Ghost

In folklore, a ghost (sometimes known as an apparition, haunt, phantom, poltergeist, shade, specter or spectre, spirit, spook, and wraith) is the soul or spirit of a dead person or animal that can appear to the living. In ghostlore, descriptions of ghosts vary widely from an invisible presence to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes, to realistic, lifelike visions. The deliberate attempt to contact the spirit of a deceased person is known as necromancy, or in spiritism as a séance.

The belief in the existence of an afterlife, as well as manifestations of the spirits of the dead, is widespread, dating back to animism or ancestor worship in pre-literate cultures. Certain religious practices—funeral rites, exorcisms, and some practices of spiritualism and ritual magic—are specifically designed to rest the spirits of the dead. Ghosts are generally described as solitary, human-like essences, though stories of ghostly armies and the ghosts of animals rather than humans have also been recounted.[2][3] They are believed to haunt particular locations, objects, or people they were associated with in life. According to a 2009 study by the Pew Research Center, 18% of Americans say they have seen a ghost.[4]

The overwhelming consensus of science is that ghosts do not exist.[5] Their existence is impossible to falsify,[5] and ghost hunting has been classified as pseudoscience.[6][7][8] Despite centuries of investigation, there is no scientific evidence that any location is inhabited by spirits of the dead.[6][9]

Hammersmith Ghost
Engraving of the Hammersmith Ghost in Kirby's Wonderful and Scientific Museum, a magazine published in 1804[1]

Terminology

The English word ghost continues Old English gāst, from Proto-Germanic *gaistaz. It is common to West Germanic, but lacking in North Germanic and East Germanic (the equivalent word in Gothic is ahma, Old Norse has andi m., önd f.). The prior Proto-Indo-European form was *ǵʰéysd-os, from the root *ǵʰéysd- denoting "fury, anger" reflected in Old Norse geisa "to rage". The Germanic word is recorded as masculine only, but likely continues a neuter s-stem. The original meaning of the Germanic word would thus have been an animating principle of the mind, in particular capable of excitation and fury (compare óðr). In Germanic paganism, "Germanic Mercury", and the later Odin, was at the same time the conductor of the dead and the "lord of fury" leading the Wild Hunt.

Besides denoting the human spirit or soul, both of the living and the deceased, the Old English word is used as a synonym of Latin spiritus also in the meaning of "breath" or "blast" from the earliest attestations (9th century). It could also denote any good or evil spirit, such as angels and demons; the Anglo-Saxon gospel refers to the demonic possession of Matthew 12:43 as se unclæna gast. Also from the Old English period, the word could denote the spirit of God, viz. the "Holy Ghost".

The now-prevailing sense of "the soul of a deceased person, spoken of as appearing in a visible form" only emerges in Middle English (14th century). The modern noun does, however, retain a wider field of application, extending on one hand to "soul", "spirit", "vital principle", "mind", or "psyche", the seat of feeling, thought, and moral judgement; on the other hand used figuratively of any shadowy outline, or fuzzy or unsubstantial image; in optics, photography, and cinematography especially, a flare, secondary image, or spurious signal.[10]

The synonym spook is a Dutch loanword, akin to Low German spôk (of uncertain etymology); it entered the English language via American English in the 19th century.[11][12][13][14] Alternative words in modern usage include spectre (altn. specter; from Latin spectrum), the Scottish wraith (of obscure origin), phantom (via French ultimately from Greek phantasma, compare fantasy) and apparition. The term shade in classical mythology translates Greek σκιά,[15] or Latin umbra,[16] in reference to the notion of spirits in the Greek underworld. "Haint" is a synonym for ghost used in regional English of the southern United States,[17] and the "haint tale" is a common feature of southern oral and literary tradition.[18] The term poltergeist is a German word, literally a "noisy ghost", for a spirit said to manifest itself by invisibly moving and influencing objects.[19]

Wraith is a Scots word for ghost, spectre, or apparition. It appeared in Scottish Romanticist literature, and acquired the more general or figurative sense of portent or omen. In 18th- to 19th-century Scottish literature, it also applied to aquatic spirits. The word has no commonly accepted etymology; the OED notes "of obscure origin" only.[20] An association with the verb writhe was the etymology favored by J. R. R. Tolkien.[21] Tolkien's use of the word in the naming of the creatures known as the Ringwraiths has influenced later usage in fantasy literature. Bogey[22] or bogy/bogie is a term for a ghost, and appears in Scottish poet John Mayne's Hallowe'en in 1780.[23][24]

A revenant is a deceased person returning from the dead to haunt the living, either as a disembodied ghost or alternatively as an animated ("undead") corpse. Also related is the concept of a fetch, the visible ghost or spirit of a person yet alive.

