Apparitions


Apparitions are the ghosts, spirits, souls, dead guys or whatever you want to call the part of the human consciousness that survives bodily death. The identifying characteristics of apparitions are:

  • They display some sort of intelligence and interact with the percipient.
  • Object movement is rare but can occur.
  • They are usually visual but can also be a voice, smell, sound or sensation.
  • The duration can vary.
  • The apparition looks like a person. Sometimes they are solid and sometimes see-through.
  • It is common to not realize one is witnessing an apparition until it disappears.
  • People sometimes report the figure to have fuzzy edges.
  • Age and physical appearance can vary.
  • One person, a few people, or all people in a group may perceive the apparition.

 

G.N.M. Tyrell describes four types of apparitions:

  1. Apparitions of the dead (those dead for more than 24 hours). These are also known as ‘post-mortem’ apparitions.
  2. Crisis apparitions. These are the result of a dangerous or crisis situation.
  3. Apparitions of the just dead (12 to 24 hours) or dying. They appear to people who have some sort of emotional attachment to them.
  4. Apparitions of the living. Some refer to these as doppelgangers or bilocation. The spontaneous cases are when it just happens with no effort by either the sender or percipient. Then there are the experimental cases. This not only includes the formal lab setting but also those when someone tries to project himself or herself. Out-of-body experiences (OBE) are also of the experimental type, but only when the OBE sender is perceived by the percipient.

 

Though this classification scheme is rather old, it still holds up well today and all cases of apparitions can be classified in one of the above categories.

 

For additional information:

Tyrell (1943). Apparitions. Society for Psychical Research. London, UK

Public Parapsychology   

Public Parapsychology Apparitional Experiences Primer