Bible Question:

Are ghosts real? My sister says she is a Christian and says she and her two grand-daughters have seen “ghosts” in her apartment. Is this possible?

Bible Answer:

Ghosts are real. They have existed since the beginning of our world. They have been seen by men and women for thousands of years. There are reports of them in society after society and scientists have coined a word for them – the supernatural. But the reason we should believe they are real is that God says they exist.

Ghosts are Fallen Angels

The King James Bible and some people today use the expression “Holy Ghost” instead of Holy Spirit. The two words, spirit and ghost, are interchangeable. Both of them refer to an apparition, phantom, or something that is softly transparent. The Bible usually refers to spirits, which are demons (Luke 4:33 and Luke 8:29), without describing them. Here is a rare passage that seems to give us some description of one.

Then you shall be brought low; From the earth you shall speak, And from the dust where you are prostrate, Your words shall come. Your voice shall also be like that of a spirit from the ground, And your speech shall whisper from the dust. (NASB) Isa. 29:4

They appear to come out of the ground and apparently have soft voices. This is also implied in Isaiah 8:19.

And when they say to you, “Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God? (NASB) Isa. 8:19

Since demons are angels – fallen angels – and Old and New Testament saints, (for example Daniel and the virgin Mary), have seen holy angels, there is no reason to doubt that Christians can see demons, spirits or ghosts today.

They Can Sound Spiritual

Christians need to avoid so called “divine or spirit-guides.” God has given us His Word to guide us and not personal divine messengers. Demons masquerade as angels of light.

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
(NASB) 2 Cor. 11:14

Demons, ghosts, or evil spirits will quote scripture (Matt. 4:1-11) and they can pronounce Jesus’ name. It is error to believe that demons cannot and will not pronounce Jesus name.

And just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, saying, “What do we have to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are–the Holy One of God!” And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” (NASB) Mark 1:23-25

They are also not afraid of Jesus’ name. Some have taught and some have believed that Jesus’ name is like a “charm” against evil. But that is not true.

But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” And seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. (NASB) Acts 19:13-16

The power is the indwelling Holy Spirit in the life of a true Christian.

Avoid Them

Any activity associated with the occult is strictly prohibited by God including communing with the dead. Here are a few references.

Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God. (NASB) Leviticus 19:31

As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists . . . I will also set My face against that person . . . (NASB) Leviticus 20:6

Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine. Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones . . . (NASB) Leviticus 20:26-27

There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD . . . (NASB) Deuteronomy 18:10-12

Conclusion:

Your granddaughters may have seen ghosts. Christians need to resist them and not be afraid (James 4:7) and we should not have anything to do with them.