The Goopy Ghost at St. Patrick's Day
August 2017 by V. R. Duin

SPIRIT POSSESSION
WITHOUT POSSESSED PEOPLE
OR SCARY GHOSTS

The thieves thought the guard was quite brash
For shopping with bright golden cash.
So they took tight hold
Of all of his gold
Then dashed from his grove to their stash!
(“The Goopy Ghost at Saint Patrick's Day”)

Spirit possession is not always about possessed people and scary ghosts.

Ghosts may travel through physical space. However, they seem to be stuck in time. Ghosts are not likely to float over to someone and take spirit possession of that person. Ghosts are separate and residual entities that tend to be faintly visible and barely audible in their appearances and attempts to communicate with people in the present time. Scary ghosts are unusual. Ghosts tend to be playful, curious and mischievous. They are not deserving of a bad rap.

Ghosts are in a continuous loop of learning and searching. Their goal is generally not one of spirit possession. Few ghosts are scary ghosts. The Goopy Ghost is perpetually on the move to find his pumpkin home and to celebrate his connection with it. This good ghost is tied to the pumpkin and to the spirit of the holiday season, not to making possessed people. Most ghosts are tied to unfinished business in their past lives, rather than to creating new disturbances for other beings in their new dimension. Ghosts do not seem to have an ability to go back in time and change their ghostly outcome.

Ghosts tend to be repetitive and uncomplicated in their connections with this world. Ghosts may challenge their hosts with a bit of mischief, rather than spirit possession. Ghosts prefer to be perceived as entertaining presences in search of attention rather than as scary ghosts. Ghosts reside in the present, not within possessed people. They do not seem to have the free will to roam beyond the area from which they departed this world in death. It is difficult for a ghost to find a balance between their spiritual energy and the physical world.

Ghosts are often seen in dark, lonely, old, scary and wild places. As a result, ghosts are often believed to be bad spirits. However, in the paranormal world, scary ghosts are generally not referred to as ghosts. Instead, the name poltergeists is used to classify “scary ghosts”. This article will not discuss these horrific entities other than to mention that poltergeists may have been left behind to curse the world for some traumatic event from which they are unwilling or unable to disconnect.

Spirit possession is more complex than haunting ghosts, be these continually good or rarely seen scary ghosts, called poltergeists. For there to be spirit possession, there must be possessed people. Spirits are conscious forms of energy that exist in the present and in the afterlife. However, these spirits are subject to internal psychological processes for interpretation. It is the human mind that completes the experience. Aural and visual delusions often appear at times of weakness, confusion, distress or ill health.

Spirits can influence the will, mind and emotions of a person. A spirit can be good or evil, much like human feelings or moods. Spirits can provide guidance, healing, encouragement, love and enlightenment. However, spirit possession generally is recognized in cultures throughout the world as unwelcome control or unwilling manipulation of possessed people, things or places. Ghosts are very much a reflection of the state and knowledge of the storyteller and the recipient. They typically are local in cause and effect.

True spirit possession is rare. Ghosts typically are not possessive spirits. They may not have a true physical presence. Mediums, psychics and spiritual leaders can communicate with spirits in their past and present levels of consciousness. Scary ghosts, called poltergeists, may live in a dimension that can be perceived, but not reached or controlled by invocation or exorcism. Neither ghosts nor poltergeists have to live within possessed people to create detectable interactions, be these good or bad in nature.

Signs of spirit possession may be a loss of energy or appetite and a radical change in temperament. If thieves take someone's gold, that person or leprechaun loses a physical possession. Spirit possession may not be physical. It may manifest as a mental or an emotional loss of control. It should not automatically be attributed to scary ghosts. Worry, guilt and subjective suggestion from others can create a pattern of life-long belief that one is a victim of bad spirits. Instead of influence from an outside spiritual world, these symptoms may arise from psychological effects caused among the living.

Some churches practice exorcism in some instances and for some types of spirit possession. These include Catholic, Charismatic, Pentecostal and Evangelical churches. V. R. Duin attended a Pentecostal church, where she witnessed works to expel or transform a bad spirits and replace them with good faith. The Bible provides examples of exorcism. Exorcism also is a respected healing practice for perceived spirit possession among adherents to the beliefs of such religions as Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism. It also is performed in some African cultures. There also are many individuals and organizations, including some Christian denominations, by whom spirits may be called or invoked, but not sent away. This facilitates communication, which may relieve some distress for those with concerns about scary ghosts and possessed people, things or places.

V. R. Duin worked as a mental health and substance abuse intervention attorney for many years. She continues to witness the effects of such mental illnesses and disorders as hysteria, mania, psychosis and schizophrenia. It is easy for her to recognize how the symptoms of mental and emotional illness may be perceived as spirit possession by some witnesses. Symptoms may include seeing, hearing and feeling impacts from people, animals or things that are not detectable to others. The different types of cognition among people are professionally recognized by mental health doctors and counselors as different ways of thinking, not as possessed people haunted by scary ghosts. When obsessive-compulsive behaviors or a disconnection from reality totally disrupt life and work functions, conventional medical and psychiatric intervention may result in a firm diagnosis and effective treatment.

Medications may be prescribed to control cognitive behaviors. However, these prescriptions may come with side effects, such as lethargy, dizziness, restlessness, nausea, constipation or weight gain. These effects may seem demonic to the sufferers in the beginning but, over time, medications can enable these individuals to take control of their lives. Withdrawal upon stopping these medications also may have severe side effects. The behaviors caused by substance addiction also can mimic those attributed to spirit possession. Spiritual and mental or physical health guidance and treatments can ease withdrawal symptoms and lead to recovery.

Individuals who start adhering to a strict weight-loss or allergy-restricted diet or who begin a rigid schedule of relaxation techniques, may be considered “possessed people” by those around them. These new directions, despite the level of passion, should receive respect and understanding from friends, neighbors and loved ones. Changes can take a long time and require a lot of persistence to complete. Spirit possession can be a good thing. Scary ghosts are unlikely to be involved in such changes. Change can be for the worse. When no improvement is noted from conventional treatments, and spirit possession is suspected, consultation with a spiritual leader or other counsel may be advised.

Scary ghosts are unlikely to be the cause. It is equally unlikely that fun, mischievous or scary ghosts can provide professional solutions for disruptive human behaviors. However, ghosts can provide great distraction and mind-altering experience. The Goopy Ghost is a pumpkin ghost, created for the children in all of us. Because he keeps readers and viewers in celebration mode, the Goopy Ghost is a fun spirit for anyone and everyone to possess.

The Goopy Ghost keeps young readers interested in holiday books throughout the year. Goopy's wants his focus on reading and on the goodness of holidays to extend to every day of the year. Goopy's antics should be shared and enjoyed with others for decades to come. Ghost stories are a fun form of “spirit possession”. Goopy hopes to change his “possessed people” for the better. Goopy is not a scary ghost. However, readers do not want to experience his stories on their own. It is fun to read with others.

Beyond Spirit Possession

  • spirit possession admin says:

    The Goopy Ghost does not support spirit possession, and does not participate in spirit possession.

  • scary ghosts admin says:

    This ghost has never witnessed spirit possession, and does not know of any scary ghosts who are involved in spirit possession.

    • possessed peopleadmin says:

      This Holiday Ghost does not know any possessed people and does not take the loss of any possession or ability lightly.