There are two types of ghosts.
1. Ghosts (conscious entities)
Most ghosts are earthbound souls. These spirits are stuck on the transitional plane because they don’t know they are dead, and have a distorted sense of time. They are sentient (conscious), although many have limited memories and may appear “mentally challenged” or have erratic behavior. They have very low vibrational frequencies which is the reason that they can sometimes be seen by ordinary people.
Another type of sentient ghost is a spirit in “visitation”. This means that the spirit is NOT earthbound but has returned to an earthly haunt voluntarily, either through a nostalgic longing to re-experience an earthly environment, or because they have some other business such as acting as guides for living souls.
2. Spiritual Imprints (also called residual energy)
Spiritual imprints (residual energy) are neither spirits nor ghosts. They are more like recordings stuck on auto-play. They always remain in the same location, but some of them are more likely to “play back” at particular times, or when the conditions are more favorable. Spiritual imprints seem to be permanently imprinted on the local environment. Parapsychologists used to call this the “stone tape theory” because these imprints seem to be recorded in the building materials themselves. They are most often left behind because of the intense negative emotional turmoil involved in the events that caused them.
Unfortunately, most spiritual imprints record negative events, but not all are unhappy. Some may be joyous such as the “vibes” some people feel when they enter happy homes or many places of worship.
Spiritual imprints are not spirits, although they are often called ghosts because some appear to observers as apparitions. They appear in the same place, often at the same time of day, or year, and seem to repeat the same behavior over and over, never changing their routine. They are NOT sentient and have no awareness of their surroundings. They show no intentions of their own. They are more akin to videos attached to a particular location. There’s no actual spirit present, only their old “afterimage.”
F.W.H. Myers had this to say about this sort of manifestation in his channeled book The Road to Immortality:
“The After-image might be likened to an old traveler’s cloak. Though he discards it, it remains by the roadside and may be picked up and worn again. Ghosts have been known to walk for many years in certain old mansions at certain seasons, or inconsequently, without apparent rhyme or reason. Say to yourself if you meet one of these restless shades: “Here walks the ancient cloak, the old disguise, perhaps, of some Roundhead or Cavalier, of some cowled monk or holy nun, of some modern gentleman who has indulged in butchery or has himself been murdered— with new weapons but with the same old passions of rage and hate behind him.”
It is that same repetitive passion that provides the energy which, for a brief space, re-animates the afterimage. But it may not walk in its own place if there be not association of memory, an energizing thought or idea behind it. Somewhere within the far realms of space exists the brawler who died so violently, or the nun or monk who enriched that cloak with all their brooding religious passion. They are resting, withdrawing temporarily from their active life in another sphere, and, for a moment, by reason of the binding threads of past fate, envisage again the old scene where they lived or from which they took their leave of life. They cast on it but the careless thought which is now unclouded by remorse, regret or any emotion. But the mere light flick of their thought stirs up the old cloak, causing it to masquerade again within the building or about the grounds which were familiar to it in life. But be assured that the essential ego does not return and play the old part.”
F.W. Myers channeled through Geraldine Cummins: The Road to Immortality
Note that Myers points out that the souls originally involved in producing the afterimage are now “resting…far removed from the original drama”. Comforting words! They suggest that the souls of the “ghosts” involved in that mournful display have long ago moved beyond the terror and passions of that moment in time and are now at peace.
Spiritual imprints are not always visual. They can be auditory or manifest as a smell, or even as a “feeling” that permeates the atmosphere of the haunted place. Much of the fear associated with ghost sightings may actually be due to the feelings of depression or terror recorded during the original trauma that was the cause of the haunting.
These clairsentient emotions are later “played back” to percipients that are unaware that their uneasy feelings are being caused by invisible “ghost emotions.” T.C. Lethbridge called these feelings “ghouls” in his 1961 book, Ghost and Ghoul. Ghostly emotions like these might cause the percipient to feel the same way as the original characters in the events that caused the haunting. These persistent feelings may be involved in some marriage disturbances, divorces and suicides that happen to previously happy people who have the misfortune to rent or buy a haunted property.
Finally, imprints can be left behind by living owners of old articles. Antiques may retain the dominant emotion of the person or persons who owned them. This can also be true of new items since the people who manufactured or packaged it may have been experiencing deep psychic distress. If you have ever held or approached an object and somehow felt that you didn’t want to be around it, this could be the reason.