What is the biblical view of ghosts and hauntings?

The biblical view of ghosts is that they do not exist. Jesus' own words in passages like Luke 16:19-31 and 23:43 show that after death, we go immediately to paradise or torment and cannot leave of our own volition. There are recorded instances of the dead coming back to earth. Samuel returned, albeit reluctantly (1 Samuel 28:15); and Moses and Elijah conferred with Jesus in Matthew 17:1-8. But these were very specific situations that fulfilled God's plan.

If the souls of the dead cannot return to earth, what causes the supernatural events that many people experience? There are supernatural forces at work among us, including angels and demons. Angels are bound by God's direction, and work only for His purpose. Demons prowl about, seeking those they can devour (1 Peter 5:8). If they can cause more harm by pretending to be the spirits of the dead, they will.

The Bible does not mention demonic activity being associated with an object. It's possible a demon could develop an affinity to an object, thus "cursing" it, but it's not clear. The Bible does, however, mention that demons can be centered around a specific geographical location. In Daniel 10, an angel mentions to Daniel that he fought the "Prince of Persia." This was apparently a demon who was responsible for the area around modern-day Iran. The Bible doesn't mention if demons are assigned specifically to political entities or if demons can "haunt" any geographical location, such as a house. Nor does Scripture give us any guidance as to how to rid a location of a supernatural presence.

That being said, a believer does have the authority to dedicate his or her own space to God. As we submit ourselves and our property to God and live in obedience to Him, we acknowledge that our possessions are ultimately His to do with as He pleases.

It's important to remember that if we experience something that is not from God, it is from demons. To seek out ghosts or investigate hauntings is to encourage demonic activity. To dedicate our lives and possessions to God is to place them in His trust.

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