Typology

NAMA Hermès & Myrrhinè
Relief from a carved funerary lekythos at Athens showing Hermes as psychopomp conducting the soul of the deceased, Myrrhine into Hades (ca. 430-420 B.C.)

Anthropological context

A notion of the transcendent, supernatural, or numinous, usually involving entities like ghosts, demons, or deities, is a cultural universal.[25] In pre-literate folk religions, these beliefs are often summarized under animism and ancestor worship. Some people believe the ghost or spirit never leaves Earth until there is no-one left to remember the one who died.[26]

In many cultures, malignant, restless ghosts are distinguished from the more benign spirits involved in ancestor worship.[27]

Ancestor worship typically involves rites intended to prevent revenants, vengeful spirits of the dead, imagined as starving and envious of the living. Strategies for preventing revenants may either include sacrifice, i.e., giving the dead food and drink to pacify them, or magical banishment of the deceased to force them not to return. Ritual feeding of the dead is performed in traditions like the Chinese Ghost Festival or the Western All Souls' Day. Magical banishment of the dead is present in many of the world's burial customs. The bodies found in many tumuli (kurgan) had been ritually bound before burial,[28] and the custom of binding the dead persists, for example, in rural Anatolia.[29]

Nineteenth-century anthropologist James Frazer stated in his classic work, The Golden Bough, that souls were seen as the creature within that animated the body.[30]

Ghosts and the afterlife

Although the human soul was sometimes symbolically or literally depicted in ancient cultures as a bird or other animal, it appears to have been widely held that the soul was an exact reproduction of the body in every feature, even down to clothing the person wore. This is depicted in artwork from various ancient cultures, including such works as the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which shows deceased people in the afterlife appearing much as they did before death, including the style of dress.

Fear of ghosts

Suushi Yurei
Yūrei (Japanese ghost) from the Hyakkai Zukan, ca. 1737

While deceased ancestors are universally regarded as venerable, and often believed to have a continued presence in some form of afterlife, the spirit of a deceased person that persists in the material world (a ghost) is regarded as an unnatural or undesirable state of affairs and the idea of ghosts or revenants is associated with a reaction of fear. This is universally the case in pre-modern folk cultures, but fear of ghosts also remains an integral aspect of the modern ghost story, Gothic horror, and other horror fiction dealing with the supernatural.

Common attributes

Another widespread belief concerning ghosts is that they are composed of a misty, airy, or subtle material. Anthropologists link this idea to early beliefs that ghosts were the person within the person (the person's spirit), most noticeable in ancient cultures as a person's breath, which upon exhaling in colder climates appears visibly as a white mist.[26] This belief may have also fostered the metaphorical meaning of "breath" in certain languages, such as the Latin spiritus and the Greek pneuma, which by analogy became extended to mean the soul. In the Bible, God is depicted as synthesising Adam, as a living soul, from the dust of the Earth and the breath of God.

In many traditional accounts, ghosts were often thought to be deceased people looking for vengeance (vengeful ghosts), or imprisoned on earth for bad things they did during life. The appearance of a ghost has often been regarded as an omen or portent of death. Seeing one's own ghostly double or "fetch" is a related omen of death.[31]

Union Graveyard III
Union Cemetery in Easton, Connecticut is home to the legend of the White Lady.

White ladies were reported to appear in many rural areas, and supposed to have died tragically or suffered trauma in life. White Lady legends are found around the world. Common to many of them is the theme of losing a child or husband and a sense of purity, as opposed to the Lady in Red ghost that is mostly attributed to a jilted lover or prostitute. The White Lady ghost is often associated with an individual family line or regarded as a harbinger of death similar to a banshee.

