Do the spirits of the dead wander about on earth?

No! The Bible teaches very clearly that when one has died, it is impossible that his soul or spirit or whatever you may call it, that entered the abode of the dead, can come back to earth. Job￿207:9-10 says: "Like a cloud that fades and is gone, people die and never return." David, mourning the death of a child says: "I will some day go to where he is, but he can never come back to me" (2 Samuel 12:23).

 The spirits of those who die, go to the abode of the dead immediately when the last breath has ceased. They cannot, in any form whatsoever, come back to earth. Jesus taught that clearly in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). They shall remain there where they are until the second coming of Christ, when the dead shall rise.

 What we call "ghosts" cannot be the spirits of our departed loved ones. These mysterious things are the works of the Evil one and his many demons. They can appear in different forms, even imitating the departed loved ones. The devil can appear as an angel of light to deceive the children of God (2 Corinthians 11:14). We must not underestimate him and his power. And we must never, ever try to contact the spirits of those who have died. God forbids it, because He knows the evil powers of the devil (Leviticus 20:6).

 When a person dies and breathes his last breath, his body goes to the grave, but his spirit immediately enters the abode of the dead (Luke 23:43). God's children go to where Jesus is, while unbelievers go to another place. But let it be clear: They can never come back to be wandering spirits.