© David J. Marsden 2003

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Ghosts, Ghosts & More Ghosts

Many early peoples believed that spirits occupied all elements of nature. Evil spirits or demons were the spirits of ancestors who brought harm to living people.
Microsoft Encarta Reference Library 2003

Does anybody know any ghost stories?” This is one way to break the ice at informal meetings. Most people have ghost stories. A sincere and sympathetic ear can bring out hair-raising tales from the most conservative people. Since I retired from therapy, this is my hobby. I collect and research ghost stories.

Common themes of ghost stories, from different cultural backgrounds, are:

  1. Most ghosts seemed to be sad or angry spirits of people who were abused, victimized or murdered in life. They seemed to live on after death to find a way to balance the injustice – by harming the victimizers or their descendents; or they live on in their own descendents, demanding justice.
  2. Some ghosts were guilty or confused – being punished for harmful or abusive acts.
  3. Some ghosts were beneficial and friendly, often guiding or protecting their descendents.
  4. Some could be described as entities that had never been human. This group might include animal or nature spirits, space aliens and angels.

However, the ghosts that I researched rarely exist in our everyday reality. To go beyond second-hand stories into first hand experience was not easy. I needed a bridge; and I found it in lucid dreaming.

Dreaming Together

Using Martyn Carruthers’ methodology, I can do more than listen to ghost stories. Martyn teaches ways to join people within their dream realities. (He learned this while living in Hawaii, where he lived and studied with native Polynesian healers – see Hawaiian Spirituality). Dreaming Together allowed me to accompany people into their dreamscapes, explore their imagery and meet whatever lurked there.

Most people seem to have emotional leftovers from childhood – and Dreaming Together can bring this unconscious stuff to the surface rather quickly. Sometimes shared dreams are so intense that I nearly forgot to breathe. Most people, however, quickly forget Dreaming experiences on waking.

Entertaining Ghosts

Dead Person Identification concerns dead human beings. Yet our human world includes dead supernatural entities that were once worshipped by human beings. How can something die that was never born? How would the ghost of a deity be different to that of a person? And how can we recognize a group or organization of people who are identified with a dead person?”

It is often said that man creates gods in his own image. So the gods of identified people might appear to demand, or at least request, that symptoms of dead person identification be perceived as normal. Could Martyn’s systemic symptoms of Dead Person Identification reveal recognizable beliefs?


Dead Person Identified Clients
  • Chronic sadness and melancholy
  • May have psychic sensitivity
  • Preoccupation with death and dying
  • Fascination with cemeteries
  • Fascinated by places where people died
  • May avoid becoming a parent
  • May fear that own children will die
Dead Person Identified Cult
  • Suffering and melancholy are holy
  • Psychic sensitivity is holy
  • Preoccupation with death is holy
  • Cemeteries are sacred
  • Places where people died are sacred
  • Celibacy is holy
  • Childhood deaths are holy

These rules seem to mirror many cults and occult societies! Can whole cultures really be so influenced by dead people? Can entire communities be haunted by demons or evil spirits?These questions opened some strange ghost stories … how dead people can influence businesses, organizations and cultures! A CEO who died of a heart attack in his office above an abortion clinic. A religion based on dead person identification. I may write some of those stories one day.

Exorcism, Therapy & Systemic Coaching

While investigating ghost stories, I witnessed psychiatrists, therapists, priests, healers and exorcists attempt to help people who showed symptoms associated with spirit possession. These symptoms created huge suffering for many families, whether the cause was called a ghost or a kinesthetic image schema. Changing labels does not change lives.

In medieval times, imprisonment and torture as therapy was well thought of. Nowadays, mind-distorting drug therapies and electric-shock therapy are in vogue. But modern brutality has similar effects to medieval brutality. People who survive the therapy became skilled at hiding their symptoms.

Most symptoms of spirit possession seem to be predictable consequences of certain types of family injustice. If a family member dies in a shameful way, a demand for justice may cross generations. Until it is changed, yet unborn children of subsequent generations will show this injustice. We exorcise ghosts and rehabilitate families.

Have you experienced ghost or poltergeist activity? I was told that ghosts like attention, so ignoring them might make them go away. Salt is said to be effective at banishing evil spirits (salt is the root of the word salvation) so sprinkling salt around an area affected by ghosts might banish them. Sage is a small evergreen shrub with gray-green leaves that is also thought by some to be effective at evicting evil spirits.

But after ignoring them, salting them and burning sage – I was still haunted. I sought an exorcist to “cast out” the spirits, a priest or someone with special abilities. But finding an exorcist who would perform the sacred rights at a house was not easy. So I asked Martyn for help.

Martyn’s methods effectively manage many dark and depressing issues about death. It works. I have observed Martyn change unpleasant symptoms that involved dead people, and release or neutralize unpleasant spirits and esoteric agencies, during a few sessions. Since I started learning it, I have entered a new dimension of competence that I deeply wish I had known before I retired.

I thought you were just another therapist – but you were not just. Not even. Not only.


Haunted House . Curses . Black Magic . Ghosts . Demon

Afterword by Martyn Carruthers

Fairy tales and movies provide scary stories of ghosts and the unquiet dead. Stories of zombies, werewolves and evil spirits are mingled with sorcery and black magic. The symptoms associated with medieval spirit possession resemble those of identification with dead people.

Do you want solutions? We can teach you to safely access and use world-views in which you can explore and manage the phenomena described by David Marsden.

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David Marsden was a retired psychotherapist who investigated ghost stories.

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