Is it possible for a person to come back to earth (e.g. as a ghost) from Heaven or Hell? We have had some weird happenings at our house, and I am trying to figure out what is going on. Our room mate believes it is her grand father "coming back from the dead" to comfort her. However, it is my understanding from the Bible that once a person dies, they go to Heaven or Hell, based on whether or not they know Jesus as their Savior. Is it possible they can come back in spirit form though, especially in times of crisis? I know there are angels and demons and possibly other spirits. I am trying to find out what this "presence" is, if it really could be her grandfather, or is it an angel / demon / other spirit. I would be interested to hear from different denominations as well. The following passage, and others show me there are "unclean spirits", which I am not sure if these are demons or something else:

Matthew 12:43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

The following verses, where Paul is speaking about false apostles, leads me to believe that Satan, and I am guessing other demons, can falsely appear to be good.

2 Corinthians 11:13-14 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.


This is related to, but more specific than the existing question: Does anybody teach specifically about the existence of ghosts?

It may be loosely related to the following question as well: Can a person lose his/her salvation?

  • possible duplicate of Does anybody teach specifically about the existence of ghosts?
    – Dan
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 17:51
  • also duplicate of a duplicate: Can a person lose his/her salvation? Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 18:04
  • I don't believe it is a duplicate as I am mainly asking if someone can come back after going to Heaven or Hell. It is related to the first question, but is a bit different (e.g. can a person come back from Heaven or Hell as a ghost).
    – Jonathan
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 19:05
  • 1
    @Jonathan Don't add that sort of justification in comments. Add it directly to the question: "I've seen [this question] and [this question] but they don't answer my question because they address ... but I'm actually interested in ..." Comments are ephemeral, so you need to address any objections in the question, and your edit should be integral to the question, not tacked on as a footnote. Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 19:19
  • I would like to know how this is off topic, I am asking for different doctrinal perspectives on if we can come back from Heaven or Hell, and if this is what ghosts are.
    – Jonathan
    Commented Jun 7, 2014 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


The short answer is no. There are many reports of people "seeing" Heaven or Hell and coming back, but as for entering, there is no return. That being said, Heaven and Hell are spiritual states (at least before Second Coming/Apocalypse) and not physical places; so, in theory, being in Heaven or Hell would rule out "presence" (in a non-physical sense) on Earth.

Take miracles which are attributed to saints. Such happenings suggest that human souls in Heaven can have some effect on the physical world. This being said, it seems much more common that spiritual interactions on Earth are on account to angels/demons.

But coming back as a "ghost", that is, a human spirit that has physical presence on Earth is not possible. Accordingly, I do not think there is a definitive answer to the nature of the "presence" which your room-mate feels; though I would be careful considering it to be her grandfather himself.

--Roman Catholic

  • Thank you for taking the time to post your answer. While I believe Heaven and Hell are actual places, I also think you are right that they cannot (usually) come back. I also know that with God, all things are possible, so He could bring them back if He wanted to. I know we need to be extremely careful with any "spirits", and should ask God to help us if we face them, as it is likely a trick from the devil. I also know that angels can visit, but that demons can also appear as angels.
    – Jonathan
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 13:37
  • 1
    What about Saul summoning the spirit of Samuel from the dead? A rare case, but it shows a dead person brought back from wherever dead people go, even capable of speaking.
    – Mirror318
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 20:45

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .