One of the most common questions skeptics pose to those who believe in ghosts is “If ghosts are the energy of the dearly departed, why do people see ghosts wearing clothes?” The answer, of course, depends on who you ask.
A recent article on Live Science used the fact that ghosts are seen wearing clothes as part of the argument that ghosts don’t exist and are only the workings of the imagination. I’ll admit the topic does raise some interesting questions, but some paranormal enthusiasts think they have the answers.
Parallel Universes and Multiple Dimensions Collide
The fact that many ghosts wear clothes may lend some credence to the theory that what we commonly refer to as ghosts aren’t really ghosts in the traditional sense, but are instead a peek into another dimension or parallel universe.
This theory, based on fringe science, assumes that multiple universes and dimensions exist alongside our own, but are undetectable to the human senses. According to this theory, some people are able to catch glimpses of “the other side” or beings from the other side are sometimes able to transcend the barrier between worlds and become visible to our world. There is no proof of this, of course, but it is an intriguing theory.
Residual Hauntings – Ghosts Appear in the Same Form as the Original Event
Other theories, like the belief that residual ghosts are simply a playback of an earlier event that has left an imprint in the environment, seem to explain why the ghost would be wearing clothes. Because the image seen isn’t really there in a physical sense and is only a playback of an event, the fact that the ghost is wearing the original clothing from the event seems logical. Reports of residual hauntings often include objects that existed at the time of the original event.
Ghosts Project an Image that is Easily Recognizable
Some people believe that ghosts have the ability to appear in any form but choose to project an image of themselves in their human form, which includes recognizable clothing, so that they are easily recognizable.
I’ll admit this last one is a bit of a stretch – but then, we are talking about ghosts, and don’t exactly have a lot of scientific data to support they exist, let alone how they choose their wardrobe.
A More Practical Solution
My personal take on the question of why ghosts wear clothes is simple. Either vanity and modesty survive beyond the grave - or it gets mighty chilly in the afterlife.
Do you have other theories on why ghosts wear clothes? I’d love to hear them.