A Ghosty Past

A Ghosty Past

by Adam Goodwin | 2013


With Hallowe’en approaching, I was thinking about the significance of ghosts and Hallowe’en in the context of living in the United Kingdom.   Before speaking too much further, first a bit of a story.


I try to jog about 3-4 times per week.  I have a forest with many walking trails just up the road so I enjoy running on these trails.  With my work schedule and the fact it is now getting darker earlier, many of my post-work runs are in the dark.  I am okay with this. The UK is having unprecedented nice weather this year so the stars accompany me on most of my nightly walks/runs.

The other day, I was running up one of the trails in a thick part of the forest that gradually climbs a small hill.  A few hundred feet in front of me, I could swear someone was up ahead.  By this time it was dark.  As I usually come across people I know on my runs, I started sprinting up the hill to catch up to this individual.

Based on the title of this blog post, you may have guessed.  The person I could have sworn was only a few hundred feet in front of me, never materialized.  This somewhat spooked me – I still continued on my run, but this was still somewhat spooky.

The Role of Ghosts

With Hallowe’en approaching and this recent event, I began thinking about ghosts.  These thoughts weren’t so much on do they/don’t they exist – this debate will never likely be resolved to one side’s liking.  I’m sure, for as long as I have the privilege of walking on Earth, we will have no definitive answer to the existence debate.  Following, are some of my thoughts about ghosts.


Are ghosts a test for us?  Test courage.  Test wits.  Test ourselves when we are put in a scary, uncomfortable position.  Does ‘seeing’ a ghost simply act as preparation for events in our daily lives?  When one believes they have seen a ghost, it can be very scary and chilling.  Just like the first day of school, or having to stand up in front of a large crowd to deliver a presentation/speech, does witnessing the presence of a ghost prepare us for other life events?


I think many of us want to leave a legacy once our spirits pass from one live to the next.  Some travel to Africa to build an orphanage to save lives.  Some take an oath to hold open doors and smile at others to brighten the days of others.    Is a ghost sighting simply part of some individual’s legacy on Earth?  Perhaps ghosts exist to remind us to live the life we want, and to remember to live a good life – this can be everyone’s legacy to the world.


Do ghosts represent a symbol for the past, present, future continuum?  These ghosts lived in the past, they live in the present, and they will live in the future.  Are they meant to remind us to reflect on our pasts while living in the present while having an eye for the future?

People claim to have seen ghosts.  However, have ghosts ever hurt someone?  (Psychologically, likely, a big yes; physically, I am not sure.)  Perhaps they exist to remind people that we must live in harmony with all other things on Earth.

Do they represent trust and compassion? Some people claim to have seen ghosts and other have not.  If you have not seen ghosts, do you believe people when they say they have seen ghosts?  I think conversely, we must also ask: if you have seen a ghost, do you believe people who have said they have not seen a ghost?


Are ghosts preparation for life?  There are dangers in the world (are ghosts dangerous?).  There is the unknown in the world – especially with how quickly the world is destroying national paradigms and physical borders.  Perhaps they are meant to remind us that as the world more quickly progresses, they is still more we do not know about our worlds than what we do know.

Your Call To Action

Can we change our outlook on things in our lives to see another perspective and have a different outlook?  Share you thoughts/ideas on ghosts below by commenting or connecting on social media.


These are one person’s thoughts and opinions.  I welcome and strive to get your feedback and own thoughts. Feel free to comment below or connect with me via social media.

Adam Goodwin is a Canadian working in the United Kingdom, and is a proud shameless idealist. His parents currently work in Cairo, Egypt. He has siblings and distant family in Canada and around the rainbow nation’s only home. Follow his year+ overseas on Twitter (@adam13goodwin) and on this blog



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