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Here's a bit of a story from my childhood that's related to this question.

(Sorry if this is too long but I wanted to explain what I mean.)

I grew up in Sweden in a family of Finnish immigrants. During summertime, when most people took their 4 weeks of vacation, my family would often visit the locality where my dad had grown up, in the Satakunta region.

This locality was about 7 miles from the nearest town and about 20 minute walk to the nearest neighbor. It had been more densely populated in the past but esp. since WW2 people had started moving to larger cities where most of the jobs were. The "farm" (more like a set of houses but no farming or horses for since a long time) where my dad grew up had a main house, two barns, and a separate small sauna building. The main building looked similar to the building to the left in this picture.

Usually when we visited this place, our relatives from other parts of Finland came also so that everyone's kids (my dad had like 6 siblings) could have a chance to be with each other. During these weeks everyone slept in the main house, and supposedly that is where unusual things had sometimes happened.

What I was told is that sometimes one of my uncles had woken up at night because he felt like something (invisible) had sat down on the couch he was sleeping on. At some other times supposedly someones cover had been yanked from off him. Or they had heard foot steps from the stairs leading to the attic, as if someone was coming down from the attic.

And then there was a story that supposedly had happened to my grandfather, on the day his friend had died. This friend had come to visit him and they had chatted for some time and when the friend had left, he had supposedly walked through a closed door and disappeared. Later on my grandfather had heard that that friend had actually died earlier that day.

My dad also told me that his grandfather's father was supposedly known as a male witch (or "warlock" I guess is the right term) although he seemed to have been more like a part-time such.

There were more paranormal stories like these although I never experienced much of anything during the times I visited the place.

(Just wanted to add that I do realize that some people believe these kinds of events are hoaxes, jokes, or are only "experienced" by people who have psychiatric problems, but I personally never felt that I had enough reason to doubt my uncles, aunts or dad who told me these things.)

What I wanted to ask is, do JWs have a belief about these kinds of things, and if so, what causes them? Are there lost souls that are trapped between heaven and hell, or is it something else?

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Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe in ghosts. They believe that humans return to dust and do not continue to live beyond the grave. (Ecclesiastes 9:5; Psalm 146:4) Every supernatural occurrence is the result of either angels, demons (wicked angels), or the holy spirit. The acts of demons are very easy to pick out, because they don't do anything to further God's will, don't result in the fruitages of the spirit, or they clearly contradict what's written in the Bible.

I'm glad that you've not experienced any of these events yourself, because they can be quite dangerous to both your faith and health. It's important to learn the truth about the supernatural so that you can protect yourself from the direct influence of demons. If you seek out the supernatural, you will find it.

This is the Bible's advice summarized here:

  • Learn to recognize the Devil’s methods so that you are “not ignorant of his designs.” —2 Corinthians 2:11.
  • Take in knowledge from the Bible, and then apply what you learn. Applying Bible principles will protect you from the Devil’s influence. —Ephesians 6:11-18.
  • Get rid of anything connected with demon activity. (Acts 19:19) That includes music, books, magazines, posters, and videos that encourage spiritism.

Here's some more relevant articles on jw.org:

  • thank you for your answer. I do agree with that all the experiences that my relatives told me seemed never particularly pleasant....more like spooky if anything. These experiences with seeing a friend that should have already been dead seem to contradict these scriptures you quote but I will check the articles you link to. – coderworks Jun 24 '17 at 4:13
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    that last article you linked ("What Hope Is There for the Dead?"), says "But some angels are wicked, and they may speak to people and pretend to be dead humans. (2 Peter 2:4)" which sounds like it makes sense in this context. – coderworks Jun 24 '17 at 4:22
  • @coderworks Yeah, I'm usually very skeptical of stories like that, but I always take people seriously if they have concerns. I wasn't all too comfortable reading your story either, but I'm glad I could help! Saying a prayer is the most effective action you can take in the moment if you ever feel uneasy. – 4castle Jun 24 '17 at 4:26
  • Nice answer you have a knack for writing well supported answers that are easy to understand and not just copy and paste quotes from the wt online library – Kris Jun 26 '17 at 13:41
  • @Kris Thanks! My answers are usually just taken from the article I'm referring to, and then rewritten in my own words. Caleb's question is what got me in the habit of doing that. – 4castle Jun 26 '17 at 13:49
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While researching premise of my third novel, I learned from the SE experts, from books like Oliver Sachs' --Hallucinations-- and George Musser's --Spooky Actions at a Distance-- and many others, that "Science" does not admit any paranormal, near-death, out of body, or other such events because there has never been any scientifically-proven evidence of these--and, I have been convinced that that is true. However, I had a "visitation" type experience when I was eleven. The short version is: Lying in my bottom bunk bed (lil brother on top bunk) a man walked in and put his hand, palm down, over my face for a moment. He soon walked out into the hallway--gone. It wasn't my father, bc he grabbed his gun when I ("white as a sheet") told him. I have regular discussions w/JWs and they affirm biblical angels, and demons. Not ghosts. I agree, despite my and others' experiences. I too believe that angels and demons exist (The Bible is my reference). 4castle's statements in they're regards are logical. Now, all of "Science" cannot locate any evidence of something which survives the death and decomposition of the body. Neither has it ever discovered any 'observable' evidence of God (Jehovah?). But there are many verses attesting to God's abilities to confound and confuse Man. Maybe that is why Science is unwilling to say when a fetus becomes a human being. The answer would require either a guess or a conviction of faith. Regardless, there is an answer. Some answers involve a logical "Faith"!

  • Well, science is the study of the regular functioning of nature, so obviously science cannot describe the supernatural. That doesn't mean that to be a scientist is to deny the supernatural -- it's just the wrong tool for those kinds of questions. Likewise, you can't use math to quantify love, but it doesn't mean that mathematicians can't be romantics. – Joe Jun 28 '17 at 2:28

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