One in Three have had contact with Ghosts.
But most choose to keep quiet about it
It is not really that easy to say what is a 'ghost' ---------what one person reports as a 'ghost' another might report as an 'alien' or 'something else'. So, the one in three reported only refers to people who think the encounter was with a 'ghost'.
If we add the data for the number of people who think they have had 'alien encounters, then the number of encounters with something mysterious is far higher than One in three.
(I for instance would not know how to classify what has happened under certain encounters; and would be sceptical of any one that wanted to classify it as 'ghost', 'alien' or whatever. i.e. it is a "Classification problem".)
The point is that lots of people are having mysterious encounters (far higher than 1 in 3) that:
(1) science cannot explain, and up to now science has been trying to ignore.
(2) a lot of people keep quiet about these mysterious encounters because of fear of ridicule.
(Keeping quiet is of course a "Conspiracy of Silence."; which now might be beginning to be broken?)
Is this proof we talk to the dead?
by Peter Lewis, Daily Mail July 5, 2003.
A new book claims that one in three receive messages from loved ones who have died. Incredible? Read these testimonies and judge for yourself.
WHEN her mother went into hospital for a serious operation, Pam James said: `Mum, if you do go and ' there is another side, please, please, will you come back and give me a sign?' Her mother agreed. When the surgeon revealed that their mother had not ' survived the operation, Pam and her sisters were understandably in shock and given cups of tea.
Then something extraordinary happened.
`I was sitting with my empty cup and saucer looking out at the blue sky when Mum spoke to me so loudly and clearly that I jumped,' says Pam `In a loud and insistent voice, she said: "I'm all right, I'm all right." It was definitely her voice. I held my hand to my throat, felt my heart thumping and looked towards my sisters, who were talking to the surgeon. They obviously had not heard it. I was amazed.
`When I told them, they were sceptical and asked why they hadn't heard it. I wondered if it was because I was the one who'd asked her for a sign, though, in truth, I hadn't expected one.
`When I got home, I remember a feeling of peace sweeping over me and thinking : "My God, it's true, there really is another life."'
Pam had experienced an after - death communication. Only in recent years has scientific research established how widespread such experiences are.
Now, for the first time, a book has been published containing a host of examples and some
remarkable statistics. The author, Emma Heathcote-James, is a TV investigator with a doctorate whose previous study, Seeing Angels, was a bestseller and brought in hundreds of accounts from people who claimed they had been contacted by their dead relatives.
Such is the scepticism of those who dismiss these accounts as the fiction of cranks or the imagination of the bereaved at their most emotional and vulnerable that Dr Heathcote-James has kept details of the authors to a bare minimum.
But whatever you may think of after death communication, her book shows that an astonishing number of people believe they have experienced it. And their stories are compelling.
An after-death communication (ADC) is defined as being contacted spontaneously and directly by a deceased family member or friend. It must happen one-to-one without the involvement of a medium or any ritual, such as a Ouija board.
More than one person in three has had such an experience, according to General Social Surveys carried out in the Nineties, which asked: `How often have you felt you were really in touch with someone who had died?' Nearly a quarter of those asked had experienced it once or twice; a further 15 per cent reported several times or often.
Other studies of widowed spouses suggest that one in eight has had a vision of their dead spouses or heard their voices. More than a year after death, the bereaved reported they still felt the presence of the person they had lost. The overwhelming majority said these experiences greatly comforted them.
Yet many have felt it best to keep these things to themselves for fear of being ridiculed or dismissed as indulging in wishful thinking. But why are people treated as odd for speaking of the experience, asks Dr Heathcote James, if one in three of us has them?
Those she has interviewed from a wide variety of backgrounds insist these visitations were like nothing else in their experience and remain as vivid as at the time they occurred, . sometimes 30 or more years ago.
MANY ADCs occur at the time of someone's death either to the person dying or
'to those close to them. Studies have shown that dying patients often see close relatives who have already died, who seem to have come to collect them.
`As she came out of the coma, my grandmother lifted her head from the pillow, gave a brilliant smile, looked at the corner of the room and said "Hello George" (her dead husband's name),' says Ray Grindell, who was then 16.
`At that second, as she died, Blackie, the cocker spaniel lying beside the bed, shot up, stared at the exact place she had looked and raced out of the room and down the stairs whining with terror with his hair on end.'
Appearances of the dying to someone who does not know they have died until later have been reported throughout history. The writer Anatole France reported his great aunt's vision in a mirror of Robespierre with a shattered jaw at the moment he was being shot in the face.
As a teenager, Pat Collins went to the cinema with a friend to see a Shirley Temple film.
`Suddenly, the film and all the sounds of the audience were obliterated and the screen was black. My nine-year-old cousin Beryl's face appeared where the screen had been, smiling at me.
`As suddenly as it came, it went. The illuminated clock on the wall said 8pm.' On the way home, she and her friend were given the news that Beryl had died at 8pm of lung congestion.
People often report waking up in the night `to see' the person who has died. But this can happen in broad daylight when the person is fully awake.
`After my mother died, I cried every day, even out 'shopping,' says Eileen Redmond. 'One day I sat on the couch and closed my eyes. When I opened them my mother was standing before me with the happiest smile I have ever seen.
`Just as I was about to speak to her, my son came bursting in and she was gone. When he saw me, Me said: "What's wrong, mum? 'Your face is snow white." I knew I hadn't. imagined it. From that day I stopped crying.'
BUT THE most. common visions of the dead occur in dreams of a peculiar clarity and intensity sometimes the dead come to give a warning or vital information.
There are the cases of a young man warned by his dead father to have his appendix removed, of a grandmother leading a woman to find a lost passport, of a husband warning his widow that the room was filling with gas.
There was even a dead mother in a dream who visits her daughter's new house and approves of the furnishings.
More poignantly, a nurse who had lost her four-year-old son Toby from a brain haemorrhage dreamed a year later that she was on a river bank looking at him on the other side.
'I was trying to cross the river but couldn't. He spoke to me calmly, like an older, wiser person, saying. "No, Mum,
I'm OK, I'm fine, but you can't come over here." He gave me the sense he is at peace and where he belongs.'
Speed ace Donald Campbell used to feel the presence of his father Sir Malcolm Campbell in the cockpits of his record-breaking boats and cars.
Before his land-speed record attempt, Donald reported seeing his late father. `He looked down at me crystal clear and said: "Well, boy, now you know how I felt at Utah on September 2, 1935" - the day he burst a tyre at over 300mph.' (Sir Malcolm survived the burst tyre and broke the world record later that year.)
General George Patton said he was frequently visited in France in his tent during World War II by his father, who would assure him he would act bravely in the next day's battle.
The singer Robbie Williams, who as a boy used to see ghostly customers in his father's pub after it had closed, says he frequently feels haunted in hotels, particularly by the spirit of his grandmother, who said she'd come back, and his idol Frank Sinatra.
Sir Paul McCartney said he was aware of his wife Linda. `After she died, I think all of us would hear noises or see things and think:. "That's Linda, that's Mum." '
Carl Jung, the pioneer of psychiatry, felt the presence of a recently dead friend who insisted that he follow him mentally to his library where he showed him a book in a red cover.
The next day Jung went to his friend's library and found the book in the same place - its title, The Legacy Of The Dead by Emile Zola.
More sinister was the report that President Robert Mugabe was seeing the ghost of his rival guerrilla leader Josiah Tongogara, He was tormenting him with accusations of destroying the revolution they had both fought for.
Not all contacts with the dead involve visions, Hearing their voices is often dramatic. A deaf woman, Collette Donaghue, who had fallen asleep on a sofa with a lighted cigarette, was woken by the unmistakable voice of her dead father shouting: `Get up, will you?'
`I could smell his scent and feel his lips' indentation on left earlobe where he screeched to-wake me. I noticed a two-inch burn in one of the cushions afterwards.'
