Do Sudden Violent Deaths Explain Ghosts?
By James Donahue
There has always been a mystery linked to the ghost stories that prevail all over the world. If the
human spirit is supposed to pass on into "the light" or into an astral existence after we die, why do some spirits appear
to be hanging around in the form of ghostly images that "haunt" older buildings, ships and historic places?
Melissa Van Rossum, a psychic, empathy and author, thinks she may have an answer. She addressed the
issue in a recent article for Ezine, an Internet publication.
Van Rossum explained that people who die an unexpected and sudden death pass so quickly from this
life into a spiritual existence that they sometimes don’t realize they are dead, or if they know it, they are in a state
of shock. Thus they tend to hang around the place where they died, or go to a place that is familiar to them like their home.
Van Rossum, who sees spirits of the dead and tries to help them go to what she calls "the other side,"
wrote about a man who died in a bus crash. "He was still stunned from all the events of his bodily death. He hadn’t
gone home earlier out of shock and disbelief of hos his body had died. I think for a while he didn’t quite realize he
How can spirits remain in a state of thinking they are still among the living? Van Rossum explained
that once the spirit leaves the body, they are no longer in pain. Sometimes, however, a person who dies in a violent attack
might remain stuck in the moment and relive the experience over and over again.
Fortunately, she writes that most people who die violently or tragically "move beyond those terrible
last moments very quickly. The suffering for them ended as soon as they left their bodies and their emotional healing began
at the same time."
That’s right. We are still ourselves after death and we experience emotions and guilt in dealing
with the lives we lived while on Earth, and sometimes because of our relationships with our family and friends.
Van Rossum has written about working with the spirits of suicide victims who realize the moment they
are dead that what they did was a terrible mistake. One man was afraid to face his deceased family because he had committed
suicide and believed the others would be mad at him for what he had done.
From personal experiences communicating with dead relatives, I believe Van Rossum is quite right in
her assessment of the spirit world. After my mother died my wife, Doris, who can communicate with the spirit world, helped
me make contact with her. She had been suffering from emphysema and a failing heart before lapsing into a coma and passing
on. In our first contact Mom seemed to be filled with joy to have suddenly been "healed" and talked as if she did not fully
understand that she had died.
Later Mom spoke of the wonderful garden she was in, and how grand it was to be able to "fly" anywhere
in the universe she wanted to go. She said she was sure that my father, a science fiction buff and scientist who was still
living, would love to experience what she was able to see. After that, she said she had decided to go on into the light. We
could not contact her any more after this.
So if spirits can easily move into the astral after death, why do we have so many haunted buildings
in the world? Are these the spirits of people who once lived, or are they something else?
I believe many of the ghosts among us have chosen to remain here. Even though they may know they are
dead, they feel comfortable staying in places that are familiar to them. My wife’s mother, Gladys, appears to be such
Gladys lived most of her life as somewhat of a shut-in. She lived in the same house, raised her children
there, saw most of her family precede her in death while living there, and never seemed to be able to leave the house more
than a few hours at a time. Whenever we took her someplace, she was always anxious to return home. She died in that house.
My wife and I inherited the property. We remodeled the old house and moved into it. It was not long
before we realized that Gladys was still living there with us. She spooked our dog constantly, and there were other indications
that she was still hanging around.
Having never had experience with ghosts prior to this, we experimented. First we succeeded in banishing
Gladys to the attic. Eventually she found her way back into the main part of the house again. This time she showed up with
the spirits of a dead uncle and brother. Eventually we acquired help and had the entire crew of ghosts sent on into the light.