Have you ever had the feeling you’re being watched? Felt the hairs on your neck prick up? Felt a sudden temperature change or just felt like you’re not alone?

You wouldn’t be alone in having these kinds of experiences. Feeling the presence of a ghost or entity is one of the most common spiritual experiences.  But unfortunately it’s not always the kind of experience that people want.

So what is a ghost anyway? And how is a ghost different to a guide, and why is it essential to know the difference between a ghost and a guide?

One of the most common questions I get asked is “How can I communicate with my spirit guides?”  People want to speak to their guides is because they want advice, guidance and insights from a being who is more evolved and wiser than we are.

But here’s the problem!

Many people mistake communication with a ghost with that of a guide.

ghostorguideA ghost is simply the personality and energetic patterning of a person who once lived. They have all the memories, personality, qualities of the person they were. They will think and act just in just the same way. But! (and it’s a BIG but). If they are a ghost they are NOT connected to source. That’s the specific technical difference between a ghost and a guide. A guide IS fully connected to source. A ghost is not.

This is why we instinctively fear ghosts, and why they make us feel uncomfortable. There are other categories and types of energy beings and entities, but that’s for another article.

A guide, on the other hand IS fully connected to source. They are an aspect of the divine who has chosen to support, help and guide us.

It’s essential to tell the difference, as a ghost will have only as much wisdom as the person had in life. In addition, a ghost will have all the personality flaws, negative emotions, limiting beliefs and negative behaviour that the person had in life.

Even if the person was wonderfully enlightened and wise their guidance is limited to what they learned in life. They have no higher perspective. All ghosts, no matter how benign or helpful they might appear, often have their own agenda. They frequently have unfinished business which they are hoping you will assist them to fulfil. Indeed this is often why they haven’t moved on.

If, in life, the person was bigoted, selfish, unevolved or mean, then their ghost will be too.

For the highest good of all, it’s really best to avoid communicating with ghosts and to return them to the light. How you do that is another subject entirely.

So how do you know if it’s a ghost or a guide that you’re communicating with?

Here’s a simple checklist to help you identify who you’re in contact with.

Ghost or Guide?

Ghost or entity

Spirit guide

Chooses for you. Tries to take away your free will
They will tell you what to do. And even make threats if you don’t carry out these deeds. They will tell you what is going to happen and insist that you have no choice or power over the outcome. They will tell you what you should do.
Leaves choice for you. Will never violate your free will
A guide will never tell you what to do or what you should or shouldn’t do. Once you tell them what your dreams and desires are they will give you guidance and inspiration as to how you can achieve that. They will never take away your free will, even if you try to give it to them by asking what you should do.
Imprisons / disempowers
A ghost will disempower you. They might undermine your confidence, or even belittle you. They will play on your insecurities.
Empowers
They will encourage you to be more, to think bigger, and to believe that you can do and be and have more.  They will bolster your confidence and help you overcome your insecurities and lack of confidence.
Promotes dependency
A ghost can tell you that you need them, that you have to work with them. They will tell you that can’t manage without them.
Promotes independence
A guide encourages you to think and choose for yourself. A guide will inspire you.
Intrudes
They will insist on speaking to you at any time, even if it’s not convenient. They will interrupt and insist you give them your attention.  They may wake you up at night, or stop you from concentrating at times in the day.
Respects
A guide will never make contact without first being asked. As soon as you do ask, they will be present to you, though you may not be aware of it consciously. They will support you quietly and without intruding.
Flatters
A ghost or entity will flatter you, telling you that you are special, and that you are the only one who it will speak to. This can make you feel special, but often this simply appeals to and seduces the ego. This is a sneaky one, because it can feel very pleasant, which deludes and confuses many people who believe that if it feels good and if it says nice things it must be a guide.
Informs
A guide will tell you the truth. Sometimes it will be brutally honest, but with love and only if it helps you. When they do tell you your shortcomings they also tell you how you can overcome them. It won’t delude you that you don’t need to do anything. But it will inspire and encourage you to believe in yourself and in greater possibilities.
Remember that discovering the truth about your situation isn’t always fun and nice, but your guide will always tell you how you can move forward and improve your situation.
Commands, demands,  tests  and insists on obedience
A ghost or entity will insist and demand that you do certain things. It may also test you by saying that if you don’t do something that something bad will happen to you.  They may threaten to no longer “help” or “guide” you if you don’t comply.
Suggests, guides,  encourages growth and development
A guide will encourage you to grow, evolve, to take action, and to expand beyond your comfort zone. A guide will be supportive of your dreams and desires and guide you to achieve them.  They may make suggestions, but they will never insist.
Often claims ultimate authority
They will behave and speak as if they are the ultimate authority and the highest power.
Recognises a higher power
A guide will always recognise a higher power and the ultimate authority of source.
Causes you to contract or shrink
The biggest tell-tale sign is that a ghost or entity will cause you to shrink, to choose less, not more, to become smaller, more fearful, guiltier, more resentful, and angry and to feel less love.
Causes you to evolve and grow
Your guide will always inspire you to become more than you are, to grow and develop. They will always be loving and supportive of your growth and independence. They will make you feel more love.

These are just some of the main ways you can tell a ghost or entity from a guide.

The bottom line is, does it cause you grow into who you want to become? Or does it cause you to shrink back and choose less?

Ask yourself, does this help? Or does it hinder? Is this useful?

Finally, should you be unlucky enough to find yourself in the presence of a ghost or entity remember that no matter how negative it appears to be, it has absolutely no power over you. You are in control of your mind and your choices and your behaviour. An entity can never MAKE you do anything, and it can never DO anything to you without your choice. all of its threats are empty.

Should a ghost or entity try to erode your free will, remember too that this is impossible. Despite what you may have heard about the “dangers” of entities, you are infinitely more powerful than any ghost could even imagine.

If you want to know more about psychic attack here’s a video that explains the how it can happen, how to prevent it and overcome it: The Ultimate Guide To Psychic Self Defence