Ghosts - Hans Holzer

Introduction

As we settle more securely into the new millennium, people’s interests in the cosmic continue to grow. Even ordinary Joes and Janes who normally wouldn’t be caught dead reading an astrology column are suddenly wondering what the second millennium will mean for them and this world of ours.

To begin with, the millennium came and went over a decade ago. Jesus was born not the the year zero but in 7 B.C., on October 9, to be exact, as I proved quite a while ago after fifteen years of archeological research. This business of the millennium was strictly hype, a promotion that was created to make people think something very special would happen in the year 2000. The psychological effects of this “millennium,” however, are already upon us—casting a shadow in terms of a renewed great interest in things paranormal, for instance.

Several new TV talk shows and documentaries dealing with psychic phenomena and the exploration of the frontiers of human consciousness have sprung up, filling the television screens with tabloid tidbits often lacking in depth and validating research. Fictional forays into worlds beyond are also currently hugely successful both in film and television, and in books and even Websites.

As a purveyor of genuine information regarding psychic phenomena, I welcome this resurgence of curiosity in worlds beyond the physical because contemplating these matters tends to make people think about themselves, their ultimate fate, and the nature of humankind itself.

When it comes to dealing with the hard evidence of life after death, there are three classes of people—and this may remain the case for a long time to come, considering how resistant humans are to embracing radically new or different concepts.

There are those who ridicule the idea of anything beyond the grave. This category includes anybody from hard-line scientists to people who are only comfortable with the familiar, material world and really do not wish to examine any evidence that might change their minds. The will to disbelieve is far stronger than the will to believe—though neither leads to proof and hard evidence.

Then there are those who have already accepted the evidence of a continued existence beyond physical death, including people who have arrived at this conclusion through an examination of hard evidence, either personal in nature or from scientifically valid sources. They are the group I respect the most, because they are not blind believers. They rightfully question the evidence, but they have no problem accepting it when it is valid. Included in this group are the religious-metaphysical folks, although they require no hard proof to validate their convictions, which emanate from a belief system that involves a world beyond this one.

The third group is often thrown offtrack when trying to get at the truth by the folks in the metaphysical camp. This makes it more difficult for them to arrive at a proper conviction regarding the psychic. The thing for this third group is to stick to its principles and not become blind believers.

The vast majority of people belong to the third group. They are aware of the existence of psychical phenomena and the evidence for such phenomena, including case histories and scientific investigations by open-minded individuals. But they may be skeptical. They hesitate to join the second group only because of their own inner resistance to such fundamental changes in their philosophical attitudes toward life and death. For them, therefore, the need to be specific when presenting evidence or case histories, which must be fully verifiable, is paramount, as is an acceptable explanation for their occurrence.

It is hoped that those in the second group will embrace the position of the last group: that there are no boundaries around possibilities, provided that the evidence bears it out.

Prof. Hans Holzer, Ph.D.

CHAPTER ONE

The Nature of Life and Death

WHAT IS MAN? WHY IS MAN? HOW IS MAN?

To fully understand the existence of ghosts, one needs to come to grips with the nature of life—and death. Ghosts, apparitions, messages from beyond, and psychic experiences involving a loved one or friend who has passed away all presuppose that the receiver or observer accept the reality of another dimension into which we all pass at one time or another. A die-hard (if you pardon the pun) committed to pure material reality, even atheism, will not be comfortable with the subject of this book. But the subject of ghosts just won’t go away. They have always been with us, under one designation or another, depending on the time period, culture, or religious orientation of the people to whom the