John Beatie, 1872
...What if our own human perception of ghosts was a force that somehow influenced their manifestation? If the appearance of an apparition stemmed from events that occurred on a quantum level, for instance, there may be scientific justification for things we do influencing a projected impression from the past in hindsight.
Strange though this may sound, my colleague Amelia Crater, writing for Mysterious Universe, included a similar angle in one of her recent assessments:
In 2007, the journal Science published a paper on particle physics describing an experiment on the subatomic level where quantum rules apply, a researcher found he could influence whether a photon collapsed into wave or particle by flipping a switch after the fact, which I don’t understand well enough to explain adequately. In short, he could change the photon’s history. Or as physicist John Wheeler extrapolated, “We are participators in bringing about something of the universe in the distant past.
Though only vaguely at present, this might have some bearing on why part of the physical manifestations of ghosts themselves include the appearance of things like clothing. In essence, the manifestation of a “ghost” in any capacity could be influenced by the perception and actions of the witness, and on a quantum level, the fabric between space, time, human thought, and what we perceive as “reality” are all tangent, and more similar than anyone ever realized. To borrow the same Faulkner quote Amelia uses at her article’s outset, “The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even past.” Considering that, on a quantum level, ghostly apparitions could be an extension of something else which, strangely, humans maintain some level of influence over, perhaps no words could better describe this unique relationship mankind harnesses occasionally with what we perceive to be “the spirit world.”
William H. Mumler, 1870s