Legends of ghost ships have existed since the 18th century; most notable of these is the Flying Dutchman. This theme has been used in literature in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge.

They are often depicted as being covered in a shroud and/or dragging chains.

Cultural

The idea of ghosts can be considered a tradition for certain cultures. Many believe in the spirit world and often try to stay in contact with their loved ones.

Locale

A place where ghosts are reported is described as haunted, and often seen as being inhabited by spirits of deceased who may have been former residents or were familiar with the property. Supernatural activity inside homes is said to be mainly associated with violent or tragic events in the building's past such as murder, accidental death, or suicide—sometimes in the recent or ancient past. But not all hauntings are at a place of a violent death, or even on violent grounds. Many cultures and religions believe the essence of a being, such as the 'soul', continues to exist. Some religious views argue that the 'spirits' of those who have died have not 'passed over' and are trapped inside the property where their memories and energy are strong.

History

Dumuzi aux enfers
Ancient Sumerian cylinder seal impression showing the god Dumuzid being tortured in the Underworld by galla demons

Ancient Near East and Egypt

There are many references to ghosts in Mesopotamian religions – the religions of Sumer, Babylon, Assyria, and other early states in Mesopotamia. Traces of these beliefs survive in the later Abrahamic religions that came to dominate the region.[32] Ghosts were thought to be created at time of death, taking on the memory and personality of the dead person. They traveled to the netherworld, where they were assigned a position, and led an existence similar in some ways to that of the living. Relatives of the dead were expected to make offerings of food and drink to the dead to ease their conditions. If they did not, the ghosts could inflict misfortune and illness on the living. Traditional healing practices ascribed a variety of illnesses to the action of ghosts, while others were caused by gods or demons.[33]

Akh glyph
Egyptian Akh glyph – The soul and spirit re-united after death

There was widespread belief in ghosts in ancient Egyptian culture The Hebrew Bible contains few references to ghosts, associating spiritism with forbidden occult activities cf. Deuteronomy 18:11. The most notable reference is in the First Book of Samuel (I Samuel 28:3–19 KJV), in which a disguised King Saul has the Witch of Endor summon the spirit or ghost of Samuel.

The soul and spirit were believed to exist after death, with the ability to assist or harm the living, and the possibility of a second death. Over a period of more than 2,500 years, Egyptian beliefs about the nature of the afterlife evolved constantly. Many of these beliefs were recorded in hieroglyph inscriptions, papyrus scrolls and tomb paintings. The Egyptian Book of the Dead compiles some of the beliefs from different periods of ancient Egyptian history.[34] In modern times, the fanciful concept of a mummy coming back to life and wreaking vengeance when disturbed has spawned a whole genre of horror stories and films.[35]

Classical Antiquity

Archaic and Classical Greece

Klytaimnestra Erinyes Louvre Cp710
Apulian red-figure bell krater depicting the ghost of Clytemnestra waking the Erinyes, circa 380-370 BC

Ghosts appeared in Homer's Odyssey and Iliad, in which they were described as vanishing "as a vapor, gibbering and whining into the earth". Homer's ghosts had little interaction with the world of the living. Periodically they were called upon to provide advice or prophecy, but they do not appear to be particularly feared. Ghosts in the classical world often appeared in the form of vapor or smoke, but at other times they were described as being substantial, appearing as they had been at the time of death, complete with the wounds that killed them.[36]

By the 5th century BC, classical Greek ghosts had become haunting, frightening creatures who could work to either good or evil purposes. The spirit of the dead was believed to hover near the resting place of the corpse, and cemeteries were places the living avoided. The dead were to be ritually mourned through public ceremony, sacrifice, and libations, or else they might return to haunt their families. The ancient Greeks held annual feasts to honor and placate the spirits of the dead, to which the family ghosts were invited, and after which they were "firmly invited to leave until the same time next year."[37]

The 5th-century BC play Oresteia includes an appearance of the ghost of Clytemnestra, one of the first ghosts to appear in a work of fiction.[38]

Roman Empire and Late Antiquity

Athenodorus - The Greek Stoic Philosopher Athenodorus Rents a Haunted House
Athenodorus and the Ghost, by Henry Justice Ford, c.1900

