Communicating with Ghosts
Phantoms and Other Spirits

 

Communicating with Ghosts - Catholic Reviews

Along with the New Age movement comes another supernatural phenomenon that has increased over the years—ghost sightings. Usually when spirits of the dead manifest their presence inside a person's home, there has been some type of occult practice that has given the demons permission to access that person's property.

In one case, a teenage boy had been playing with the Ouija board with some of his friends. Not long afterward, his parents began hearing strange scratching noises from inside the walls. After an exterminator made an extensive investigation and found no evidence of mice, termites, or any other kind of vermin or insect, the parents called in a ghost investigation team. The more the teenage boy attempted to communicate with spirits from the netherworld, the more strange phenomena occurred.

The ghost investigation team wanted to document the disturbance by taking pictures, shooting VHS footage, and recording the eerie sounds. The psychic ghost team also wanted the parents to sign legal documents granting them all media rights. After several months of investigative efforts, it seemed the ghost investigators were more interested in exploiting the strange phenomena than they were in addressing the root cause.

In an attempt to help with these kinds of situations, a number of Catholic "Ghost Busting" ministries have surfaced. One woman, who has been trying to get her "House Cleaning" book endorsed by a Bishop, claims that she has developed a system of interviewing the ghosts to make sure they are lost souls and not demons. Because this women has a degree in psychology, she thinks that by interviewing the ghosts, she can help them resolve any "unfinished business" that they may have on earth, and by doing so, help them to return to God in heaven.

Unfortunately, what most Catholics fail to understand is that God specifically forbids all forms of communication with the dead. According to Deuteronomy 18:10–12, "No one shall be found among you who...casts spells, or who consults ghosts or spirits, or who seeks oracles from the dead. For whoever does these things is abhorrent to the Lord." God doesn't want anyone communicating with ghosts, seeking advice from the netherworld, or participating in any other type of communication with the dead.

Not only does God specifically forbid Catholics from communicating with spirits of the dead, but the entire concept of ghosts conflicts with Sacred Scripture. Most people think that just because the Bible mentions the word "ghost," that the souls of the dead are free to roam the universe any time they want. This concept conflicts with Scripture for several reasons:

In Luke 16:19–31, there was a rich man who lived in luxury and feasted sumptuously every day. "And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man's table."1 "When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side."2

The rich man wanted to escape from the place of torment, but when he asked permission Abraham said, "Between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours."3 The rich man was not free to escape the abode of the dead because God had fixed a "great chasm" that couldn't be crossed.

According to the Catechism in section 997, when a person dies his soul is separated from his body and that "soul goes to meet God." The person is not free to return to earth to haunt abandoned buildings, or to move furniture around inside a person's home. The Catechism in section 393 says, "there is no repentance for men after death." When a person dies, all his "earthly business" as well as his opportunity to repent, has come to a full and complete conclusion: "There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death."4

In most cases, psychic ghost investigations are nothing more than an attempt to exploit demonic activity for the purpose of creating fear-driven media projects. Because demons don't like to disclose their true identity, they usually appear in the form of helpless little girls or elderly grandparents. These types of deceptive spirits appear to be lost and confused victims who need human sympathy and prayer support, but they are just another tactic from the enemy to ensnare souls.

Once a person starts praying to spirits of the dead, trying to seek blessings, favors, or oracles from the netherworld, or by playing with the Ouija board, or engaging in any other occult practices, he opens himself up for demonic attack. Other forms of demonic house haunting occur when there has been a history of witchcraft in the family's lineage or when the family has failed to take authority over their lives and home in the name, power, and authority of Jesus.

 

Scripture Passages to Set the Captives Free
 

"I urge you, brothers and sisters, to keep an eye on those who cause dissensions and offenses, in opposition to the teaching that you have learned; avoid them. For such people do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded."
— Romans 16:17–18

"This is how you must deal with them: break down their altars, smash their pillars, hew down their sacred poles, and burn their idols with fire. For you are a people holy to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on earth to be his people, his treasured possession."
— Deuteronomy 7:5–6

"Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation." — Exodus 19:5–6

 

Hauntings and Catholic Ghost Busters

 

Notes

The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition copyright © 1993 and 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

  1. Luke 16:20–21. Scripture texts used in this work are taken from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament, © 1986 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. All rights reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner. Permission to reprint the text does not indicate endorsement.
  2. Luke 16:22–23 NAB.
  3. Luke 16:26 NAB.
  4. Catechism of the Catholic Church: 393; 1 John 3:18.
  5. Chronicle of a Meandering Traveller, "Hauntings and 'Catholic Ghost Busters'" http://chronicleofameanderingtraveller.blogsp ot.com/2006/10/hauntings-and-catholic-ghost-busters.html