Do you remember the first time you heard about someone’s ghostly encounter? Not just someone on TV, but a friend or family member. I was 14, and after my friend thrilled me with his personal encounter with a ghost, he asked me, his voice trembling slightly, “Do you believe in ghosts? Are ghosts real? What causes a ghost?” I must have stared at him for 10 minutes as my brain worked overtime to come up with an intelligent response. But the only answer I could muster up was “I don’t know.” It turns out that my response, at age 14, is very similar to what the majority of mainstream scientists and researchers would say today. My friend’s questions have bothered me for more than 20 years, and I have actively sought the answers through education and interviews with those who report interacting with a ghost. While looking for the answers, I noticed similarities among ghostly encounters, which ultimately led to developing new theories to explain ghosts and ghostly experiences presented in this book.
I haven’t investigated hundreds of haunted locations, nor do I own a vest with hundreds of pockets. I never understood why ghost hunters on TV always have those vests. I do not dress in all black. I don’t claim to have psychic talents. And I’m not part of a paranormal investigation team. What I am is extremely fascinated with reports of ghostly encounters. My passion has led to countless hours combing through the paranormal literature and speaking with people who report ghostly encounters. When someone is recalling their ghostly experience, their whole persona changes.You can physically see the rush of emotion and excitement on their faces. The people around them change as well. From staunch skeptics to steadfast believers, their ears will perk up and their eyes will widen when someone is recalling a ghostly encounter. Everyone is fascinated with ghosts.
Let me tell you a little about myself. I’m a clinical therapist and parapsychologist residing in Northeast Ohio. I’ve worked within the Neurological Institute for the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, conducting behavioral health consultations. Currently, I’m the director of behavioral health for a local hospital. I’ve been fascinated by paranormal phenomena for 20 years, and have been a participant and featured speaker in numerous paranormal forums and events including the Parapsychological Association’s 60th Anniversary Celebration. I studied psychology and parapsychology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and my research has been cited in parapsychological journals, newspaper articles, and mainstream books.
I present my background to communicate that I have experience with assessing hallucinations brought on by mental illness or drug abuse, and Introduction 11 in my opinion, the ghostly encounters that a majority of the millions of people have reported are definitely not the results of mental illness or substance abuse. Upon hearing of someone’s ghostly experience, skeptics are quick to proclaim “They are crazy,” or “You must have been imagining things,” statements that question the witness’s mental stability. This is an uneducated and irresponsible way to respond to someone who reports a ghostly experience, but unfortunately it is far too common. With ghosts and hauntings, although an individual’s experience is unique to them, overall there are some key similarities among all ghostly interactions. Through the years, I started to really listen to people’s paranormal experiences and certain similarities caught my attention and led me to write this book.
A true apparitional or ghostly experience happens on rare occasions and is only possible when several factors line up. These factors include psychological, environmental, and bioenergetic fluctuations. Much time and research has been spent on whether people’s ghostly experiences are of a natural or spiritual origin, which has simply led to scattered results. Looking for a single cause for a haunting or ghostly experience may be too simplistic. For such complicated phenomena, it is likely to be a combination of several theories or mechanisms. In The Ghost Studies, we will explore popular theories on ghosts, discuss the role of energy and electricity during ghostly encounters, and finally, through real-life case examples, explore my theories on the processes that are necessary for apparitions, ghostly experiences, and hauntings. By the end of it, we will have provided answers to questions such as:
- What causes ghostly experiences?
- What is the catalyst to witnessing a ghost?
- Why do certain people report numerous ghostly encounters and others none?
- What leads to certain locations being haunted?
If you are looking for more than ghost stories, and want to know what causes ghostly encounters, The Ghost Studies is for you.
Brandon Massullo is a clinical therapist and parapsychologist residing in Medina, Ohio. Fascinated by paranormal phenomena for more than 20 years, Massullo has been a participant in and featured speaker at numerous paranormal forums and events. He studied psychology and parapsychology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. His research has been cited in numerous parapsychological journals, articles, and mainstream books.