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Assuming that ghosts of any type actually do exist, there seem to be a variety of reasons for spirits to choose to remain earthbound. They range from the silly to the serious and sometimes determining why they’re staying where they are is key to understanding the activities at a particular location.

Many spirits seem to be able to move back and forth between their world and ours. This accounts for occasionally seeing, hearing, or sensing loved ones, including departed family, friends, and pets. They can make their presence known during stressful times to provide comfort and encouragement and can also choose to spend time with us during our daily activities and hope that we somehow feel their presence.

Many times, they come to us in the dream state and these tend to be particularly vivid and memorable experiences. Often, they’ll visit in response to our thoughts or memories of them and they’ll try their best to send a sign and surround us with love. The last thing they want is for their loved ones to be sad – they much prefer that we smile when we think of them. These spirits represent the vast majority of those who have died – they have successfully made their transition to spirit and are going on with their happy and busy “afterlives,” while retaining their love and concern for those they left behind.

But, there are others who are not so fortunate. For reasons of their own, they remain here long after their time on earth should have ended. Most have no malevolent intentions. They generally prefer to be left alone, although there have been more than a few reports of gregarious ghosts.

So, why would anyone choose to stay around rather than move on? These are some possible reasons:

1. TRAUMA: They died so suddenly or violently that they don’t know they’re dead or simply refuse to accept it.

2. LACK OF A BELIEF SYSTEM: They expected non-existence following death and have trouble coping with the fact that they’re still around and aware.

3. UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Something needs to be completed; for example, an important project at work or home. An intense interest in “seeing it through” can cause a person to linger for a while on the earth plane. The desire to send a message to someone still living can also be a powerful reason to remain.

4. PROTECTION: A spirit may be trying to protect a loved one for some reason and is reluctant to move on until they’re assured of their safety.

5. LOVE: A very strong love bond between spouses, parent/child, or even friends can cause a spirit to remain.

6. HATE: A very strong hatred toward a living person or persons could be the reason why a particular spirit chooses to stay. They’re holding on to their anger, resentment, and hatred.

7. FEAR: People who have been followers of very rigid religious dogma are sometimes afraid to move on to the next stage. They fear judgment, punishment, or being sent to hell to be tortured for eternity.

8. FAMILIARITY: A spirit may simply feel most comfortable in the environment of a beloved home and be reluctant to leave. They’re happiest in familiar surroundings and may stay only a few years and then choose to cross over when they’re ready.

9. CURIOSITY: Some spirits stick around simply to see what happens next – who’s going to win the election? When is that new movie coming out? What’s going to happen next with Jon & Kate? These are generally spirits who, when living, tended to be very involved with earthly activities and interests and they’re not quite ready to give them up.

10. REVENGE: A spirit may be looking to avenge their murder or betrayal. Or, they may feel “cheated,” not realizing that it was their time to die. They may be envious towards those still on the physical plane and may be looking for opportunities for revenge.

There are techniques that can be used to help spirits “move on,” but the decision has to be theirs. Just as we can’t choose which path is best for anyone still living, we cannot choose for those who no longer inhabit their physical bodies.


Article from Ghost Hunting Examiner -
Patricia Marin
Why are spirits earth-bound?