Do Ghosts Exist? History May Say Yes. Here's Why Apparitions Are Likely 'Real'
What happens after we die? It's a question that's haunted humanity since we became aware of the concept of death, with answers ranging from a void of nonexistence to various religious hypotheses to The Grudge. As improbable as a haunting might seem to the scientific mind, it does seem strange that claims of it have popped up throughout history. What were they actually seeing? Do ghosts exist?
In 1917, Sigmund Freud theorized that people who saw the phantoms of their deceased loved ones were actually mired in "wishful psychosis,” or a fleeting bout of madness brought on by their own despair. He believed that patients who were convinced they could smell their dead loved one, hear their voice, or actually speak with them were clinically dependent on the person in question, so rather than investigate their claims, he counseled them to move on and cut the dead out of their lives.