Do spirits exist? Is there a world out there we are unaware of because we just don't want to know it?
There was an incident recently in some one's house where there seemed to be a spirit hovering around the house, though interestingly not disturbing the inmates. A few learned men came by and refused to enter the house because they insisted there were spirits inside.
The saga ended pretty fast when one of the learned men came over and decided to "capture" the spirit and send it packing.
It was an interesting story and hard to believe but when it happens so close to home, you are really left with little choice to go against this reality.
Spirits are typically the souls of those people who die earlier than the expected date. Hence someone who commits suicide typically ends up as a spirit and hangs around till the actual time of death when they move further up the heavenly chain namely Yamaloka where Chitragupta brings out their deeds during their life times and decides their fate at Yamaloka - so try to be good.
Subsequently they are taken to Devaloka where they shall continue performing puja and go through penance to reach Lord Shiva and Vishnu and hope for the day they will head to Vaikuntam or Kailasa. While this is not so easy in Kaliyuga, lets see what happens to spirits.
Good and bad spirits have always dominated our imagination. Well is it imagination? Its more fact than imagination. Spirits if left alone hang around on Neem or tamarind trees. Else they are found near water bodies like lakes and rivers and the sea coast. They love darkness and cannot handle light. They love water but cannot handle fire. Hence the superstition - Do not go out in the night near any water body.
What would they do? Spirits tend to come and settle on you, when you venture out in these places by night. When a spirit rests on you, you don't get to see it, but feel as if a whole ten ton stone has been placed on you. It affects you physically and psychologically. Spirits who come can go just as fast. Hence the truth in the story of Vikram and Vetal.
Spirits react to smell or odour. They love the smell of jasmine and roses, the smell of food and incense. This is the reason for the superstition - women shouldn't go to bed with flowers in their head because it attracts spirits.
Spirits are attracted to various odours, so should some real smart guy want to hypnotise a spirits, its through smell. The attraction levels towards smell is so high that a spirit can succumb to any task assigned once they are intoxicated by the odour. Hence the world of black magic came in.
How do they look? Well spirits have a mind, largely appear translucent and do not have feet. The most beautiful spirits appear with lovely eyes, open hair, and look like a bride who is just five days into her marriage. Spirits are basically good and harmless. They do have a weird sense of humour and are playful. Maybe they would just jump on your back and slap you when you venture out at night! There are situations where you can see them and your friend can just hear them. They have a weird laugh and sound really strange during communication (am not referring to plan chit). Spirits understand languages.
So when do they turn evil? When a bad guy offers blood(chickens) instead of flowers and food to eat. Yes, gory as it may sound, spirits are by nature gentle beings, but its a human who diverts a spirit's mind and makes it do weird/evil things. Spirits can do good things too like predict immediate future and give you hints for something you lost.
Spirits come to homes where regular worship is not done. When spirits enter the house, there is a strong breeze before they come in with shreaks. Spirits can stay endlessly in your house until they are finally made to go away. Once out of the house, spirits wait for instructions from the bad guys who sent them there for around two days before they move on.
Last but not the least, spirits suck out the essence of any food offered. Meaning when you place a cube of sugar and invite a spirit over, it takes out the essence of the sugar cube. Should you attempt tasting the cube later it will be insipid and not sweet as expected. Strange but true!