The ancient Romans believed a ghost could be used to exact revenge on an enemy by scratching a curse on a piece of lead or pottery and placing it into a grave.[39]

Plutarch, in the 1st century AD, described the haunting of the baths at Chaeronea by the ghost of a murdered man. The ghost's loud and frightful groans caused the people of the town to seal up the doors of the building.[40] Another celebrated account of a haunted house from the ancient classical world is given by Pliny the Younger (c. 50 AD).[41] Pliny describes the haunting of a house in Athens, which was bought by the Stoic philosopher Athenodorus, who lived about 100 years before Pliny. Knowing that the house was supposedly haunted, Athenodorus intentionally set up his writing desk in the room where the apparition was said to appear and sat there writing until late at night when he was disturbed by a ghost bound in chains. He followed the ghost outside where it indicated a spot on the ground. When Athenodorus later excavated the area, a shackled skeleton was unearthed. The haunting ceased when the skeleton was given a proper reburial.[42] The writers Plautus and Lucian also wrote stories about haunted houses.

In the New Testament, according to Luke 24:37–39,[43] following his resurrection, Jesus was forced to persuade the Disciples that he was not a ghost (some versions of the Bible, such as the KJV and NKJV, use the term "spirit"). Similarly, Jesus' followers at first believed he was a ghost (spirit) when they saw him walking on water.

One of the first persons to express disbelief in ghosts was Lucian of Samosata in the 2nd century AD. In his satirical novel The Lover of Lies (circa 150 AD), he relates how Democritus "the learned man from Abdera in Thrace" lived in a tomb outside the city gates to prove that cemeteries were not haunted by the spirits of the departed. Lucian relates how he persisted in his disbelief despite practical jokes perpetrated by "some young men of Abdera" who dressed up in black robes with skull masks to frighten him.[44] This account by Lucian notes something about the popular classical expectation of how a ghost should look.

In the 5th century AD, the Christian priest Constantius of Lyon recorded an instance of the recurring theme of the improperly buried dead who come back to haunt the living, and who can only cease their haunting when their bones have been discovered and properly reburied.[45]

Middle Ages

Ghosts reported in medieval Europe tended to fall into two categories: the souls of the dead, or demons. The souls of the dead returned for a specific purpose. Demonic ghosts existed only to torment or tempt the living. The living could tell them apart by demanding their purpose in the name of Jesus Christ. The soul of a dead person would divulge its mission, while a demonic ghost would be banished at the sound of the Holy Name.[46]

Most ghosts were souls assigned to Purgatory, condemned for a specific period to atone for their transgressions in life. Their penance was generally related to their sin. For example, the ghost of a man who had been abusive to his servants was condemned to tear off and swallow bits of his own tongue; the ghost of another man, who had neglected to leave his cloak to the poor, was condemned to wear the cloak, now "heavy as a church tower". These ghosts appeared to the living to ask for prayers to end their suffering. Other dead souls returned to urge the living to confess their sins before their own deaths.[47]

Medieval European ghosts were more substantial than ghosts described in the Victorian age, and there are accounts of ghosts being wrestled with and physically restrained until a priest could arrive to hear its confession. Some were less solid, and could move through walls. Often they were described as paler and sadder versions of the person they had been while alive, and dressed in tattered gray rags. The vast majority of reported sightings were male.[48]

There were some reported cases of ghostly armies, fighting battles at night in the forest, or in the remains of an Iron Age hillfort, as at Wandlebury, near Cambridge, England. Living knights were sometimes challenged to single combat by phantom knights, which vanished when defeated.[49]

From the medieval period an apparition of a ghost is recorded from 1211, at the time of the Albigensian Crusade.[50] Gervase of Tilbury, Marshal of Arles, wrote that the image of Guilhem, a boy recently murdered in the forest, appeared in his cousin's home in Beaucaire, near Avignon. This series of "visits" lasted all of the summer. Through his cousin, who spoke for him, the boy allegedly held conversations with anyone who wished, until the local priest requested to speak to the boy directly, leading to an extended disquisition on theology. The boy narrated the trauma of death and the unhappiness of his fellow souls in Purgatory, and reported that God was most pleased with the ongoing Crusade against the Cathar heretics, launched three years earlier. The time of the Albigensian Crusade in southern France was marked by intense and prolonged warfare, this constant bloodshed and dislocation of populations being the context for these reported visits by the murdered boy.

