Are Ghosts “Earthbound Spirits”?

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

This is an excerpt from my ebook Enlightened Afterlife: A Study of Spiritualist Philosophy of Life After Death.

The book is a compilation and study of channeled messages from departed spirits regarding the conditions of the afterlife and what we can expect when we die.

I wrote this for fun; I’m not a Spiritualist trying to preach afterlife gospel. You can take this information, leave it, or have a good laugh at it. As long as you enjoy it.

You can purchase a copy of the ebook for Amazon Kindle by clicking the book cover below or a PDF copy by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.


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Earthbound Spirits (aka Ghosts)

Some spirits become earthbound due to their inability to give up their previous life. When combined with an attachment to the life they left behind, being unprepared for spirit life can make them unwilling to leave the world for an afterlife most of them fear instead of embrace.

They could discover an awesome new reality if they let go and opened their minds, but they’re too focused on their former life and bound to their former possessions. They can only break the chains when they’re ready, and at that time, they’ll receive plenty of help.

According to Douglas McLean, most earthbound spirits we know as “ghosts” aren’t evil or demonic but simply don’t want to leave earth.

“Many an earth-bound spirit has no evil intent. He is simply reluctant to sever his connection with the earth. His motives are as varied as the sands of the sea. So it would be useless to try and give you details of why they cling to their particular surroundings.” (1)

Since they never believed in the afterlife and are too surprised by the simplicity of their death to believe it really happened, they carry on the activities they enjoyed on earth while, in some cases, refusing to accept that they’ve died.

“There are many thousands who are roaming the city streets, crowding into places of entertainment, leaning on bar counters, or simply sitting quietly in their favourite armchair at home. For all types are represented.

“These people cannot accept the reality of life after death. They have been deceived by the simplicity of their transition. They simply do not accept that they have died.” (2)

Claude Kelway-Bamber tells us that some become earthbound because everything they care about remains in the physical world they left behind. (3)

They recreate the worldly conditions they’re used to instead of accepting their death and learning the ways of the spirit world. This is because their physical senses ruled their thoughts and actions so heavily in life that they know nothing else in the afterlife. (4)

Instead of letting the spirit “refine and purify the body” as they should if they want to heal, they let the ego run amok and distort their connection with Source. (5)

Attracting Fellow Earthbound Spirits

“Like attracts like”, Claude tells us, and the undeveloped soul usually attracts those on the same level of awareness. (6)

Those whose only goal is to gratify the senses will remain in the same hangout spots they occupied when they were alive. (7) Hovering around these spots, they try to gain a secondhand high from whatever the living people there are doing. (8)

Maybe this is where the idea of drug and sex “entities” originates. They’re usually considered evil, but perhaps some of them are just occupying their favorite haunts (pun intended) and looking for that buzz they pursued in life.

Mary Bosworth reports that it’s sad to witness these large groups of souls lingering near the physical world who continue to be led by the same material desires that distracted them on earth. (9) They’re not easy to reach, and in some cases, they can’t be reached at all despite transition guides’ best efforts. (10)

Transition guides are saddened by the thought of the “long years of darkness and misery” these souls endure due to their fixation on the world and the pleasures offered here. (11) If we can’t share the “truth” about the afterlife with the world in a more direct way, it’s best shared through print. (12)

The Earthbound Live in Their Own World

Philip Gilbert reports that trapping oneself in one’s own thought-world is one of many causes of the earthbound phenomenon.

“There seem to be many variations of the ‘earthbound’ state, just as there are of temperaments. With some, it is a matter of living shut up in some strong thought-image of their own, some obsession-rut, caused by what they have dwelt on when in the flesh.” (13)

Surprisingly, some remain near the earth due to karmic reparations they’re unable to make that tie them to the people they’re supposed to repay.

“With others: they still are on earth in its etheric form. They cannot get away from earth surroundings, tied to their homes and families and longing painfully to re-enter the flesh.

“These people are often quite evolved souls, but have committed some injustice or unkindness which ties them down to an overwhelming desire to make reparation, and, usually, they have no means of doing this.” (14)

Those who are obsessed with certain activities remain near the earth in an illusory realm where they can indulge the obsession until they’re ready to move on, whereas those with nothing holding them back can start learning and evolving.

