Did you know that many people believe the ghosts of former presidents haunt the White House? Some believe Abraham Lincoln has haunted the official residence of the President of the United States since his death in 1865.
Mary Todd Lincoln, his wife, was a believer in Spiritism and frequently invited mediums to the White House. She claimed that her dead son, Willie, would often stand at the foot of her bed. She also once sat for a photo by “spirit photographer” William Mumler. It is said one of his pictures reveals the ghost of her husband standing behind her. Of course, skeptics say it was a hoax created by a simple double exposure.
Yet the stories persist.
Eleanor Roosevelt said she felt the presence of Lincoln throughout the White House, as did the press secretary for President Eisenhower. Some say they have heard his footsteps or believed he rapped on the door of the Lincoln Bedroom. A few say they saw his apparition run screaming out of the White House.
Can spiritists receive messages from the spirits of the dead? Can mediums talk to dead presidents or long lost relatives? Are all séances mere hoaxes led by the power of suggestion, or are there unseen forces at work when people attempt to talk to the dead? Even if we could talk to the dead, should we?
Not according to the Bible.
The Bible and Ghosts
The Lord commanded, “Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 19:31). Even stronger language is used in the next chapter: “The person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people” (20:6). Very specifically God said, “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead” (Deuteronomy 18:10, 11).
Why would the Lord speak so strongly against these practices? There are two primary reasons.
The first is that the Bible teaches that dead people are really dead. They are not “sort of” dead or only “part way” dead. They are completely dead and know nothing. Job 14:12 makes this quite clear—“So man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, they will not awake nor be roused from their sleep.” This cornerstone teaching, that the dead are dead, reveals that so-called communications with the dead are impossible.
And in many cases, when we experience supposed contact with the dead, another power is at work.
The devil has lied and deceived mankind from the beginning. He has worked powerful miracles down through the ages, often through people who claim to receive their power from the spirits of the dead, such as magicians in Egypt (Exodus 7:11) and sorcerers in the prophet Daniel’s time (Daniel 2:2).
Because of this reality, that “spirits of devils” are “working miracles” (Revelation 16:14 KJV), the Lord wants to protect people from the delusions that they bring. This is the second reason God warns us to not dabble in occult practices. He does not want us to be misled.
We can avoid being duped if we stay close to the accurate teachings of the Bible. “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). Satan invented the teaching that the dead are alive—that we don’t truly die. He is at war with God, and he does not want people to receive eternal life. The devil would have us believe that we inherently possess immortality, which the Bible says that God alone possesses (see 1 Timothy 6:15, 16). The Bible actually says “the wages of sin is death
” (Romans 6:23, emphasis added).
Dead men, presidents or not, do not talk. They are in the grave and cannot think, speak, or act. People who claim to talk to them are trying to trick you into doing something you wouldn’t normally do, and/or they are being deceived by an evil spirit. If you have been harassed by evil spirits, you can find protection and help. Keep reading!