What Can A Ghost Do?

What can a ghost do

What Abilities Do Ghosts Have?

Whether you believe ghosts exist, you can’t ignore the many ghost stories told by eyewitnesses, paranormal investigators, and ghost-hunting television shows.

What we gather from this is that ghosts vary widely in their appearances and abilities. So, explaining exactly what ghosts can do isn’t as simple as it may seem.

They surround us all the time. Most of them can’t hurt us. Most don’t even want to hurt us. But there are exceptions.” These words may have been spoken in the horror film Thir13en Ghosts, but they ring true for most ghostly encounters.

Our knowledge of ghosts is limited (who knows how many secret powers are still hidden from the living?). But below are some common and uncommon powers that have been reported by those stepping into a haunted house.

Common abilities

Let’s begin with some common abilities reported by people who have had unusual experiences with those no longer living.

Ghosts commonly can:

  • Invisibility: If ghosts were visible, we would see them all the time! Instead, ghosts can become an invisible presence or appear translucent or as a wisp of light.
  • Electromagnetic interference: The reason we can pick up ghosts with EMF meters is because they interfere with electronics, like triggering your smoke alarm.
  • Telekinesis: Most people begin to ask, “Is my house haunted?” once they hear noises or see objects move. This is because ghosts are able to move almost anything with just their spectral minds. Powerful or evil entities, like demons, can even throw people around.
  • Thermokinesis: Many people believe ghosts are cold, and it’s all about temperature manipulation. If you notice a cold spot or a sudden drop in temperature, take out your thermal imaging camera or temperature gun! Odds are, you have encountered a ghost.
  • Teleportation: Ghosts are able to appear at will. Some people report that a ghost will flicker slightly before disappearing and reappearing in a new location.
  • Speed: Ghosts are incredibly fast, moving at great speed from one spot to the next. Whether they move from downstairs to upstairs or dash off to be miles away and haunt a different location, there is no doubt that their speed is superhuman.
  • Strength: Not only can ghosts move objects with their minds, but they are also very strong – much stronger than people. They can lift heavy objects or toss people as if they’re weightless.
  • Untouchable: Without a physical body, ghosts are able to interact with physical objects at will. This means they can also move through solid objects and can’t be touched by the human hand.
  • Manipulate the environment: Ghosts are able to interact with the environment. They can manipulate the elements, drop the temperature in a space, and impact electronics.
  • Clairvoyance: It’s not surprising to learn that ghosts can see other ghosts and are aware of invisible paranormal activity.
  • Attachment: Spirits are able to attach themselves to objects. Many cultures believe that their deceased ancestors latch onto objects (and sometimes people) that they were close to while alive.
  • Shapeshifting: Sometimes a ghost can change from what he or she looked like when they were alive into a shadowy figure or wispy shapes of light.
  • Flight: Many ghosts can fly or hover slightly above the ground.

Generally, ghosts also have the abilities of what they were skilled at when they were still alive.

Uncommon abilities

With the belief that ghosts come from the human spirit, most ghost encounters that are reported are harmless. However, sometimes there is the occasional ghost story of a very peeved-off ghost that has abilities that go beyond the norm.

Unique abilities include:

  • Possession: People who experience sleep paralysis have reported becoming possessed by ghosts in the same way demons would possess someone. It is very rare, but an angry ghost would be able to possess someone who is unaware or unable to move (like when they’re sleeping).
  • Creating ectoplasm: This only happens on rare occasions when a ghost is incredibly angry. Mostly it does not happen, not even by violent entities.
  • Biokinesis: This is the ability to inflict wounds or disease on humans and other animals. It includes causing people to experience fear, anxiety and even hallucinations.
  • Photokinesis: Some kindly ghosts can create light which acts as a calming aura to their loved ones.
  • Electrokinesis: Most ghosts can interact with electronics in some way. A few ghosts have been reported to generate a type of unexplainable electricity themselves, giving them the ability to power up machinery.
  • Hydrokinesis: Ghosts who suffered a violent death through drowning can create or manipulate water.
  • Pyrokinesis: Similarly, ghosts who died through burning may be able to manipulate or create fire.
  • Mental manipulation: Angry or vengeful spirits are able to manipulate the minds of their victims. It can drive the person crazy or turn them violent.
  • Voices: A rare ability that some evil ghosts possess is to mimic other people’s voices. Ever heard your mother calling you from upstairs when you know she isn’t home? Best not to go up there!
  • Electronic Voice Phenomenon: Sticking to voices, a few ghosts are able to communicate directly through EVP recorders. And via other forms of technology (like cell phones) without you hearing the voice in real time.
  • Warping reality: This has very rarely been recorded. Such ghosts can alter the rules of reality and give people superhuman speed, endurance or strength. They do this to enact their will on the physical world.


Do ghosts have any weaknesses?

We have a lot to learn about ghosts, but they do have some perceived weaknesses:

  • Iron can temporarily dispel natural presences.
  • Salt is used to protect yourself from ghosts (sprinkle it around doors, windows and your bed).
  • Light is sometimes used to keep ghosts at bay.

What are the different types of ghosts?

  • Interactive personality: The spirit of a dead person that lingers and can interact with the living world.
  • Ectoplasm (also called ecto-mist): A cloud of vapour that mysteriously hangs above the ground. It can move about or simply stay in place.
  • Poltergeist: The meaning of a Poltergeist is a “noisy ghost” as they knock about and move objects; they can become dangerous.
  • Orbs: A translucent ball of light, often seen in photographs. Believed to be the souls of animals or people.
  • Funnel ghosts: The vast majority are spotted in haunted houses, where they appear as vortexes or a wisp of light. Ghost hunters believe they are a deceased person returning to their loved ones.

How many people believe in ghosts?

Based on a study conducted by us, around 50% of people in the UK believe in the afterlife. And 2 in 5 Britons are convinced they’ve seen a ghost. As for the US, a study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 18% of people have seen a ghost. You can read more about what the bible says about ghosts.

Final Thoughts

There is still a lot we don’t understand about ghosts. With so many abilities reported by scared eyewitnesses and paranormal investigators, we have to ask ourselves is there anything ghosts can’t do?

From floating through walls to moving your tea cup, manipulating water or speaking with a disembodied voice, ghosts have varying abilities. We are only just beginning to grasp the unexplainable. And we are constantly surprised by the data recorded with our ghost-hunting tools.


Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!