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Do Genealogists believe in Ghosts?

Halloween is quickly approaching and soon trick or treaters will be at our door collecting a little candy and having some fun. In the spirit of the season I felt we should have a little fun as well. As an adult my trick or treating days are done but I love a good ghost story. I am intrigued. Did you know that 1 in 3 people in America believe in ghosts accordingly a 2005 Gallup Poll? With the ever increasing interest in ghost hunters and reality TV shows about the paranormal I would think that this number may be slightly higher by now. So I wondered how many genealogists believe in ghosts.

As genealogists we are conditioned to focus on facts. We want the hard facts in the form of proof, names, dates, documents and so on. Since we are trained to think in facts does that make it harder for the family historian to believe? I am curious how my fellow family historians feel about ghosts.

It goes with out saying we spend a whole lot time in cemeteries, attics and basements looking for information to connect us to our ancestors, according to TV and movies, prime real estate for ghosts. Has anyone ever actually had a ghostly encountered in their genealogical travels? Has anyone ever met up with an ancestor from the past?

There is no shortage of ghost hunters. I understand that ghost hunters are relying on genealogists to help them in their endeavors to either prove or disprove a client’s ghostly experience. Ghost hunters head into haunted homes and hire genealogists to investigate the history of the house and its past residents to help form a back story to a possible spiritual claim. I find it all quite fascinating.

I will say that although I have never seen a ghost I am open to the concept. I have had a couple of experiences that I feel I cannot explain. Was it a past relative trying to connect with me or my imagination?

In the spirit of the Halloween holiday I am extending a challenge to my fellow genealogists to answer my poll. Do you believe in ghosts? Have you had a ghostly experience you can or can’t explain? Looking forward to hearing your comments.