“If anyone has ‘got anything on his mind,’ an obsession for, say, cricket, he will live in an illusion world of that, and will not attain his full power and knowledge of how to get on here till he has snapped out of it and that may take centuries.

“But the average person who has had no mental unbalance soon begins to realize his new existence and tries to learn the rules.” (15)

Philip reminds us that some activities in the spirit world are extensions of their counterparts on earth but others are useless after death.

“Also, … some activities are an extension of earth ones (or it might be more correct to say that they are the reflection on earth of universal activities) – music, painting (colour), mathematics and so on can all be continued from where they are left off.

“But any activity which depends for its impetus on physical body skill or earth needs such as, say, cricket or the stock exchange has no equivalent in the reality here because our way of functioning precludes it.” (16)

Some Earthbound Seek Wisdom from the Living

John Heslop tells us some spirits return to the near-earth plane to gain wisdom from worldly teachers, which means we can make an impact on spirits we don’t see.

“Numbers of discarnate spirits return to your world to acquire from earthly teachers what they failed to learn in the earth-life. Now this is a fact of the greatest importance. It means that the influence of mortals in thought, word and deed affects for good or evil spirit-people who are invisible to them.

“To those whose inner eyes are open, these spirits are plainly seen and the more earnest and anxious among them throng your churches, chapels and lecture-halls to receive help and teaching there.” (17)

Those who are spiritually undeveloped or still have ties to the earth are helped more by wisdom from a worldly teacher than one in spirit.

“I know it will be asked, ‘Why do spirits return to earth; surely it is easier for them to get spiritual help on the other side?’ No, not necessarily so. The link with earth is very strong with undeveloped souls on the lower spheres and often it helps them more to get in touch with mortals than to receive the teaching of angels.

“Earth is the infant school of the spiritual life and even you do not ask your Professors to teach children the alphabet!” (18)

Though it’s usually the undeveloped soul who remains near the world, sometimes a more advanced soul will descend to help the suffering on earth.

“After a period of loneliness and remorse for past sin, the spirit may possibly desire to return to earth, drawn back by love for one still in the flesh; or some loving being from the higher spheres, coming to the lower, may see the distress and loneliness of this soul and go to his help.

“Then by prayer and ministrations his eyes will be opened and he will be led where he can be helped and taught.” (19)

An advanced spirit descending from a higher sphere to influence the world sounds a lot like an angel to me.

Have you ever heard reports of people claiming to witness an angel that saved them from some catastrophe? These passages lead us to think this phenomenon could be real. But when it comes to your average ghost, it probably isn’t an angel or demon but a soul who doesn’t want to leave the earth.

End excerpt.

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  1. Lesley May, med., Letters from Mother. A Family Biography in Two Worlds. Ed. Edmund Bentley. London: Psychic Press, 1964., 101.
  2. Ibid., 104.
  3. Kelway-Bamber, ed., Claude’s Book. New York: 1919. Downloaded from, 18 Feb. 2008, 36.
  4. Loc. Cit.
  5. Loc. Cit.
  6. Fred Rafferty, ed., Charlotte E. Dresser, medium, Life Here and Hereafter. Author’s edition. Downloaded from, 2 Feb. 2008, 137.
  7. Loc. Cit.
  8. Loc. Cit.
  9. Loc. Cit.
  10. Loc. Cit.
  11. Loc. Cit.
  12. Loc. Cit.
  13. Philip Gilbert through Alice Gilbert, medium. Philip in the Spheres. London: Psychic Book Club, n.d., 21.
  14. Loc. Cit.
  15. Ibid., 18-9.
  16. Loc. Cit.
  17. John Heslop through F. Heslop, medium, Further Messages Across the Border-Line. A Continuation of “Speaking Across the Border-Line.” London: Charles Taylor, n.d., 73-4.
  18. Ibid., 74-5.
  19. Ibid., 95-6.

About the author: 

I’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, revolution, music and the transformative creative force known as love. I run Openhearted Rebel, a daily news blog dedicated to igniting a revolution of love by raising social and spiritual awareness.

I also have a personal blog, Wes Annac’s Personal Blog, in which I share writings related to spiritual philosophy, creativity, heart consciousness and revolution (among other topics).

I write from the heart and try to share informative and enlightening reading material with the rest of the conscious community. When I’m not writing or exploring nature, I’m usually making music.

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