I believe that when you die, you have three options…
1) Roll the dice, go to the afterlife. Most likely, you’re getting into Heaven. If you’ve killed someone without regret, be sure that a trip to Hell is in the cards.
2) Roll again with reincarnation. Maybe you’ll be a human again. Maybe you’ll be a slug. Maybe moss.
3) Stick around on Earth and waste time.
I think there are a large contingent that select three, because if you’re a dead guy on Earth, you’re probably bored. The solutions would be either to kill others so they can join you in the ghost world or, more likely, benevolently rattle and scare you, just for a cheap, ghostly laugh.
The following is a true story…
I was once driving my friend home from band rehearsal. it was about 2 AM, but before I would take him home, I decided to just drive around and shoot the shit with him. In my conversational mood, I didn’t really watch where I was going, and I ended up on this woodsy road with only two lanes, and no one in sight. It was a nice drive, but this road didn’t seem to ever end. Then, out of nowhere, a car that was previously not behind us at all showed up, speeding at about 50 mph on a 35 mph road. I was somewhat perturbed that the guy was in such a rush, but nonetheless, I sped up. I figured it would be fun to be sorta chased at 2 AM by some nobody.
And then he got faster.
Suddenly, all conversation in the car ceased. It had been five minutes of him increasing the speed to maybe 60, then 70. And then, his light started flickering. He was toying with us, I thought, turning his lights on and off repeatedly. At first, I thought he was trying to tell me something. Maybe there was someone on my roof. However, it became apparent that on this lonely, isolated forest road, he was trying to make me crash.
Eventually, I sped up to a ridiculous 90 mph or so and left the other driver behind after a number of halfassed attempts to ditch him with minor speed gains. He was gone. I began to breathe easily and I even rejoiced when I saw an intersection ahead, with a green light. I sped through the light and parked my car on the other side of the road, curious as to whether the guy would follow.
Sure enough, the light turns red, and he shows up to stop at the intersection. At this point, I’m thinking, who is this guy? I looked in my rear view in an attempt to see some sort of face peering back at me. I squinted heavily, not having my glasses on at the time. All I could see from the driver’s seat was darkness. I tried to make something out, maybe even hands on the wheel, but there was nothing. And then the light turned green and the darkness in the driver’s seat rolled over something white. Even without my glasses, I recognized it immediately. It was a clean, bare white skull, with gouged, bloodshot eyeballs. The car responded to the green light by hastily making a right turn and leaving our trail for the rest of the night.
I never told my friend what I saw, because I didn’t believe it then. But I believe it now.