When faced with the unknown, it’s easy to believe in Hollywood stereotypes. While there could be an occasional exception, I don’t believe we should fear the spirit world based on the movies and television shows we’ve viewed.

Little girl apparition

Common misperceptions regarding ghosts:

  1. All ghosts are evil. If ghosts are the souls of people who’ve passed away, logic dictates these spirits would represent all the same demeanors found among our population. I’ve personally encountered polite, joking, depressed, happy, angry and fun-loving energies.
  2. Ghosts always appear disfigured, gruesome or dead-looking. One of my biggest fears upon learning I could sense spirits was that I’d see specters with rotting flesh. But that hasn’t happened. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite. One example was when a friend took a photo of a soldier apparition at a Civil War battlefield. You’d think if any spirit would look disfigured, it’d be there. Instead, the picture revealed a young man in uniform.
  3. Ghosts have super-human strength; they can drag adults out of bed and into the underworld. Nothing can haul us off to hell against our will. And, just the amount of energy required to do this would take an amazing amount of energy. To think I’m impressed when spirits can move small, inanimate objects!
  4. Ghosts exist to cause problems for unsuspecting humans. Energies have their own reasons for staying in or visiting our realm. They don’t need the additional burden of messing with bodied people.
  5. Ghosts are demons. I see demons as energies that were never people and I believe encounters with them are rare (see my post: “Demons Use Fear as Their Gateway”). Plus, we’re protected from them when we ask for the Most Divine’s protection.
  6. Ghosts can force you to perform evil acts against your will. You always have control over yourself. The Great I Am gives us power over the energies that visit our realm. You’ll only do evil if you want an excuse to do so.
  7. If you help a ghost with an unresolved issue, it’ll harm you afterwards. Why? You’ve helped out another entity, so the obvious outcome would be gratitude.

I can understand Hollywood’s portrayal of the paranormal as menacing and evil. If you remove the above myths from a typical horror flick, you’d most likely have a boring movie.  However, producing an engaging movie without these tired standbys is possible. Two of my favorite paranormal movies are Nicole Kidman’s, The Others and Bruce Willis’, Sixth Sense, as they are probably closer to reality than most films.

Can you think of another Hollywood ghost stereotype? If so, please share them with us here.