Halloween is fast approaching, and all things spooky are popping up on our radar. And of course, ghost stories and tales of hauntings are all the rage this time of year. But what should we consider as Christians, and—are ghosts real?
Free printable Halloween Gospel Tracts
Lots of people claim to either believe in ghosts or claim to have seen one or know someone who has. So what about these ghost sightings, are they legit? Let’s take a look.
I’m guessing most people would agree there are 3 basic categories that ghost sightings or experiences fall into: fake, an imagination run wild, or true, legitimate experiences.
We’ve all seen what’s possible with Photoshop and editing tricks, and there’s no doubt that there are tons of ghost videos out there that are nothing more than clever editing or perfectly-timed jump cuts.
Ghost stories are fun to tell around a campfire, but most of us chalk them up to tall tales.
And of course, we can’t forget the odd practical joke. You can find plenty of YouTube videos of people tricking others into believing they’ve been haunted when in reality, we as the viewers are in on the joke and have seen the set-up.
What about if you’re reading a spooky story, or watching a scary movie about ghostly beings, and then you begin to notice things moving from place to place around the house, seemingly on their own?
Or could it be that you got spooked by the movie and are letting your imagination run wild?
Maybe that strange sound you hear coming from the kitchen was only noticeable because your adrenaline’s pumping from that book and your senses are on high alert? Maybe it was really a ghost! …or maybe it was the ice-maker.
What about that creaking down the hall in the middle of the night? A ghost could be afoot! (Do ghosts even have feet?) But you know it’s just the house settling, the wind blowing outside, or any other normal sound you wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t been scaring yourself half to death.
But what about something that really happened. Something undeniable that you can’t explain away no matter how hard you try? What about those things that have happened with no other possible explanation but the supernatural?
Okay. Let’s talk about that, because there ARE things that happen in this world that we just can’t dismiss as normal. There are definitely questionable and creepy things we’ve seen or heard, things we’re not sure about. So let’s look at them and get down to the nitty-gritty reality.
Are ghosts real?
Weird stuff happens, no question about it. And sometimes it seems those things are of the supernatural. So there have to be ghosts out there roaming around, right? How else could we explain it?
But what if those experiences—real as they are—shouldn’t be attributed to ghosts? What if it’s something else?
When we hear the word “ghost,” we think of a person who’s gone on to the afterlife. Someone who died and hasn’t “crossed over” into the next dimension of life, or hasn’t made peace with the fact they’re dead and so their spirits aren’t at rest.
There are theories of ghosts having unfinished business here or on earth, of the dead missing their loved ones and returning to visit, or of evil entities who mean only to do us harm.
So let’s take a minute to explore these possibilities.
First, if you believe that ghosts are real, I have a question for you: what are you wanting to believe?
Are you looking for something exciting? Something unknown? Something mysterious?
Have you lost a loved one and are hoping against hope that they’ll come back to visit you? Are you clinging to the possibility that a medium might be able to contact your lost loved one? So you don’t feel so alone? So you don’t miss them as much?
My mom died over 8 years ago, and if I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus and know the truth about ghosts and the afterlife, I can guarantee you I would almost certainly be seeking out a way to try to contact her.
And it would be out of sheer desperation, and out of the uncertainty of knowing whether I’d ever see her again or not. And wanting to know where she was. Whether she was out there somewhere or whether she’d just disappeared.
But we can know for sure that there is an afterlife, and we can know for sure where we’ll go when we die. The Bible is excruciatingly clear about it. When we die here on this earth, life continues in the spiritual realm, and we’ll continue to exist eternally.
But we don’t return to earth as ghosts or spirits. Our spirits live on in only one of 2 places. Here’s what God tells us in His word:
Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster... Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! | Deuteronomy 30:15,19; NLT
There’s no wondering.
And there’s no wandering. No ghosts of dead loved ones roaming about. Once we die, we’re gone from this earth.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment | Hebrews 9:27, KJV
Once we leave this earth, our spirits go to one of 2 places, and it’s so wonderful that God loves us so much that He’s given us a clear explanation of how we’ll end up in one place or another.
Free printable Halloween Gospel Tracts
There’s only one thing you have to do to get into heaven, and there’s only one thing that will send you to hell:
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." | John 3:18, NKJV
Believe on the Lord Jesus and be reunited with Him one day in paradise, or reject Him and suffer eternal condemnation and separation from God.
