Are Ghosts Good or Bad?



Q. Are Ghosts or Spirits Good or Bad?

A. Both. There are good” ghosts” (spirits) sent to us by God. These spirits appear for our benefit, as  the appearances of Angels as we see in Scripture or even the souls of the departed as reported by Saints.Then there are the appearances of the  Immacualte Conception-Our Lady of Lourdes or Fatima. Then there are also bad “ghosts” which are really demonic spirits sent to lead us astray, doubt Our Lord and His power, or cause other sorts of mischief.

We are warned against attempting to contact spirits for the simple reason that Satan and his demons are only too happy to comply with this request. So, we are not contacting benign entities but rather demons.

“Ghost” is simply another word for “spirit” (geist means “spirit” in German). Spirit is of three kinds:

  1. The human soul/spirit which combined with the body make up a human being until death
  2. The Spiritual being that has no body, such as angels and Demons (fallen angels)
  3. The infinite Spirit, or God, of Whom the Third Person is the Holy Ghost.

When someone asks whether ghosts exist, he usually is thinking of the human spirit of someone who has died. Fr. John Hardon defines “ghost” as

“a disembodied spirit. Christianity believes that God may, and sometimes does, permit a departed soul to appear in some visible form to people on earth. Allowing for legend and illusion, there is enough authentic evidence, for example in the lives of the saints, to indicate that such apparitions occur. Their purpose may be to teach or warn, or request some favor of the living” (Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, Modern Catholic Dictionary (Garden City, New York: John A. Hardon, ©1980) published by Doubleday and Co., p. 229).

The last sentence of Fr. Hardon’s definition implicitly gives the Church’s teaching on ghosts. Appearances of the departed souls of human beings are understood with regard to our salvation and by the purpose and power of God. Ghosts can come to us for good, but we must not attempt to conjure or control spirits.

The Church teaches that “spiritism,” seeking recourse or power from ghosts, is contrary to the virtue of religion (i.e., the Commandment “You shall have no other gods before Me”). And because you will probably snag a demon rather than some vaguely benign spirit.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

2117 “All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others — even if this were for the sake of restoring their health — are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity” .

Thus, while the Church recognizes the existence of  spirits / “ghosts”, we are not to intentionally seek them out — for good or for ill. Because this is condemned as a form of divination.

Leviticus 20:6 ” ‘I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.

Deuteronomy 18:9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in [a] the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,  or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD,

So, “ghosts” can be good or evil.

1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

The Catholic Church has documents and priests trained to help us test the spirits. Obviously any spirit that blatantly contradicts our Faith is from evil. So, also is any spirit that inspires in our hearts disbelief in God, Jesus, the Catholic Faith and Church, or even doubt.

Anyone who, without seeking spirit contact sees them anyway should find a good and holy spiritual confessor/director.

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29 Responses

  1. i really need more information on these spiritual items because many prophets are rising we are not sure weather there are from God or not.Please reply my email.

    May God bless you

  2. My house has been blessed by a Catholic Priest. I still get visited from spirits. I am Catholic. I really need to know how to test them. What documentations should I ask the priest for?

  3. Dear Jianna,

    I honestly don’t know. The one thing I would do is bless my house every day or night with Holy water by sprinking it in each room, try to make sure my life and everyone in the family or in the house was as holy as possible by going to confession and receiving Holy Communion frequently. Keep Holy Water by the door and bless yourselves with it going and coming. Beyond that you should consult your priest and ask for a referral if he doesn’t know what else to do. You may have to be persistent to find a priest who will take you seriously.

    Do you have Holy order of priests near you? Opus Dei, Fraternity of St. Peter, Miles Christi, are ones I know personally but I am sure there are others. No doubt you are faithful in prayer also. I will ask my confessor too.

  4. Dear Jianna,

    This may sound crazy, but I will share my experience. You may want to pray specifically if there is something in your house that needs to be removed. Ask the Lord to reveal to you something that you might not even be aware of. If you have children, you may want to pray about movies, video games, pornography, mystical items (such as magic 8 balls, horoscope or ouija boards, dungeon and dragons games, etc.) or even friends with whom someone in your home associates. They might have a spirit that is attaching and entering your home. One of my children had a friend in a abusive home and when she would visit she would come home with a violent nature attached to her. I had to address it several times and pray over her and finally decided it was not in our best interest that she be in that home, even for a short visit!

