Throughout my ghost investigating years I've covered over sixty haunted locales. One of the first questions people ask me is if I've seen an apparition. For non-ghost investigators I can understand why this particular question comes to mind almost immediately. After all, it's ghostly apparitions which appear in movies, TV and books, so people assume that seeing apparitions is a common occurrence when actually it is really quite rare.
So if you are wondering if I've seen one, the answer is no. At least not yet anyway. It is when I wake up in the middle of the night and walk through the darkness to get myself a glass of water that I worry it will be the first time I happen to see one. In all honesty, I don't know how I would react, and I've been studying ghosts for years. If you've read my books you know that both myself and paranormal investigator Joe Giaquinto have captured apparitions on film. For me, my favorite is the photo I took of the ghost of a little girl at Ketcham Inn in Center Moriches. It is so blatantly clear it is amazing, yet I could not see her with the naked eye.
Joe has always told me that it takes a great deal of energy for an apparition to form; that is why capturing orbs is more common. It takes less energy for a spirit to form an orb apparently, than a full-blown apparition. I have interviewed many people who have claimed to see apparitions however, and will even swear to their existence. Interestingly enough, it tends to happen more to skeptics than to believers.
Apparitions have been around since the beginning of time. It can be described as a way in which a ghost manifests itself by appearing as a partial or full figure. Although an apparition can sometimes appear to be solid, it is more commonly transparent. Early apparitions have been those of religious figures including saints, angels and Jesus Christ. Apparitions have also been found in folklore and in literature. Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" is a great example of a well-known fictitious story which tells how apparitions appeared to poor Ebenezer Scrooge. Just like in the story, sometimes apparitions appear to us to give us information, to warn us or to even help us along our journey. It's just a matter of being able to interpret it correctly.
In my first Ghost book I wrote about Peter Underwood's "Ten Types of Ghosts". From London England, Peter Underwood is one of the most experienced ghost hunters in the world, and he describes many different types of apparitions. Probably the most common type of ghost or apparition is that of historical ghosts. These are usually the ghosts that haunt old houses and historical locations. The apparition is often seen wearing period clothing, and oftentimes they have suffered in some way or died of trauma. They sometimes cannot pass on to the other side, or they simply refuse to move on because they are attached to the place in which they haunt. That would make them "place-centered" or basically stuck in one location. One of the more famous places to see this type of apparition is in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in the old battlefields. More locally, at the Country House Restaurant in Stony Brook, Long Island, the ghost of Annette Williamson has been seen by the restaurant's owner, waiters and customers. Annette died in the house tragically during the American Revolutionary War, and her spirit lives on in the house today.
Another type of apparition is that of the modern ghost. These are ghosts of the recently dead. People are more likely to see the ghost of a recently dead person than any other type of ghost, although most people will not realize it is a ghost until it has disappeared. Very similar is the crisis apparition which are the ghosts of the recently dead that appear for a limited time, usually not more than four days. Often it is the spirit of a loved one coming to say goodbye or to give a final message. Thousands of examples of crisis apparitions were reported during both World Wars.
If you believe that you have seen an apparition I would love for you to share your story. It is perhaps, one of the most unbelievable paranormal occurrences you can experience, and it one you most definitely will never forget.