View Full Version : Why Are Ghosts Seen Wearing Clothes?

29th April 2008, 01:45 AM
I found this article intresting :)

Top paranormal researchers answer an age-old question
A QUESTION THAT ghost researchers often are confronted with concerns the fact that ghosts are most often seen wearing clothes. It is also a question that skeptics raise to support their argument that ghosts are figments of the imagination. But it’s a perfectly legitimate question. If ghosts are human spirit energy, why do their manifestations include the manufactured convention of clothing? After all, clothes are not part of our bodies, our spirits or our “souls”.

Or are they? I posed this question to a number of respected paranormal researchers.

American Ghost Society

Why do ghosts need clothes? No one really seems to know, but it’s possible that in most cases, ghosts seen wearing clothing are simply “residual” images – imprints or memories that linger on the atmosphere of a place like a recording. A ghost of this sort would have no “personality” and is simply like an old movie that just keeps playing.

But what about ghosts that are not merely imprints? What about those which are true, traditional spirits who died and stayed behind? Many researchers feel that ghosts are made up of electromagnetic energy. This energy, inside of the body, forms what we call our spirit, soul or personality. Now, science cannot prove this energy or personality actually exists, yet we know it does. If it can exist inside of our bodies, then why can’t it exist outside of the body, once the body itself stops functioning? It’s possible that it does and that this electromagnetic energy contains our personality and is what we think of as our spirit.

It has been shown through scientific experiments that exposure to high levels of electromagnetic energy can cause people to have vivid dreams, nightmares and even hallucinations. In other words, people are seeing things as a result of exposure to this energy. If spirits have any sort of control over the energy they are now comprised of (or even if their personalities are somehow manifested in the energy), then I would think it possible for the witness to see the spirit as the spirit sees itself. If the personality really does remain, the spirit would visualize itself as it was when alive, appearing as a living person and wearing clothing.

This could be a totally unconscious effect of the energy on the living person, or it could be a manipulation on the part of the spirit itself, perhaps causing the person to see what it wants them to. To understand this, I suggest that you close your eyes for a moment and then visualize yourself in your mind. How do you appear to yourself? Most likely, you were wearing clothing in your imagination. With the idea that a ghost appears looking in the same way that he sees himself, this might explain why so many ghosts that are seen are not only wearing clothing.


Ghosts and the clothes they wear have long been a snickering question. It’s a sort of “gotcha” question debunkers use, and it tells more about the way ghosts are interpreted than anything about them. Ghosts appear as wearing cloths because that's how they appear to us. In our era, clothes are part of what we are. They are part of how we see ourselves and this mental image is the one projected and picked up. In fact, clothes can many times give us information about who the ghosts are and what lives they had. There are some reports of nude ghosts, but they are few and far between. Ghosts tend to be seen in the garments they are buried wearing. In many ways the clothing helps us to indentify who they are.

Founder of Ghostvillage.com and author of The Ghost Files

In many cases, a ghost is a projection of a person. Whether that projection is coming from our own heads, some intelligent energy swarming all around us, or imprinted on the location itself, I don't know. Consider this: If you were to picture yourself somewhere, it's likely you would envision yourself wearing clothes, looking comfortable, yet presentable, and maybe you'd even drop a few pounds in your "projection" (hey, it's cheaper than liposuction, so have at it).

Very few people would picture themselves naked (though there's usually one exhibitionist in every crowd). If you could project any image of yourself that you like, maybe you'd project yourself bleeding from the gunshot would you sustained in your last moments of life in order to make a point to whoever receives that projection. The apparition is always a representation of something/someone else. It's not an entity unto itself; otherwise it wouldn't be so fleeting.

Central New York Ghost Hunters

I believe that ghosts can show themselves in whatever form they want. If a spirit were more comfortable at a certain age, they may show themselves at that time. I'm not too familiar with any person who is comfortable showing themselves in the nude, therefore they wouldn't want to show themselves au natural in ghost from.

* * *

These are all very good points. If ghosts are manifestations of the energy of human consciousness, then that consciousness would include clothing since, as stated by others above, that is how we think of ourselves. Or as esoteric author Richelle Hawks put it, considering that humans are far more than just their bodies: Why wouldn’t they be wearing clothes?

http://paranormal.about.com/od/ghosthun ... 042708.htm (http://paranormal.about.com/od/ghosthuntinggeninfo/a/aa042708.htm)

I remember my first ghost i seen and quite often in the home i use to own. A woman in a white gown. I mainly seen her but my wife got a couple of glimpses of the white dress.