    When my oldest daughter was in 6th grade she got a computer. It was the beginning of the internet and she began with basically just email. She started having horrible nightmares and night time became hell for us. I was at a bible study that taught about all the things I spoke about above. At first I thought what a load of bunk. As we went through several months of this I began to pray just that prayer. “Reveal to me the source of this distress to her and if it is something here….Show me!” I even slept in her room a few nights and I, too experienced something! In prayer it was revealed to me and my prayerful parents that she was leaving her computer on at night. Now, I am not a magical, mystical, believe in ghosts type woman , mind you, but ….I did start turning off the computer. I did not ever say that to her directly (until a later time). It WORKED! End of dreams, end of story. I don’t know, like I said may sound crazy, but made me a believer! I have friends with similar stories!

    Pray directly about your home and it’s activities. You, your family and even where you live.

    I will pray for you also!
    May the Lord bless you and keep you.
    Ally :)

  5. Jianna,
    Try getting Epiphany water. It is very powerful, perhaps the most powerful of Holy Waters. It is Exorcist properties and it would probably be beneficial for your situation. Also, don’t underestimate the St Michael’s prayer.

  6. we have ghost in are naborhood

  7. We have a ghost in my Dad’s house it has not shown its self but the water will come on and run alone, foot steps going up the stairs, sometimes in the weight room the bench press will go by it self and the toliet will flush by it self , I don’t know what to do or if I should do anything all five of are family members have heard this. My mom questioned another lady down the street about strange things happening in here house and she said that years Ago they buried the slaves on all that ground, someone please help.

  8. Iam worried if it is good or bad

  9. It is not a good thing. Just b/c it hasn’t done anything evil doesn’t mean it never will. It could even be joined by others, more evil.

  10. my mom does,nt seem to understand this but I do some what and I agree with you, she calls it the friendly ghost just because it has’nt done any thing,but I believe maybe it has done something with out them realizing it, like them just being evil some times they were not this way thirteen years ago before they moved in, I just have to try and convince them of this.

    thank you so much

  11. Lynn,
    Before you talk to them, pray. Pray to their Guardian Angels to prepare their hearts for what you will talk to them about. And of course ask Our Mother to pray for you and for wisdom in choosing what to say.

  12. I know this might sound a bit crazy but its true, I am 19 years old currently and I still live with my parents and my 15 year old brother. Since the age of 11 I started hearing screams, footsteps and whispering at night, I could also see weird shadows everywhere but this was only at night.

    Everytime this happend I woke my parents up and asked them if they heard any screams or annything… they didnt hear anything.

    I keep getting these problems, now Im use to it but I got really freaked out when it started!

    Does somebody have an idea of why it is happening?

    Please answer ASAP

  13. Are you Catholic? Even if you are not Catholic you should go to see a GOOD Catholic Priest. Not a priest who abuses the liturgy or teaches contrary to the teachings of the Church. Make an appt. If he dismisses you contact your diocese and find out about talking to the diocesan exorcist.

    It doesn’t sound like you are possessed but merely being harassed. A friend who I consulted who is in touch with our diocesan exorcist said it is either a demon or a soul who needs prayers in purgatory. But you should seek help to discern this and go to mass and confession regularly to protect yourself from any further mischief if this is a demon….that is if you are Catholic.

  14. I am fully Catholic and thank you I’ll try going to confession. I must admitt I don’t always go to church every week.

  15. Veronica, yes you definitely need to to go confession and Mass EVERY Sunday to obtain the spiritual food and graces you need to stay strong on your journey to God. Our Enemy does NOT want you to go to confession, or to mass, ever. That would make him happy but it grieves our Good God.

    For some reason you are being pestered by the bad angels so you need to practice your faith with all the strength you can. God Bless You. I have been praying for you.

