Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

Posted on Jul 8, 2015 by Lisa Ricard Claro   16 Comments | Posted in The Naked Truth

Many moons ago I had a conversation with my dad about ghosts. Daddy was one of those who drew ethereal events like iron filings to a magnet. He had numerous experiences of the paranormal kind, and in my teens I harbored the hope, deep in my heart, that at some point in my life I, too, would feel the shivery brush of something otherworldly.  It was around that time that Daddy and I had our chat.

Daddy had a particular fondness for conversations surrounding religion, psychology, and the paranormal. He was the guy people gravitated to at parties because, well, for one thing, he possessed handsome in abundance, and two, he didn’t just ramble on. He had facts and statistics to back up his words. He was interesting in the extreme. He was also an accomplished hypnotist—he did this for a living, Buttercup—which also added to his charm. Who isn’t curious about that level of coolness?

Anyway, while my conversations with my mother were usually about girl stuff and ooh-gobs of shared secrets, my discussions with my father were most often about different philosophies and ideas. On this particular day, we discussed ghostly encounters. At some point I referenced my grandmother and said, “If Grandma suddenly showed up in front of me I’d die of fright,” to which Daddy responded, “Your grandmother loved you and would never have hurt you when she was alive. Why do you think she would hurt you just because she’s dead?”

A fair question, and one I couldn’t answer. It was just the idea of a ghostly presence that scared the bejeepers out of me. “And that,” Daddy said, “is the reason you will never see a ghost.”

Daddy’s theory was that one had to be open to the concept of the spirit world in order for that world to make itself known. As long as I kept that door closed, he reasoned, it was unlikely I would recognize an encounter, even if one whacked me upside the head.

I’ve thought about this a lot through the years, have wondered what sorts of thought provoking and amazing things I’ve missed out on by being deliberately closed. I know there are those who caution against engaging “the spirit world,” that we don’t know whether we’re opening up to something good or something evil. But, let’s face it, that’s true just talking to someone at the grocery store, you know? We smile and say hello, but that guy in the plaid shorts holding the vegetables and BBQ skewers could be a Jeffrey Dahmer clone. And if you believe in spiritual guardians—well, isn’t that the same thing? I’ve always believed that Grandma is my guardian angel. Turns out my siblings and at least one cousin believe she watches over them, too, in which case Grandma is very busy. Of course, she was German and could organize and multitask like a champ.

In my book, Love Built to Last, the heroine, Maddie, is convinced that her deceased husband gives her advice. I’ve had a number of readers ask me if this means that I believe in ghosts, and the Naked Truth is, I don’t know. I love the idea that our loved ones don’t completely leave us, that when we need a boost of pure love it is ours for the taking if we open our hearts and let it in.

In spite of that, I’ll still freak out if Grandma shows up in my pantry. Maybe she knows this, and that is why when I feel her with me it is less about woo-woo paranormal stuff and more about the scent of gardenias and the unexpected embrace of a cool breeze, carrying with it an unnamed emotion that permeates my being and flows straight to my heart.

Now, that’s a ghostly encounter I can live with.

Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever had an otherworldly experience? If you’ve read Love Built to Last do you think that Jack really gives Maddie advice, or is she just twisting things to see what she wants to see?

See you Friday for Observations From the Tub! Thanks for visiting. 🙂



Romance is good for your heart! To purchase your copy of Love Built to Last in eBook or print, go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Black Opal Books, Kobo, or AllRomance.

16 Responses to "Do You Believe in Ghosts?"

  1. Comment by Sioux
    July 8, 2015 at 7:01 am  

    Wait. Your father was a hypnotist? That was his job?

    You yada-yaded over that little tidbit. I read that, and came screeching to a halt. If you’ve written about this before, I’ve missed it. Wow!

    My husband was “visited” by my grandfather after he’d been dead about six months. My mom came and talked to me after she’d been gone for a while… Was it a dream or was it a ghost? I’m not sure…

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 8, 2015 at 3:30 pm  

      True, yes. Daddy was a professional hypnotist. He was a counselor and used hypnosis in conjunction with that. He thought people shouldn’t have to keep coming back for help if they didn’t want to, or couldn’t afford to, so he developed a program to teach self-hypnosis. People would come to him for everything from weight loss to beating phobias, pain control, etc. (That’s how I popped out 3 kids without anesthesia. Really.) He also had great foresight. I remember him being all excited about biofeedback way back in the early ’70s before it became widely accepted by the medical community. Now doctors have “biofeedback specialists” in their offices. Daddy was way ahead of the crowd.

      Ah, dreams…does that count? I think it does. You’ve given me food for thought. I may be a lot more open than I thought.

  2. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    July 8, 2015 at 8:32 am  

    Well, yeah, I think our spirit lives on and sometimes, we’re aware of that spirit. But I think it’s probably on an “as needed basis.” I needed to see a deceased friend and she visited…whereas, my mom? We’re good. 🙂

    And Jack and Maddie? I think she BELIEVES that her husband communicates–that’s what she needs at that point in her life. (Which goes back to people getting/seeing what they need…)

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 8, 2015 at 3:33 pm  

      So you saw your friend! That’s a story you have never shared with me before. I’d sure love to hear the details.

