Suicide in ghost lore

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suicide In Ghost and Haunting lore, the suspected cause of a lingering presence. Suicide is taboo in most cultures, except under certain circumstances. Folklore holds that people who take their own lives become unhappy ghosts. Many hauntings are associated with suicides.

According to some religions, suicide victims go to permanent damnation. Socially, suicide has been considered shameful, and families of suicide victims have suffered ostracism. Traditionally, suicides cannot be buried in the hallowed ground of a cemetery; some folklore traditions hold that suicides should be buried at a crossroads, to confuse the troubled and restless soul and keep it from wandering about.

According to some beliefs, a suicide victim becomes stuck on the earth plane, either until they find someone to help them (see Spirit Releasement) or until their destined time to die, upon which they move into the Afterlife. In Catholic tradition, such souls are stuck in purgatory and may return as ghosts to beseech the living for prayers. In the Eastern European VAMPIRE cult, a suicide was likely to return as a vampire.

In the history of Mediumship, many Mediums have contacted suicide victims. The accounts they give of what happened to them after death vary: some say they “rested” for along period of time; some say they are stuck on the Earth plane; some say they moved on, but must at some point pay consequences for their act. According to the dead, suicide is frowned upon by the spiritual powers in the afterlife. Souls are not punished, as in being sent to a hell, but find out they cannot escape their problems, but will face them again in Reincarnation. An exception is said to be suicide when terminally ill. Suicide bombers are given chances to make amends. Mediumistic communications since the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster in 2001 and the subsequent rise in global suicide bombings report that souls who choose over and over again to destroy life in this manner will eventually have their souls taken apart, or dismantled, by God.

The overwhelming majority of suicide personalities contacted by mediums say they regret their actions, some of them almost immediately upon dying. A few express relief to be out of their problematic lives.

Places where suicides have taken place are considered in ghost lore to be prime candidates for hauntings, especially of a troubled nature.



  • Heath, Pamela Rae, and Jon Klimo. Suicide: What Really Happens in the Afterlife? Channeled Conversations with the Dead. Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic Books, 2006.


The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits- Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – September 1, 2007