  16. I am a catholic, i want to know if its a sin to try contacting spirits, Is it possible to be friend of a good holy ghost, so that we can seek advice of what should be done at times when one is not sure, just as we do with friends, But not all are reliable, so is it possible to have a good ghost friend.Advice sake and also try to understand the consequences of our actions that can lead us into problems later may be unknowingly, so better not do certain things by seeking advice from a holy ghost. I know that’s crazy but just wanted to know if good holy ghosts exist and can v communicate with them , once in a while. I have never tried anything of this sort, and with the grace of god never seen anything of that sort in real.

    • Dear Clive,
      Yes, it is a sin to try to contact spirits.
      The only ghost you can have as a friend is the HOLY GHOST.
      Seeking advice or foreknowledge from spirits is the sin of divination and an abomination to God.

      Leviticus 19:26 “‘Do not practice divination or seek omens…. 31 “‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.

      Rather do this:

      James 1:5
      But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

  17. I am reading these comments as I am at this very moment in the presence of a spirit. This particular spirit has been in my house since I moved into it ten years ago. It has not done anything evil as of yet but Thursday will be my last day in this house and I think it knows this as it has really shown itself these past few weeks. I see it as a shadow only, sort of as a thin line and it turns on and off light switches in my house, goes up and down the stairs and has even tossed over the bin in my room. The time it tossed over the bin in my room I saw it fully standing in my bath as a complete black figure. I left the bathroom went back into my bedroom and it tossed over my bin. I actually don’t know what to do right now. If it needs help then I would of course help in any way I can although only as far as I am permitted by my god. I actually have NO dead relatives or friends so I can’t think who this would be that is in my house. I am a 21 year old guy and I live with my parents.

    Its not my house so having it blessed I dont believe is an option. Should I ask the Lord to remove this spirit from my home? As I mentioned there are no spirits who should seek my help as I have no dead relatives or friends so for that reason I believe this spirit may very well have evil intentions. I was baptised as a Catholic, decided that I was only Christian and not Catholic and now this has restored my Catholic faith literally only tonight for the first time in around four years.

    Any advice on what I should do now would really be appreciated. I have this strange feeling that I may be being warned to turn off all switches in my house perhaps incase there is a fire? The stange thing is some of our electricial sockets are faulty and perhaps I am being warned of a potential danger?

    At present this ‘ghost’ or whatever it is seems to only attract my attention and as I type this all the strange noises have seemed to stop which is the first time all night that it has.

    Anyway any help, advice or anything really at this stage would be appreciated.

  18. Dear Ciaran,
    The best advice I can give you is to speak to a Priest. Find a good and loyal son of the Church not a progressive sort of priest of which there are many in the UK and the US. You should go to confession and return to the sacraments. Tell the priest about the spirit in confession or make an appointment.

    Go to mass every Sunday. And attend daily mass when time permits.

    Tell your parents if you have not done so and have the house blessed. But if you are moving, that may resolve the issue, unless it follows you to the new house.

  19. Thankyou for the swift reply. I live in Ireland so I am confident there are many good priests as described in your post. I will be sure to action the above. Again, thankyou.

    • I NEED HELP!!!I AM A DRUG USER AND ABOUT THREE WEEKS AGO MY GRANDFATHER PAST AWAY AND I HAVE BEEN HAVING ALOT OF PROBLEMS WITH MY GRANDMOTHER!IVE BEEN STRESSING HER OUT ALOT!5 DAYS AGO THE SHOWER TURNED ON IN BATH??THEN THE SERENITY PRAYER FELL OFF MY WALL 2 TIMES!IT SUBSIDED FOR 3 DAYS AND I WAS CLEAN FOR THREE SAYS FROM DRUGS!!NOW TODAY I USED ONE PILL AND AROUND 12 PM I WENT OUTSIDE AND THE CHAIR FLEW BACK 3 FOOT PRETTY VIOLANTLY!BY THE WAY THE SERENITY PRAYER IS WHAT WE START N/A MEETINGS WITH !SO WHAT MY FAMILY IS TELLING ME IS THAT MY GRANDFATHER IS UPSET AND TRYING TO STRAITEN ME OUT BECAUSE IT SEEMS LIKE IT ONLY HAPPENS WHEN THERE IS HIGH STRESS IN THE HOUSE??I REALLY DONT WANT TO SEE IT I ALREADY HAVE TOO STAY UP ALL NIGHT BECAUSE OF THIS!WOULD A LOVED ONE CAUSE TORMENT FOR ANOTHER LOVED ONE TOO CHANGE???SOMEONE HELP?????

