Editor's Note: Ghosts, ghoblins and ghouls are the stuff of Halloween legends and costumes, but are they real? Christians know that their deceased loved ones live on eternally. Can they ever communicate with the living? And does Satan specialize in preying on people who long for just one more message from the dead?

“Someone has a connection to the number 7,” began the psychic.


A grieving woman raises her hand. “I was born in July, the seventh month.”


“I’m with you.” The psychic recognizes her desperation to hear from a dead loved one. More importantly, she is suggestible and easily led.


“I see a male figure holding a rose, which is their way of saying…”


The psychic continues: The woman supplies details and interprets symbols to fit with her loved one.


Since that infamous incident the Garden of Eden, Satan knows we can be easily deceived. For this reason, John advises: “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God… This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God…” (1 John 4:1, 2-NIV).


Talking to and receiving messages from the dead is an old trick of the devil. And dangerous, too. Some spiritualists and psychics warn that demonic spirits masquerade as departed loved ones to fool people into opening up so that they can possess them.


In A Do It Yourself Guide to Communicating with the Dead, Lori Lothian writes: “Most communication attempts don't work, or may be faked, but there is ALWAYS the possibility of contacting or inviting something you could never, in your wildest imagination, be prepared for — the inhuman spirit.” Lothian warns that ouija boards and other occult practices can lead to dangerous encounters with demonic beings.


Monthly, over a half million grieving, curious, or “spiritual” people search the Internet for information on how to communicate with the dead. They are asking the same two questions:


(1.) Can the dead communicate with the living?


There are a couple of incidents in the Bible of the dead communicating with the living.


Saul and the witch of Endor

In 1 Samuel 28, Saul consults a medium requesting she summon Samuel. When the spirit of Samuel actually appears, he is unhappy to be disturbed and the medium is frightened. Samuel’s spirit speaks directly to Saul without the medium and his message is without symbols. He does not bring comforting news. Saul forfeits his life because he consulted with a medium rather than inquiring of God. (1 Chronicles 10:13, 14)


After the death of Christ

The Scriptures recount a strange incident immediately following the crucifixion (Matthew 27: 51-53): Tombs broke open, dead holy people were raised to life, went into Jerusalem, and “appeared to many people.”