The group known as Spirit Seekers is a paranormal investigative unit that documents alleged hauntings and other phenomenon such as poltergeist activity. Located in Arkansas, they claim to be “committed to the research, documentation, education and investigation of ghostly phenomena recorded through EVP, digital, film and video photography.”
Here’s the statement that gives the biggest clues about whether or not this organization (and others like it) are to be embraced by Catholics:
“We believe that our spirits enter into another plane of existence upon physical death. For any number of reasons, some have elected to stay here or have been anchored here, unable to move on.”
This is not a Christian belief. As the Catechism teaches us, “Each person receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ; either entrance into the blessedness of heaven – through a purification . . . or immediate and everlasting damnation.” (Catechism No. 1022)
If we’re judged and sent immediately on our way to heaven, hell or purgatory, this doesn’t leave much time for haunting people’s homes and/or throwing pots and pans around in the middle of the night.
To suggest that God allows one of His precious children to just float around somewhere between life and death is like suggesting that a parent would drop their child off somewhere in the middle of the night without telling them how to find their way home.
Besides, there is no evidence that people get “stuck” between life and death, but there is a plethora of evidence suggesting that Satan and his minions like to convince us of this. By posing as our dead relatives or other loved ones, they can lead us away from God. Just ask any exorcist!
They also have first-hand evidence – from the demons themselves – about how they go about infesting a home. Typical signs of a demonic infestation are suspiciously similar to those of “ghosts” – such as tapping or knocking noises on the walls or floors, the sound of footsteps on floors or stairs, disturbances in electronic equipment like digital clocks going backwards, appliances turning on or off, lights turning on or off. They can also manifest as the sound of voices or animal sounds in the walls, rooms, or outside; fluids or other substances appearing on walls or floors; bad odors with no natural explanation; black human figures that stand or move about like shadows; and black clouds that look like smoke that move about but don’t dissipate.
This sounds an awful lot like the stuff we see on those popular TV shows such as the The Haunting.
Besides all of the above, even a basic knowledge of life after death disputes the idea that the dead can come back to this world at will. Disembodied souls are just that – souls. They no longer have a body which means they don’t have voiceboxes with which to speak, feet to make the floor boards creak, or hands to throw china plates around the kitchen. Their bodies are rotting in a grave somewhere.
Therefore, in order to “appear” again after death – which Our Lord does allow from time to time – they have to “borrow” a body from either a preternatural (angelic) or supernatural (God) source. In other words, God would have to allow the person to return, and then give him or her the power to do so.
We all know that God allows this at times – such as when Mary appears to the world, or when a person appears to ask for prayer; however, this is always at God’s initiative and is never the result of an evocation of anyone, be it a medium or someone’s relative. We know this from Scripture where God strictly forbids anyone to call up the dead (Deuteronomy 18). If He calls this an “abomination”, we can be sure that He will not facilitate such appearances, nor will He allow His angels (the good ones) to do so. There’s only one other option left – demons. They have both the power and the motive to appear as someone’s relative in order to entice a believer into turning away from God and consorting with them instead.
This is why the Church, which has never made a formal pronouncement about the existence of ghosts, insists that the faithful should never partake in any kind of mediumship, seance or other method of conjuring the dead because diabolical agencies are more than likely responsible for these appearances. It is extremely dangerous for everyone involved.
Spirit Seekers goes on to say that they “as a whole, desire the knowledge and understanding of life after death.” I have no reason to doubt this, but I do question the way they’re going about it – with EVP meters and other equipment that is recording nothing more than typical patterns of demonic infestation. Instead, they should sit down with true experts in this field, i.e., trained exorcists, who deal with the realities of the spiritual realm every day and are in direct contact with the beings who inhabit this mysterious place.
Spirit Seekers is no doubt well-intentioned, but they are badly misinformed.