Ghosts are Real: The Five Types You May Experience Today. 

#1. MEMORY GHOSTS: Each time I visit my 94 year old cousin, Louise, we have a gentle argument. She asks about family members and I tell her how and when they passed away. We cry sometimes because she has impaired memory and it's as if she's learning this news for the first time.

And then, ten minutes later, she asks again, and I explain again and then she argues some more to convince me that everyone is still alive.

"No," she proclaims, "Henrietta is making her lemon meringue pie for the party." 

Henrietta lived to be 103, but I'm certain she's not making pies this afternoon.

And her mother Agnes (who would be 125 years old now) is on her "way over for tea."

She'll explain calmly how it's not true,"simply not possible," that Carla and Robin are both dead. "Too young, too young," she repeats.

As she argues her case, I start to agree. Whole heartedly agree. And by the end of our visit, Louise has convinced me that EVERYBODY is still alive. And you know what? It feels good to believe that she's correct. It even feels accurate in a spiritual, life-after-death sort of crazy-joyful-peaceful way.  

#2. TRAUMA GHOSTS: The scariest ones are from past trauma. The ghosts who lurk in the shadow of every bad decision. When you're angry or scared or desperate, these ghosts whisper in your ear to be angrier, more scared, or feel more desperate. These ghosts travel through time on the vicious cycles of abuse and dysfunction. This type of ghost gives other ghosts a bad reputation.

When you feel haunted by a ghost like this...turn towards that shadow and it may disappear.  You may need ghostbusters - friends, therapists, a support group - don't let's this type of ghost haunt your life.

#3. GRIEF GHOSTS: These are the best haunters. I've felt and seen "grief ghosts" of people I miss. When a friend moved far away, I still saw her coming around the corner for a year. As I walked closer, she'd disappeared. Even though my friend was alive, she still haunted me.

Of course there are grief ghosts of loved ones who are dead. One time I saw my mother walk into a restaurant with a woman I didn't recognize. Another time I saw my deceased grandmother getting into a blue pick up truck.

Recently, at a symphony orchestra performance, I couldn't take my eyes off my former English teacher sitting in the row in front of me. He died in 1994. When the man finally turned towards me, my teacher was gone. 

#4. ENERGY GHOSTS: These ghosts live in old places. Just like a photograph leaving a permanent impression on film. Now photographers can capture light in digital form. If you have my image captured, you can see "me" anywhere. That's technology.

I don't want to go back in that house because I know I'll experience a ghost. I may smell oatmeal and brown sugar or even see an 8 year old girl standing next to her grandmother's stove.

I don't want to go back in that house because I know I'll experience a ghost. I may smell oatmeal and brown sugar or even see an 8 year old girl standing next to her grandmother's stove.

But what about the OTHER less technological ways energy may leave a permanent imprint? Can you walk in a room and feel a memory or see your loved ones? There's a house for sale that once belonged to my grandparents. I could ask a real estate agent to walk me through or I could even buy it back, but I wouldn't. I don't want to go back in that house because I know I'll experience a ghost. I may smell oatmeal and brown sugar or even see an 8 year old girl standing next to her grandmother's stove. 

How creepy and yet beautiful. My heart may explode. 

#5. GHOSTS OF OUR DREAMS: When we sleep, our body and brain takes time to repair. Our brain includes centers for organ functions, thoughts, memory, imagination, processing centers, as well as unknown systems of function that have yet to be measured. When we sleep, we quiet our senses.

In this quiet, we connect to the corners of our consciousness. In these corners sit ghosts. Ghosts of unfinished conversations, ghosts of inventions, and ghosts of problems yet to be solved. We float like ghosts ourselves through time and walls- just like we're shown in children's books and cartoons.

These ghosts may wake up with us in the morning and haunt us through the day.  These ghosts have something they want us to know to heal us; to repair us. Pay attention to the ghosts of your dreams.

Those are the five ghosts I know.

Most ghosts elude me. I'm not sure if other ghosts are real... The ones that stand glowing at the end of the bed or who might ride in the empty back seat. Sometimes I suspect there is a ghost nearby. But I can't be certain. 

I think I sensed a ghost at a swimming hole in the New Hampshire mountains one hot afternoon. It was alerting me of dangers in the water. Because of this, I didn't swim. I stayed on the dry rocks as a lifeguard. My husband hit his head and was pulled into an undertow. Everything was ok. Just a little scare on a bright summer day.

Perhaps there are more ghosts than we can imagine. #

In this quiet, we connect to the corners of our consciousness. In these corners sit ghosts. Ghosts of unfinished conversations, ghosts of inventions, and ghosts of problems yet to be solved. We float like ghosts ourselves through time and walls - just like we're shown in children's books and cartoons. IMAGE: Casper the Friendly Ghost

In this quiet, we connect to the corners of our consciousness. In these corners sit ghosts. Ghosts of unfinished conversations, ghosts of inventions, and ghosts of problems yet to be solved. We float like ghosts ourselves through time and walls - just like we're shown in children's books and cartoons. IMAGE: Casper the Friendly Ghost

Hilary Crowley