Can Ghosts Hurt You?

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Have you ever wondered if ghosts or spirits can hurt the living? The simple answer is that yes ghosts are capable of harming living people and creatures, but probably not in the way you may imagine, or have seen in a horror film.

In this article I want to talk about the ways in which a ghost can harm living things, other explanations for what seems like harm, why they may want to harm you, and what you can do to protect yourself.

Let’s start by talking a little bit about the typical explanations for perceived “harm” from ghosts or spirits.

Can Ghosts Hurt You

There are many times that people have reported being harmed by ghosts, but first, we need to talk about why ghosts would even want to hurt someone. There are circumstances where a ghost might have reason to want to hurt someone, but most of the time there is no intent, and harm is either a misinterpretation or accidental.

It is rare that ghosts or spirits would actually have any kind of malicious intent, meaning they actually set out to hurt someone. For the most part, harm from a ghost is not how you normally perceive it, as physical damage to your body. The reason for this is that ghosts do not exist in the same physical plain as us, even though it is possible to see them, that does not mean they exist with us here on earth, rather we are simply seeing a representation of their energy in the purgatory that they reside.

So, if they don’t exist in our physical plain, and are likely not capable of harming us physically, then how do they harm us? Well, there are a few ways that it is possible, and the one that is probably most common is an emotional or psychological pain.

How Can Ghosts Harm People?

Emotional And Psychological Pain

Harm certainly does not have to be physical. Humans are very capable of harming other humans by inflicting emotional or psychological pain. Mental torture, yelling at someone, berating someone, lying to someone, inflicting fear or terror in someone are all examples of ways that a person can hurt another person. Many of these same methods could theoretically be used by a ghost or spirit to inflict harm.

I would say that in the vast majority of cases where someone reports that they believe they were harmed by a ghost or a spirit, it did not happen intentionally, and likely it was accidental, unintentional, or perhaps was not a ghost at all. So ghosts and spirits almost never have any intent of harming us, but yet sometimes they still do, why does this happen?

Well, one way is likely just a miscommunication issue. Ghosts exist on a different plain and must use many different methods of communication than we are used to, and this can be quite frightening. For example, in my article about cold spots, we talk about what cold spots are and how we interpret them. Usually, these cold spots are formed when a ghost or spirit appears, and energy is being absorbed to allow for this transfer. The ghosts are not trying to frighten people when they appear, but the cold spots can actually be quite unnerving. This is just one example of the type of miscommunication that can be interpreted as harm.

Ghosts and spirits can also be extremely frightening for those would are not seeking them out or trying to encounter them. You’ve no doubt watched movies and television shows where people have been horrified and crumbled from terror when encountering the unexplained. In fact, almost all horror movies portray these kinds of experiences. Although these are overplayed in Hollywood, it is certainly true that people get scared when confronted by a ghost or spirit.

Physical Harm and Poltergeists

In order to talk about physical harm from ghosts or spirits, we also need to talk about poltergeists. The reason for this is that the definition of a poltergeist is essentially a ghost or spirit that is responsible for physical harm or disturbances.

In folklore poltergeists (from German for “Noisy Ghost”) have been known to physically harm living people, including biting, pinching, hitting, even tossing objects at them. Poltergeist disturbances and cases of harm have been reported all around the world and their first known accounts date all the way back to the 1st century.

There have also been dozens of reported stories of people being pushed down stairs during paranormal investigations or ghost hunts. Although many people explain these away by the person having slipped or tripped while frightened, and later blaming a ghost or poltergeist, it is hard to explain them all away.

There have been many real cases of poltergeists harming people, and I won’t cover them all for the purposes of this post, but I want to cover a few that are good examples of harm being caused.

Stories Of Ghosts Or Poltergeists Causing Harm
Poltergeist Of Enfield Council House

Late in the year 1977 at a home in Enfield UK, a family began hearing odd noises in their home. Out of the four children residing in the home, two began hearing knocking on the walls so loud it would wake them from sleep. The family would try to find the cause of the noise but was never able to. Finally, as the noises continued, the police were called to investigate. A police constable then saw a chair in the home “wobble and slide” and then later reportedly heard screams and loud noises.

Later on, the family, as well as others, visiting the home witnessed things such as rocks being thrown, chairs being turned over, and even the children themselves being levitated off the ground dropped.

Over the next 18 months, late into 1978, more than 30 different people that included neighbors, paranormal investigators, ghost hunters, journalists, and police all reported mysterious happenings such as heavy furniture moving on its own and objects being hurled seemingly out of nowhere. Newspapers all over the country began reporting on the ghost. Although the happenings later subsided, and reports died off, paranormal investigators and researchers are confident it was a poltergeist attempting to scare and harm the family until they moved, which they eventually did.

The Mackie Poltergeist

In the late 1600’s a Minister by the name of Alexander Telfair wrote about some mysterious happenings. A man named Andrew Mackie lived at a farm called the Ring-Croft of Stocking. Reportedly, there was a string of scary and strange things that happened such as stones being thrown seemingly out of nowhere at people, buildings set on fire, family members of the farmer beat and dragged about and even notes written in blood. Most of these occurrences were witnessed but still unexplained. Some of the victims noted that they felt ghostly arms controlling them.

Eventually, a group of clergymen including Alexander Telfair gathered around the farm and prayed for a substantial amount of time, after which the trouble suddenly stopped, many believe because the poltergeists that had been causing the trouble finally moved on. 

Common Explanations For Ghosts Hurting People

Although there have been many reports of ghosts causing emotional (or possibly physical) harm to people, the vast majority of cases can be explained away through simple means. For example, famous paranormal investigator Frank Podmore proposed a theory that about 90% of reported poltergeist cases could be explained by what he called the “naughty little girl theory.” From his experience, at the center of almost every reported poltergeist was a young kid trying to scare or trick people for his/her own pleasure.

Noted paranormal skeptic Joe Nickell had a similar belief that all poltergeist reports actually came from people just trying to cost mischief. He once said: “In the typical poltergeist outbreak, small objects are hurled through the air by unseen forces, furniture is overturned, or other disturbances occur — usually just what could be accomplished by a juvenile trickster determined to plague credulous adults.”

Another possibility for perceived harm from ghosts, spirits, or poltergeists is that it is the results of delusions or hallucinations. Psychologist Donovan Rawcliffe once wrote that although nearly every reported case of a ghost causing harm was actually the result of trickery, the remaining cases can all be explained by delusions of hallucinations.

If you’ve read my enormous guide on the best EMF meters for ghost hunting you know that one of the most common ways to identify the presence of a ghost or spirit is spikes in EMF radiation. However, high levels of EMF radiation can be explained by all sorts of things such as:

  • Proximity of cell towers
  • Wiring in the walls
  • Local WiFI
  • Installation of 5g mini-towers
  • Etc.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that it is completely possible for a ghost or spirit to cause harm, however, there are little instances where a ghost would have reason to want to cause harm. Even in the rare circumstances where you might be able to find a motive, actual instances of harm being perceived can be explained away by tricks or pranks.

Ultimately you really do not need to be concerned about a ghost harming you, and this shouldn’t be something that you actually worry about. Ghost hunting can be an exciting and enlightening process and you should not be worried. Nearly all ghosts and spirits are simply existing because they have not been able to move on. If you want to know more about ghosts, spirits, or paranormal investigations, in general, I’d encourage you to look around Paranormal School!

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