Jenny couldn't 'sleep after her husband's death and was listening to the World Service at 5am, when `the radio faded and my husband's voice came from it saying; Jenny, are you awake?"
`I answered yes. He said: "Are you all right?" and I said yes. Then the music faded back in. I was 'shocked and tingly all over.' Four days after her mother's death, Lesley Hanafi was woken by the telephone ringing at 8.30am.
'My mother was on the line. I was amazed and asked her how she was feeling. She said she felt heaps better and had turned a comer
`It was so vivid that in the back of mind I was panicking about all the people who were coming to the funeral. I came to in the grey light of dawn with the phone in my hand.'
Even more vivid are occasions when the bereaved feel the touch of the lost one.
SHARON reports:. `I was washing the dishes when suddenly I felt two arms wrap around my waist and hug me. I said "That feels nice" thinking it was my husband. `Then the hairs on my neck stood on end when I heard my husband talking with the chiIdren in the other room.
'Suddenly the arms slipped away. I knew it was my mother It happened again a few days later. I was just relieved she was with me.'
When Chris Jones was 20 and watching TV he suddenly became frozen to the spot.
`I felt two hands somehow come out of the sofa and gently hold me. I tried to struggle but still could not move. I have never felt so held. After a few seconds the hands withdrew and I could move again.
`I knew immediately they were the hands of my grandfather, though I can't remember him holding or touching me in life.'
Surprisingly, the sense of smell is often involved in after death communications. People know of someone's presence by their perfume, aftershave or tobacco, unaccompanied by anything else.
Time after time, people report a scent of flowers at the moment of death although there were no flowers present,
`A scent of honeysuckle, my husband's favourite ... a sweet floral scent like an embrace . . . a strong odour of flowers that pervaded the room for a further two nights.'
Sometimes the smell precedes the death. Shortly before Eric Dyson's mother died, he and his father and brother all smelt `a very heavy sweet scent of flowers which lasted only a few moments.
`She'd always refused to have wall flowers in the house because she had smelt them before her own mother's death.
`About 3am I woke up and the room was full of the scent of roses - there was nothing in the house to account for it. The room was filled with an overpowering smell of flowers but no one else could smell them. When I realised it could be a message from my mother it was cut off, like the shutting of a door, as if the message had got through.'
Margaret , Kemp-Lewis was driving home from hospital after her mother had died when 'suddenly the car was filled with the sweet scent of flowers'.
Maggie Brooks' mother's funeral was held in their home.' Afterwards there was an overpowering smell of spring flowers in the room. I would often go in afterwards just to smell them. How on earth could the smell linger for almost a year?'
NEAR death experiences are a separate category which often incorporate an ADC. Those who have been brought back from `clinical death' often report meeting dead relatives who invited them to join them. The same applies to out-of body
experiences. When Nurse Norma Lewis collapsed at home, she felt herself surrounded by 11 people, all dead members of her family, some of whom she had never met but knew who they were.
`They were gently calling: "Come with us." I knew if I went I would die. Then I was shaken back into my body by my husband.'
Can these extraordinary and widespread experiences be taken as evidence there is an after-life?
Dr Heathcote-James is careful not to claim this. Being acutely conscious of a dead person in an ADC does not prove that person still exists - the event may be purely subjective.
Some psychologists ascribe ADCs to suppressed, deep-seated recollections. They suggest they are memories which surface under the stress of grief and trauma, producing hormones that alter consciousness.
However, this cannot be proved either. And it does not seem to apply to experiences where the person sensed is not known to be dead. Nor to people who get contacts long after death when the shock of bereavement has passed.
What has to be acknowledged is the surprising frequency of ADCs and their life-changing effect on those who experience them.
Dr Heathcote-James concludes: `The people who experience an ADC are all totally convinced that they have been in touch with another reality or dimension that is as meaningful as the reality they live and grieve in each day.'
ADAPTED from After Death Communication by Emma Heathcote-James (Metro, £17.99).
FOUR UK ONLY ----- To order a copy for £15.99 (including p&p), call 0870 161 0870.
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