29th April 2008, 02:22 AM
That's very interesting. The ghosts we saw when I was growing up were always indians, and many people saw them as they approached our house. I always thought they were residual hauntings, in which what is seen is an imprint or 'memory' of something that happened long ago. None of us ever interacted with them, that I know of.

30th April 2008, 06:41 AM
'Cause they are attached to the way they were at a specific time in the past; most often associated with the time of their (traumatic) deaths. I suppose that implies that most people dying traumatic deaths do it with their clothes on.

Why not ask why they appear as physical humans rather than in spirit form or like an energy body. In fact most ghosts do appear in 'energy' forms. Again, those (few) appearing in physically realistic forms do so as they remember themselves or as they wish to be remembered.

Spirits returning to the physical realm (not ghosts in the usual sense) appear in a way that they are most likely to be recognized.

And finally, clearly ghosts engaging in sex with the living (a very small portion) are mostly naked.

30th April 2008, 03:31 PM
lol i haven't actually seen a ghost yet (or have i... :shock: ) and i wouldn't want to either, not until i'm prepared at least. But i think a ghost would appear as they would see themselves, if they're fine with being naked then they would probably be naked, like just before they're showering.

30th April 2008, 04:25 PM
I guess it would depend on the being that appears, and their options and desires. it also depends on our nature and our abilities.

here's my thoughts based on my experiences.

the typical "lost soul" types, who don't realize that they are dead, or can't let go of this reality, usually appear in their most recently learned appearance, which is their only option, especially because of the conditions that allow us to see them. Rather than intentionally appear to us, they are often pulled into a fantasy of reliving their physical life and if we are observant, we can even see some of the other things they manifest (besides their appearance), such as the voices of people they are talking to, or the dishes they are washing, etc.

spirit guides have a few more options, but usually show themselves in the appearance of their last life. Sometimes they show us several of their incarnations, though.

Angels appear in perfect context to the situation they area appearing in, especially in relation to the experience they are giving. You might not even know that they are angels. They can even come in intimidating or frightening manners, if you need a wake up call.

Demons of the other realms often have weak appearance manifestations which can be surprising, but it's not because of a lack of personal power, but due to an indifference to most earthly things. They are usually projecting here for long periods and with unshakable purpose, so what we "see" are their intentions, which is to do harm and not be seen while doing it. When we "see" demons, it is usually part of the experience we are getting from higher beings of light, not darkness. Also, Demons can manifest in terrible ways but my gut tells me that is fodder for an entirely different discussion.

common negs and lower entities are well written about.

There are other Astral beings and Mind-creatures that exist exclusively as points of light, and they don't often interact with us. Mostly because we don't even notice them, and also because we are boring to them, and other reasons. But we can see them have other forms, but it is usually caused by us looking at them through their consciousness and therefore "creating" an appearance of them based on what we see inside them.

A case could be made that all beings exist exclusively as points of light and that we choose how they appear to us (in many regards, though not all), but I see that i am rambling now.

16th May 2008, 11:25 PM
I am not poking fun at mediums or physchics - but just imagine this scene "I have a man here, he's about 40, going bald, quite tall and he's naked" - hard for anybody to get but then the other scenario is "I have a man here, about 40, going bald and he is dressed in a boiler suit with a company name on it, its blue and the sleeves are rolled up, he has a white t-shirt underneath it and has work boots on" At this stage a few people might be standing up waving their hands and claiming him. Our clothes are part of our identity, they show the world what and who we are - extravagant, timid, shy, rich, poor, business like, eccentric, confident etc, ghosts, spirits whatever appear as they did in life, in their lifetime. You would hardly get an Elizabethan ghost appearing in punk rocker clothes or visa versa (unless they had once wore it as a fancy dress , and yes I am aware that an elizabethan wouldn't know about punk clothes :lol: - unless she was a traveller). Thye might wear clothes that they might not necessarily wear normally but give a clue has to who they are. I have had my grandfather come through (he died when he was 23), he appeared to the medium as a young man but he was dressed in clothes an old grandpa would wear, if he had been in the clothes he had worn as a young man I would not have known he was my grandfather.
Angels I think are just energy and they appear to us in a from we would recognise, though many have been aware of a ball of pure light when an angelic presence has been around.
Its bad enough seeing a ghost but seeing one naked :lol: :lol: :lol:

17th May 2008, 02:36 AM
I was gonna say that most people are going on about how the ghosts see themselves- but I think ghosts' clothes are in the eye of the beholder.

