Everyone wonders from time to time if a ghost may be in their presence. Some of us hope to catch a glimpse of one of our loved ones that have passed on. We want to know that they are okay. But as Catholics, should we believe in ghosts on earth? We hear of real life ghost interactions all the time on television and in books, but are they real? And if they are real, are they good? These occurrences that people speak of could possibly be true, but contrary to popular belief, the ghosts that are seen are not human souls that are trapped on earth with a special mission in order to get to heaven. Sorry, it does not work like the movies. If you see a ghost, it is more likely to be a demon that has transformed into a ghost or spirit of a human being to lead us away from the truth.
The Catholic Church very much believes in the spiritual realm. Ephesians 6:11-12 says, “Put you on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with the flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.” This scripture tells us we should be prepared for evil spirits in the darkness who seek to ruin our souls. The church discourages us from trying to contact the dead because it can be hard to tell if the messages being received are from a deceased relative, an angel, a saint, or a demon. Demons know how to manipulate us, so we would not know if the spirit is evil or good. If you feel like you are being contacted by a spirit, you should discuss it with a priest before ever trying to interact with them. Although you may not have contacted them, they can appear to us on their own. If this happens, seek spiritual counseling with a priest. He should be able to tell you if the spirit is evil or sent from God. If he can’t, he can put you in touch with an exorcist priest.
As per the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we are forbidden as Catholics to seek out the dead, or demons. CCC 2116 tells us that all forms of divination are to be rejected, and anything else that is meant to unveil the future such as consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums should also be rejected. Over time, these practices will give us the desire for power which would contradict the honor, respect and loving fear that we owe to God alone. In CCC 2117 we are told we should not use magic to have a supernatural power over others or ourselves. Even if the magic seems like it is for something good, such as one’s own sickness, we would not be respecting the virtue of religion. As Catholics, we should pray for what ails us, seeking God’s powers and not our own.
The only time souls can contact us is if they are sent from God himself. God only sends them for our salvation. So, forget the Ouija boards, or tarot cards and just pray. If you want magic, prayer is where the real magic lies.