  20. Dear Jon,

    No, I don’t think it is your grandfather. It is more likely a demon. They like to hide and prefer to be thought of as human.

    The Serrenity Prayer is an excellent prayer. Pray it in the morning before you get out of bed and at night before going to bed and any other time when you want to take a drug.

    Go back to Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

    Work very hard avoid drugs, they open your soul to demons. You may be using drugs because there is a chemical dysfunction in your brain. This is not your fault. A doctor can prescribe medication that will help you feel better if for instance you are depressed.

    If you are Catholic go to confession and return to the sacraments. Sin wounds our souls and gives the devil a foothold in our life. Satan hates us and wants us to be miserable in this life and the next with him in Hell. But Our Father loves us and wants to rescue us from him. You are a precious soul to God. He knows what you have been through and loves you very much. Please give Him a chance to help you through the grace of the sacraments so you will know and feel His love for you. I will pray for you too.

    God Bless you, Jon.

  21. THANK YOU FOR THE PRAYER !I WENT TOO A CATHOLIC CHURCH AND WAITED TILL THEY OPENED.AND SPOKE WITH 2 PRIESTS ONE RECOMENDED THE HOUSE TOO BE BLESSED AND ONE RECOMMENDED A SHRINK!IN A NICE WAY…THEY ALSO GAVE ME HOLLY WATER AND TOLD ME TO PRAY..ALSO THEY SAID THAT THERE IS REALLY NO TELLING WHO OR WHAT IT IS??HAVENT SEEN ANYTHING BUT THINGS ARE INTENSIFYING!!IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING OR AM I GOING CRAZY ITS LIKE A MOVIE???DURING THE DAY THERE SEEMS TO BE NO ACTIVITY YET ? I AM TRYING TOO MAKE HEADS OR TALES OF ALL THIS BUT ITS HARD TO ACCEPT!SHOULD I ACCEPT IT OR WOULD THAT MAKE THINGS WORSE??I JUST WANT PEICE I AM SO TERRIFIED AFTER SEEING THAT CHAIR TAKE OFF THAT I CANT CLOSE MY EYES IN FEAR!CAN IT HURT ME OR JUST TORMENT???AND ONE PRIEST THAT RECOMENDED THE SHRINK SAID IT MIGHT BE GOD TRYING TO SEND A MESSAGE THROUGH THE SERENITY PRAYER??BUT THEN AGAIN I DONT THINK GOD WOULD MOVE A CHAIR??HOW DID THIS THING GET HERE???I DIDENT OPEN ANY DOORS??OR INVITE ANYTHING IN??

  22. Jon,
    Have you gone to a fortune teller, seance, tarot card reader, played with a Oija Board, or anything like that? Someone else in the home?
    I don’t think this is God either. It would be a good first step to have the house blessed by a priest. In the meantime, take the Holy Water and sprinkle it around in every room of the house. Keep doing this every day or evening.

    Jon, this could be a demon or it could be a hallucination caused by prior drug use if it messed up your brain chemistry or it could be genetic. Regardless, be sure to get a good night’s sleep every night and eat healthy food to possibly heal any damage done by taking drugs.

    I am so happy to hear you went to see the Catholic Priests. I will keep praying for you.

  23. NEVER PLAYED WITH ANYTHING NO TARROT NOTHING!ALSO ON THE HALLUCINATION THE NIGHT ON THE CHAIR I WAS SOBER AS A JUDGE!ALSO WHEN THE SHOWER TURNED ON…NOBODY HAD TAKEN A SHOWER IN 12HRS ..I SEEN THE WATER TURN ON AND THEN I CALLED MY GRANDMOTHER IN!WE BOTH SEEN THE WATER FROM THE SHOWER IN THE TUB..THATS AFTER LITERALLY SEEING THE WATER TURN ON THEN OFF!!!!TY

  24. Then it sounds like demons to me. Use the holy water and have the priest bless your house.

  25. ghost are not bad there are good they just became bad when they want their revenge from some else

  26. I need information on how to deal with it the spiritual way.

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