17th May 2008, 04:23 AM
The mind probably subconsciously reflects what the conscious mind was wearing. In the case of a dead person, or even a sleeping person, their subconscious-soul and dreaming mind could be wearing what it's body wore. You notice in ghost cases, the ghost is often seen as a transparent or lucid apparition with clothes. In my opinion the mind subconsciously does it... thus the astral body or ghost has clothes.

The only way to test this would to astral project, from a lucid dream or not, and look in a mirror.

17th May 2008, 05:15 PM
The last time I did this (a long time ago) what looked back at me wasn't necessarily human. :shock: But then again I'm not exactly 'normal'.

17th July 2008, 09:04 AM
I suppose if we saw Henry the 8th naked we wouldn't know it was Henry the 8th. So the clothes ghosts wear are perhaps a subconcious attempt at wanting or needing help.
I remember reading an article about a biker boy ghost turning up regularly in the cellar of a tavern. It was his biker boy clothes that gave him away, and the locals contacted a medium, and they found out that someone had died there (suicide or something) he was a biker boy, so they found his name from local newspaper from that time, and of the story. the medium contacted him and it seemed he was unhappy. the medium helped him release himself from the pain and he stopped appearing.

6th July 2009, 03:50 PM
Why do ghosts wear clothes when they don't need them?

Why do humans consume things that aren't good for them, like massive amounts of chocolate especially if they don't need it? Why do humans turn to drugs or abuse alcohol if their bodies don't need them to live?

Because emotions have their own logic and need in spite of what "intellectual" logic says.

6th July 2009, 04:13 PM
Why do ghosts wear clothes when they don't need them?

why do humans wear clothes that they don't need?

6th July 2009, 04:27 PM
why do humans wear clothes that they don't need?
To hide my ugliness from the world!! HA! :)

6th July 2009, 05:21 PM
why do humans wear clothes that they don't need? sleeper

And there is my chuckle for today...thank you.

28th June 2011, 12:07 AM
Re: Why Are Ghosts Seen Wearing Clothes?

It is plausible that the energy from the apparition is a residue from the transition to the spiritual world like an 'echo'. One example that seems to relate to Ghosts appearing in clothing is similar to the transformation of water crystals. Scientist Dr. Masaru Emoto photographed the transformation of water crystals when formed from the sound of words. His work in the book 'Messages from Water' was featured in the movie 'What the Bleep Do We Know!?

In theory according to Biologist, author, and investigator Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, his research states that memory resides outside the person's brain. Therefore it could be possible the 'image of ghosts in clothing' is like a visual echo of the mind from the person's soul or morphogenic field.

Does Memory Reside Outside the Brain?
http://www.sheldrake.org/homepage.html (http://www.sheldrake.org/homepage.html)

28th June 2011, 01:41 AM
Hi Gang,
Maybe, if they're in the Astral Zone, they are a thought form and thus are seen as remembered or thought about. Just like the thought forms are talked about in the Treatsie ON Astral Projection

28th June 2011, 02:22 AM
It is plausible that the energy from the apparition is a residue from the transition to the spiritual world like an 'echo'. One example that seems to relate to Ghosts appearing in clothing is similar to the transformation of water crystals. Yes. This is referred to as a residual haunt (as opposed to an intelligent haunt). Usually the echo is very weak which is why this type of haunt usually is associated with tragedy (which has a high emotional energy to it). The extra energy makes the imprint stronger so less sensitive or untrained people can perceive it.

28th June 2011, 02:32 AM
This is very weird to have been brought up because I was just thinking of this today! I was thinking about material objects and it brought up a quote like "The less you have in your life, the more you gain in your afterlife", and I wondered why the souls of deceased people would have material objects. Then I thought of this video game I played in which a persons electric field was being played over and over and I had to follow it, so I came to the same conclusion that the ghosts we see could be "recordings".

28th June 2011, 10:20 AM
Some ghosts interact with the people that spot them. Some even manifest telekinetically. So I would not say that all of them are just emotional imprints of the locality or 'recordings' that overlap for some reason in timespace.

We also should see the difference between spirits and ghosts. Ghosts remain earthbound and never moved on, spirits are just 'going down' manifesting here for rare purposes.

As regards the clothing or looks: The same question could be asked of ourselves why do we wear clothes when we dream? Our dream bodies most of the times wear clothes. If they are naked it is interpreted to have some 'special' meaning which makes it the non-default for me (unless we wear unusual clothing which then has also to be interpreted).

So for me it is clear: it is how we see ourselves and want to be seen as humans (of our time), especially when interacting in an environment with other humans, except for private intimate or personal hygiene purposes when we put our clothes off (well, at least usually:mrgreen:).

