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What Are Ghosts According to the Bible? Unveiling the Spiritual Entities in Scripture

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

What Are Ghosts According to the Bible?

Introduction: (What Are Ghosts According to the Bible?)

The concept of ghosts and the supernatural has captivated human imagination for centuries. Many people wonder if ghosts exist and what they represent. In the realm of biblical teachings, the term "ghosts" may not be explicitly mentioned. However, the Bible provides insights into spiritual entities that are often associated with the idea of ghosts. In this article, we will explore the biblical perspective on these entities and unveil their true nature as depicted in Scripture.

Demons: Malevolent Spiritual Entities

What Are Ghosts According to the Bible?

In the Bible, spiritual entities that are commonly associated with ghosts are often depicted as demons. Demons are fallen angels who rebelled against God and now exist to deceive and oppose His purposes. They are portrayed as malevolent beings seeking to cause harm and spiritual unrest. Various passages in the New Testament, such as Mark 5:1-20 and Luke 8:26-39, describe encounters with demonic entities that exhibit characteristics often associated with ghostly phenomena.

Angels: Messengers and Guardians

While the Bible primarily portrays angels as messengers and servants of God, there are instances where their appearance may be perceived as ghost-like. Angels are spiritual beings who dwell in the heavenly realm and are sent by God to fulfill specific purposes. They can appear in human-like form and bring messages, offer protection, or execute divine judgments. Examples of angelic encounters can be found in Luke 1:26-38 and Acts 12:1-19.

The Nature of the Afterlife

The Bible also provides insights into the nature of the afterlife, which can help us understand the concept of ghosts. According to Scripture, when believers die, their souls go to be with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). The departed souls are in the presence of God and are not believed to linger on earth as ghosts. However, there are instances where God permits the appearance of deceased individuals in visions or extraordinary circumstances for specific purposes, as seen in the transfiguration account in Matthew 17:1-8.

Discerning Spiritual Realities

While the Bible acknowledges the existence of supernatural entities, it also warns against seeking contact or communication with them. Scripture emphasizes the importance of discernment and encourages believers to focus on God's Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit rather than seeking encounters with spiritual entities. Engaging in practices such as séances, divination, or attempting to communicate with the dead is strongly discouraged and considered spiritually dangerous.


While the term "ghosts" may not be explicitly used in the Bible, Scripture provides insights into spiritual entities that are commonly associated with the concept of ghosts. These entities are portrayed as either demons or angels, with distinct roles and natures. Demons are depicted as malevolent beings seeking to deceive and harm, while angels serve as messengers and guardians of God's purposes.

It is important for believers to approach the subject of ghosts with discernment and wisdom, focusing on the teachings of the Bible. Instead of seeking encounters with spiritual entities, our focus should be on developing a deep relationship with God and following His guidance. By anchoring ourselves in God's truth, we can navigate the spiritual realm with wisdom and discernment, avoiding potentially harmful practices.