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There is a lot of research into what happens when people cross over to the other side in books such as Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives but not every soul is believed to immediately make a peaceful transition. Earthbound spirits are souls who have not yet cross over to the spiritual realm. Rather, their energy lives in the physical world that they experienced before they died. When we hear ghost stories of spirits who remain rooted to a particular place, we are talking about earthbound spirits. Paranormal researchers often use ghosthunting equipment to detect these earthbound spirits.
So why would a spirit choose not to go to the other side? We’ve all heard stories of how peaceful the transition can be. People who have experienced near death experiences report seeing a light and being embraced by loved ones who are on the other side, and feeling so good that they thought twice about returning to the physical realm. So if it’s believed to be such a peaceful experience, why do some souls remain earthbound spirits?
There are a number of possible reasons and theories about why earthbound spirits exist.
One theory is that the person doesn’t know he or she is dead. If a person died suddenly, in a car accident for example, that soul could be confused and be wandering around not realizing that the current life is over. Until they realize that they are dead and cross over to the other side, they may stay rooted near the scene of the accident.
Another theory is that the person has some type of unfinished business to take care of. Maybe the soul feels like death came before something important could be completed. That soul may stick around as an earthbound spirit until the task is finished.
A third theory is that the earthbound spirit is afraid of moving on. Perhaps the soul has a fear of the unknown so he or she clings to the life that has been familiar.
A fourth theory is that the earthbound spirit is seeking justice. Have you ever seen a movie about a psychic who sees murder victims? This is an example of this phenomenon at work. If someone is murdered, that spirit may choose to stick around until the person who took their life can be discovered and prosecuted.
Another theory has less to do with the spirit and more to do with his or her loved ones. There is a belief that if family members and loved ones cling to the memory of the spirit and have a hard time letting him or her go, that soul will remain earthbound to be close to the family. That’s why it’s a good idea when a loved one is dying for family members to let them know that they will be ok.