about them prior to her family?s discovery of their identities

The Gordy case seems to contain a possible parapsychological component, in that it suggests that Heidi was able to somehow psychically perceive the apparitions of people who had once lived in her local surroundings. How might we come to better understand this?


Let's discuss.  Your thoughts?  {8I

PPI Tracy

This makes me think about the situation in my own neighborhood.  I think it is interesting that many of us have seen the same apparition of a tall, skinny man, gray suit, top hat.  Is this someone who used to live on the land, work on the land or nearby?  Why is this person still there?  What ties them to that place.  Are they looking for someone or do they feel they have unfinished business?  These are all questions that many of us would like to know.