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Pronunciation: 'gOst
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English gost, gast, from Old English gAst; akin to Old High German geist spirit, Sanskrit heda anger.
 
:a disembodied soul; especially : the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness; the visible disembodied soul of a dead person

Ghosts are the supposed apparitions of the dead. A ghost is often thought to be the spirit or soul of a person who has remained on Earth after death. According to some sources, a ghost may be the personality of a person after their death, and not tied directly to the soul or spirit. Every culture in the world carries stories about ghosts, but they vary across time and place, with disagreements both as to what ghosts are and whether they exist in reality.

A ghost is an alleged non-corporeal manifestation of a dead person or even an animal.  It is often thought to be a manifestation of the spirit or soul of a person which has remained on Earth after death. According to some beliefs, a ghost may be the personality of a person after his or her death, and not tied directly to the soul or spirit. Every culture in the world carries stories about ghosts, but they vary across time and place, with disagreements both as to what ghosts are and whether they are just figments of imagination or a part of reality.
 
Ghosts are often depicted of a human size and shape (although some accounts also mention animal ghosts), but typically described as "silvery," "shadowy," "semitransparent," "misty," or "fog-like." Parapsychologists refer to the "substance" of which ghosts and other spirits are made of as "ectoplasm."  Ghosts do not have a physical body like human beings, but only a subtle astral body. Sometimes they do not manifest themselves visually but in terms of other phenomena, such as the movements of an object, spontaneous throwing of a light switch, noises, etc., which supposedly have no natural explanation.

A ghost is a visual manifestation of a soul, spirit, life force, or life energy. Most people use this term to describe the visual appearance of a human being or creature that has died and passed on to the other side. A ghost is residual in nature -- it does not interact with our physical world.

There are many kinds of phenomenon that fall under the denomination of ghosts but as always with monsters, we have to make a clear distinction between the different categories and base ourselves on the several following oppositions :

  • Human shape / mist and lights
  • Ghosts that act autonomously / apparitions that follow the same course of action
  • Hallucinations / collectively-observed hauntings

Some ghosts are the exact image of the person they were, others are only recognizable by their faces. Often just a blur of white light is present. Some are said to be solid, some are translucent, others only noticeable by a breath of warm air or a cold hand. A ghost may not appear at all, but be recognized by eerie sounds or moving objects. Other spirits such as poltergeists are said to cause mischief, ranging from spilt milk or tangled yarn to grave accidents, even death.































copyright @ 2006 by AF