Author of New York State Ghosts, David Pitkin shared some of his favorite cases from his research of disembodied spirits and ghosts. Ghosts, he explained, are a perceived energy with a personality, but they tend to be a "one trick pony" performing one action repeatedly such as stair-walking or door-opening. For whatever reason, they can't let go of the earth plane, he noted-- But if you simply inform them that they are dead, they will often leave, and they will also take instruction, if, for example, you ask them to stop loudly stomping on the stairs at night. They just want to know that someone is there, said Pitkin.
A number of ghostly incidents involve persons who seem to vanish out of thin air. One personal encounter of his concerned a disheveled hitchhiker he picked up in 1975 during a rainstorm. After letting the hitchiker out of the car in Troy, New York, the man simply disappeared, and Pitkin said he could see within 100 yards in all directions.
Gail Putnam, a medium who ran a psychic development class in 1983, told him of seeing soldiers walking through her cellar wall, as her class was about to begin. They identified themselves as Marines and said they were lost and saw the light her group was giving off. She advised them to turn around and go into the brilliant light, which they did. The next day Gail's husband informed her that terrorists had blown up a Marines' barracks in Lebanon around the same time she had her communication.