Therefore I believe that it's just the way the soul of the ghost who clings to their old life sees itself and wants to be seen by others. Of course they could take on any other form and shape, but this is the visual they transmit to you because they do so, not consciously perhaps, but many ghosts just go on leading their (old) life, and this a typical image they saw themselves as.

It is also often noted that ghosts look younger than they were when they died (about their mid-20ies to 30ies). This is also another indicator of our own preference. When I was in the astral and paid attention to my appearance I also noted that I am slightly younger than I am now (also in dreams when I spottet myself in a mirror or even could see myself from a remote postion as 'neutral' observer).

28th June 2011, 08:32 PM
As regards the clothing or looks: The same question could be asked of ourselves why do we wear clothes when we dream? Our dream bodies most of the times wear clothes. If they are naked it is interpreted to have some 'special' meaning
Point well broached.

9th July 2011, 04:11 PM
I think I know why ghosts wear clothes, personally I think most of the time this isn't a concious decision. I sleep in the nude but more then half the time when I project I tend to be wearing clothes. This isn't a concious decision on my part, their just there for some reason. I think it's probably the same way with the ghosts.

9th July 2011, 04:23 PM
Because it SUCKS being naked in public.

9th July 2011, 09:36 PM
Because it SUCKS being naked in public.
....either that or some lucky girl is feasting some major eyecandy http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Happy/cloud-9-039.gif

9th July 2011, 10:14 PM
Here's a possibility for why ghosts wear clothes (most of the time). Because they are mental projections by the people that observed them superimposed on waking perception or perception of reality. If ghost sightings are a kind of short-lived hallucination by the witnesses, then it is not so hard to imagine why they would be clothed. We see more clothed people during our lives than naked people (unless one enjoys nudist camps:mrgreen:). It is against the law to walk around naked in public. Also, who wants to be flashed by a "ghost" anyway?;-)

10th July 2011, 04:14 AM
As a person who has been in the audience of a few excellent mediums, I actually wonder why people in spirit don't shed a greater portion of their previous personality, even ones that died a long time ago. I have heard some come through and explain their poor behaviour in terms of mental illness in their physical bodies. It makes sense to me that once released from a defective body they'd want to bring comfort by explaining themselves. If the personality largely develops as a function of ego to ensure adaptation (with varying success) to life on planet earth, however, I wonder why so many personalities come through worrying about inconsequential things such as the fact they weren't buried wearing shoes, as they'd requested, or that they weren't able to keep someone in the manner to which they thought they were entitled or complaining that it's against their religion to speak through mediums. These aren't made up examples.

10th July 2011, 05:42 PM
If there is such a thing as an afterlife, when I die and if I am summoned through a medium, I certainly won't be complaining about the way I've been buried. Many of the things that these mediums come out with make me laugh. There are many cold readers out there and the mediums who seem to be genuine and don't display any signs of foul play could still be deluded...

Here's a scenario: what if there is no afterlife. What if we die and that's it. Imagine certain individuals who are convinced that they have certain special abilities but in reality they are nothing but telepathic. Imagine that telepathy is what they are really doing in the waking state (possibly because they possess an unusual pineal gland and have an accute mind's eye/radar that is active even in their waking hours). What if they are merely capturing the thoughts and memories of the bereaved, but their subconscious minds are 'sugarcoating' the extra-sensory perception with their beliefs about an afterlife?

So, what these 'genuine' mediums believe to be real contact with the dead, could in fact be the extraction of mental information from the bereaved...hence the "hits". After all, the bereaved are thinking about their deceased loved ones when they meet the medium...

10th July 2011, 06:07 PM
So, what these 'genuine' mediums believe to be real contact with the dead, could in fact be the extraction of mental information from the bereaved...hence the "hits". After all, the bereaved are thinking about their deceased loved ones when they meet the medium...

From my 'insane' intuitive knowledge I can tell you: 'Rest assured, there is an afterlife.' :wink: (What a nice double meaning in this phrase, I could have also said 'in peace' instead of 'assured':lol:)

As regards mediums, maybe you wanna have a little check on the controlled scientific experiments in the "lab" by the University of Arizona.

http://veritas.arizona.edu/papers/Beischel EXPLORE 2007 vol 3.pdf

"Conclusions: The results suggest that certain mediums can anomalously receive accurate information about deceased individuals.
The study design effectively eliminates conventional mechanisms as well as telepathy as explanations for the information reception, but the results cannot distinguish among alternative paranormal hypotheses, such as survival of consciousness (the continued existence, separate from the body, of an individual’s consciousness or personality after physical death) and super- psi (or super-ESP; retrieval of information via a psychic channel or quantum field)." - Schwartz / Beischel

Later they tested it with several series of controlled experimental sessions, did thorough security checks and detailed statistics by score cards and then even ruled out some other explanations (psi and non-psi, e.g. including telepathy on the one hand or e.g. fraud on the other).