If you want to learn more about how to accept Jesus personally, or exactly what happens to you after you die, find out the truth here.
Here’s how Jesus briefly described it:
So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. | Matthew 13:49-50, NKJV
In fact, one man who ended up in hell wanted nothing more than to warn others not to come there:
And he went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side. Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’ The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’ But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’” | Luke 16:23, 27-21, NLT
Obviously, he wasn’t able to return to do so. So any kind of presence that we believe to be ghosts wandering this earth aren’t ghosts at all.
But they are spirits.
And they prey on our mistaken belief that ghosts are real.
As we looked at earlier, they’re not people who have unfinished business and can’t cross over. They’re not our loved ones returning because they miss us. They are evil and mean only to do us harm.
But what if we truly believe we’ve contacted one of our loved ones? What if a medium shares specific things that only our loved one would know? How could it not be them?
Because Satan is a thief. He comes only to destroy. (John 10:10)
Because he’s a liar.
Remember in the Bible where Satan is described as an angel of light? He roams the world listening for anything he can use to deceive us.
And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. | 2 Corinthians 11:14, NKJV
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. | 1 Peter 5:8, NKJV
There are no such things as ghosts. At least not in the traditional sense. Yes, there are spirits. But any spirit presenting itself as a ghost is an evil spirit seeking to deceive and harm us.
There’s an ongoing war in the spiritual realm happening all around us, day and night. Angels and demons warring for and against righteousness.
There’s a battle going on for our minds, the same battle of righteousness versus evil—the Holy Spirit versus demonic spirits.
Because we live in a fallen world, Satan is the prince of this world, and the Bible describes him as the prince of the power of the air in Ephesians 2:2.
Anything that seems to be a ghost is an evil spirit, no matter how pleasant it may appear at first to be, or how much it may appear to know about your loved ones or your situation.
The battle for our minds is being fought in the spiritual realm, and believe it or not, the spiritual is even more real than the physical. The spiritual realm, my friend—always remember THAT is where the war is being waged.
Our perspective as Christians
Our instruction and our first line of defense must come from the Word of God.
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. | Hebrews 4:12, NLT
Be constantly in prayer with God throughout your day. That’s how we maintain and strengthen our relationship with Him, by being in communion with Him—listening to the Holy Spirit as we read and study the Bible.
How to come out victorious in the spiritual realm
So what should we do? How to fight these very real “ghosts”?
1. Suit up
A spiritual war is raging around us, and we must be prepared to do battle by equipping ourselves:
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. | Ephesians 6:11-18, NKJV
2. Rebuke evil
Avoid anything relating to contacting ghosts or spirits:
Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the Lord your God. | Leviticus 19:31, NLT
I will also turn against those who commit spiritual prostitution by putting their trust in mediums or in those who consult the spirits of the dead. I will cut them off from the community. So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the Lord your God. Keep all my decrees by putting them into practice, for I am the Lord who makes you holy. | Leviticus 20:6-8, NLT
And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. | Deuteronomy 18:10b-11, NLT
3. Think right
Think about what is lovely, my friend! God’s creation is so vast and wonderful, so we should always be able to find something worthy of praise to fix our minds on.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. | Philippians 4:8-9, NLT
4. Be on guard
Keep your eyes open for deception and listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. And in all things, consult the word of God and go to Him in prayer.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. | Philippians 4:6-7, NLT
Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil. | 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22, NLT
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. | 1 John 4:1, NKJV
I hope that answering the question “are ghosts real” from a Christian perspective has been helpful and has given you some things to ponder, especially in light of the upcoming Halloween season!
Here’s a quick recap of our keys to spiritual victory:
- Suit up
- Rebuke evil
- Think right
- Be on guard
To read more about ghosts, check out this post from Answers in Genesis.
So let me ask you, have you changed your mind about whether ghosts are real? Let me know in the comments!
Free printable Halloween Gospel Tracts
Related Halloween posts
- Is It Okay for Christians to Celebrate Halloween?
- Do church-sponsored haunted houses glorify God and win souls to Christ?
- Get your free printable Halloween Gospel Tracts here!
- If you’re not sure whether you’ve personally trusted in the Lord Jesus, this is for you
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