  3. Comment by Rob
    July 8, 2015 at 9:14 am  

    Very well written post. I wrote a short about seeing my dad two weeks after he died. I don’t know if it was a dream or not. He came to me in dreams several times over the years. I was told my mother talked to him the whole day the day before she died, like he was there in the room. I’ve had several people tell me of that phenomenon in their own history. The many stories I’ve heard from people I respect and trust would lead me to say that these things are real. I’m not sure if there’s that many people that I’d like to see in the afterlife, but there’s a couple of good dogs I hope that are there.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 8, 2015 at 3:37 pm  

      Of course, you got me smiling with the dog comment. I agree! There are several fur-babies I hope to meet again.

      The things you mentioned in your comment are things I’ve heard of, too, and you mentioned dreaming. If that counts—and I’m willing to accept that it does—then I HAVE had some experiences. My mother, right after she passed. And I dreamed about both of my parents in the last year or so, and blogged about it here. Now that I’m looking back and really thinking about it, maybe that WAS a visitation, couched in a way my mind could receive it without freaking out. 🙂

  4. Comment by Theresa Sanders
    July 8, 2015 at 11:15 am  

    Love this post, Lisa! And how cool is it that your dad was a hypnotist? I bet you had some great conversations.

    Yes, I believe in ghosts, but maybe not of the Casper variety. I believe in an afterlife, though I’m not sure how that parses with the real world we live in. Of course, like the idea of Plato’s Cave, what is “real” and what is “not real” can be a matter of perspective. I believe that what we believe is what we create, and that what we believe comes back to us. So if we are open to the idea of the supernatural, we draw back those kinds of experiences. And they don’t have to be all Stephen King-y either; they can be as simple as a whiff of a deceased loved one’s perfume, or flowers growing where they’re not supposed to be, or a particularly vivid dream. Signs are everywhere and all around us. We just have to be open enough to see them.

    Great food for thought on this Wednesday morning, and I can’t wait to read about Jack and Maddie! I’m going to go catch up on a few of your other posts now. Oh, and I submitted my email again to get notifications, so we’ll see what happens 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 8, 2015 at 3:42 pm  

      Based on your comments and the others, I’m of the mind that maybe I’m not as closed as I imagined myself to be. I’ve visited with my parents in dreams, and there will sometimes be something that brings them to mind beyond the usual photo or memory. I’ve got some thinking to do!

      I checked the email notification list and you’re on there, so you should receive an email. Please let me know if you don’t. (And I hope you love Maddie and Caleb!)

  5. Comment by Debbie Christiana
    July 8, 2015 at 12:45 pm  

    Yes! I believe in ghosts. You’re dad sounds sooo interesting. I like to think I’m open to it but I have yet to see one. Some day I hope! Best of luck with Love Built to Last! I’ll check it out.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 8, 2015 at 3:44 pm  

      Hey, Debbie, nice to see you here! Well, your books are all about the spooky stuff, so I’m not surprised that you’re a believer. 🙂 What about dreams? Have you had any visits in dreams?

  6. Comment by ButtonsMom2003
    July 8, 2015 at 1:33 pm  

    My father died suddenly, in Switzerland, while on a trip with my mom and sister. I dreamed about him a lot the first year after he died. It was like we were walking and talking together. I think I needed that for closure – so yes I believe that those passed on can visit us in one way or another.

    As for being open to things… I’m glad you were open to meeting up with someone who just happened to find your blog. Just think – if you hadn’t posted that picture of Siesta Key… All things happen for a reason? 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 8, 2015 at 3:49 pm  

      My mother’s death was sudden, too, and I dreamed about her many times during that first year of her passing. Interestingly, she never spoke in my dreams. Never a word. We walked together, and we were together emotionally, but there were no words. I suppose that in and of itself means something, now that I think about it, because there really were no words to describe what the loss was like. There still aren’t, if I’m being honest. My dad’s passing was expected. He had been ill for a long time. But Mama—nope. Never saw it coming.

      Fortunately, I am always open to meeting lovely people and hoping they will become friends. I agree that the way we connected was too much of a coincidence to be a coincidence! The US is a big place, and the odds of you living THERE…well, I believe we were definitely meant to be friends. 🙂

  7. Comment by Tammy
    July 9, 2015 at 11:49 am  

    This post really hit home, because just yesterday I was thinking it’s sort of funny that my attitude toward spirits has changed so much as I age. I used fear ghosts; now I wish for the spirits of loved ones to visit me. I think you’re right that they come back in ways we can handle, like dreams and fragrances and sudden, sweet feelings. My grandfather appeared to me one time to tell me he’d come to get a pet who was dying. It was the coolest thing ever – and yes, she was gone when I checked right after that. It was such a comfort, and since then I’ve wished he’d return, but I guess he has better things to do. Sounds to me like you had (have) the very best kind of daddy, and I love that you have a spirit in your book!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 9, 2015 at 8:52 pm  

      What a cool story about your grandfather! In spite of worrying that I’d be completely freaked out, I’m still so envious. I’d love to hear the voice of my mom or dad, even just one more time. *sigh*

  8. Comment by Claudia
    July 9, 2015 at 3:47 pm  

    Like you I want to communicate with spirits but I am also afraid. Think this really explains why some people are easier to “reach”. Very interesting! Thanks!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 9, 2015 at 8:53 pm  

      The older I get, the braver I become, so maybe one of these days, Claudia!

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