The Windbridge Instutitute does the same experiments and does even 'certify' mediums.


Personally, I think that indeed many mediums might use cold/warm reading techniques, but if you can eliminate this by thorough testing you can separate the wheat from the chaff a bit.
There are genuine ones with great abilities. However, I agree so far to a skeptic stance that it is always better to retrieve the info or experience it by yourself than by a third party, that's why OBEs are such a cool thing for me, especially if you develop some 'clairvoyant' or other paranormal abilities in physical life by it, too. So you don't have to rely on others. :cool:

10th July 2011, 08:07 PM
Thanks for that post, volgerle. Yes, perhaps the genuine mediums are indeed tuning into another frequency of reality where the dead dwell and possibly where our conscious awareness travels to when have OOBEs and lucid dreams.

I only used the telepathy card because, after conducting a personal OOBE study (where I was the guinea pig entering the Phase:mrgreen:), I found evidence of telepathy - particularly where I visited the living. Contact with the dead in the Phase also provided me with some interesting validations.

But then I wrestle with other possible explanations such as coincidences and the subconscious storehouse showing me what I thought I didn't know.

It seems very likely that the Phase (OOBE/AP/LD) may provide a glimpse of what death is like - especially when we consider the NDEs where the subjects shouldn't have experienced anything as their brains were less active than delta mode (which marks dreamless sleep).

I guess I'm trying to eliminate all possibilities for delusion here. What if the NDE brain is mainly reliant on an active pineal gland and the synaptic connections do their best to keep awareness centred there, and thus the action is hard to detect. The self is then immersed in a hallucinatory world and kept comfy as the brain battles for survival...

But then again, there are the strange calcite crystals found in the pineal which appear to be a biological "sonar" mechanism. If this mechanism becomes active when we enter the Phase, then we have to ask ourselves what is it really tuning into? Another frequency of reality beyond the ultrasonic? And what for? could the pineal be our link between this world and the next? Is that frequency of reality what many people are calling the astral plane?

You know what...I may have to have a serious word with my deceased stepfather next time I project and I'm really gonna grill him about his reality...:whatthe:

11th July 2011, 11:23 AM
You know what...I may have to have a serious word with my deceased stepfather next time I project and I'm really gonna grill him about his reality...:whatthe:

I recently had a mental chat with mine and was given some information that was very specific. I'm journaling and holding on to it for now to see if it comes to pass.

As Volgerie's links no doubt show, if mediums were using telepathy they couldn't provide information that the person being read didn't even know at the time.

Neil Templar
11th July 2011, 02:02 PM
I wonder if the Monroe Institute verified any of the information received during communications with the deceased in their Explorer programme... some of those tapes were really compelling.
The one that always sticks in my mind is [Patrick] (http://www.monroeinstitute.org/downloads/explorer-series-17/).
TMI said "No, we were not able to get what we would consider concrete validation.", but that doesn't surprise me, considering the part of Scotland and the time Patrick said he was alive. There probably would have been no written records of births and deaths there at that time.

14th July 2011, 02:08 AM
Well, we project thoughts around us while we are alive, constantly. Why wouldn't we continue this while dead to change our appearance in an enviroment where it is easy to shapeshift? Or hell, could just be the imprint of a person, and that imprint includes the persons 'duds'.

Paul H.
30th July 2012, 10:35 PM
The mind probably subconsciously reflects what the conscious mind was wearing. In the case of a dead person, or even a sleeping person, their subconscious-soul and dreaming mind could be wearing what it's body wore.

One time in a lucid dream I found myself in an old junior high school that I attended for the 7th and 8th grades. When I became lucid I immediately left the building and walked northward. I carefully removed my clothes as I concluded that they were negative energies attached to my astral body which would impede me from astral travel.

Then I had a choice to make. I could turn right and head to a skyscraper which may have led to a more spiritual area, or I could turn left and visit a small suburban downtown area. I made the wrong decision and turned left and found that the townspeople were having a parade. I was walking down the street where the parade was happening with the marching band and many spectators on the sidewalks. When the audience saw me some of them became infuriated and a few strong men came up to me and one punched me in the face. I am not sure if they were from either the physical or astral world.

So in conclusion people who are astral projectors (whether you call them ghosts or otherwise) probably wear clothes because walking around naked will infuriate people that they meet.