Haunted houses are featured in the 9th-century Arabian Nights (such as the tale of Ali the Cairene and the Haunted House in Baghdad).[51]

European Renaissance to Romanticism

File-Hamlet, Prince of Demark Act I Scene IV
"Hamlet and his father's ghost" by Henry Fuseli (1796 drawing). The ghost is wearing stylized plate armor in 17th-century style, including a morion type helmet and tassets. Depicting ghosts as wearing armor, to suggest a sense of antiquity, was common in Elizabethan theater.

Renaissance magic took a revived interest in the occult, including necromancy. In the era of the Reformation and Counter Reformation, there was frequently a backlash against unwholesome interest in the dark arts, typified by writers such as Thomas Erastus.[52] The Swiss Reformed pastor Ludwig Lavater supplied one of the most frequently reprinted books of the period with his Of Ghosts and Spirits Walking By Night.[53]

The Child Ballad "Sweet William's Ghost" (1868) recounts the story of a ghost returning to his fiancée begging her to free him from his promise to marry her. He cannot marry her because he is dead but her refusal would mean his damnation. This reflects a popular British belief that the dead haunted their lovers if they took up with a new love without some formal release.[54] "The Unquiet Grave" expresses a belief even more widespread, found in various locations over Europe: ghosts can stem from the excessive grief of the living, whose mourning interferes with the dead's peaceful rest.[55] In many folktales from around the world, the hero arranges for the burial of a dead man. Soon after, he gains a companion who aids him and, in the end, the hero's companion reveals that he is in fact the dead man.[56] Instances of this include the Italian fairy tale "Fair Brow" and the Swedish "The Bird 'Grip'".

Modern period of western culture

Spiritualist movement

Spirit rappings coverpage to sheet music 1853
By 1853, when the popular song Spirit Rappings was published, Spiritualism was an object of intense curiosity.

Spiritualism is a monotheistic belief system or religion, postulating a belief in God, but with a distinguishing feature of belief that spirits of the dead residing in the spirit world can be contacted by "mediums", who can then provide information about the afterlife.[57]

Spiritualism developed in the United States and reached its peak growth in membership from the 1840s to the 1920s, especially in English-language countries.[58][59] By 1897, it was said to have more than eight million followers in the United States and Europe,[60] mostly drawn from the middle and upper classes, while the corresponding movement in continental Europe and Latin America is known as Spiritism.

The religion flourished for a half century without canonical texts or formal organization, attaining cohesion by periodicals, tours by trance lecturers, camp meetings, and the missionary activities of accomplished mediums.[61] Many prominent Spiritualists were women. Most followers supported causes such as the abolition of slavery and women's suffrage.[58] By the late 1880s, credibility of the informal movement weakened, due to accusations of fraud among mediums, and formal Spiritualist organizations began to appear.[58] Spiritualism is currently practiced primarily through various denominational Spiritualist Churches in the United States and United Kingdom.

Spiritism

Spiritism, or French spiritualism, is based on the five books of the Spiritist Codification written by French educator Hypolite Léon Denizard Rivail under the pseudonym Allan Kardec reporting séances in which he observed a series of phenomena that he attributed to incorporeal intelligence (spirits). His assumption of spirit communication was validated by many contemporaries, among them many scientists and philosophers who attended séances and studied the phenomena. His work was later extended by writers like Leon Denis, Arthur Conan Doyle, Camille Flammarion, Ernesto Bozzano, Chico Xavier, Divaldo Pereira Franco, Waldo Vieira, Johannes Greber,[62] and others.

Spiritism has adherents in many countries throughout the world, including Spain, United States, Canada,[63] Japan, Germany, France, England, Argentina, Portugal, and especially Brazil, which has the largest proportion and greatest number of followers.[64]

Scientific view

The physician John Ferriar wrote "An Essay Towards a Theory of Apparitions" in 1813 in which he argued that sightings of ghosts were the result of optical illusions. Later the French physician Alexandre Jacques François Brière de Boismont published On Hallucinations: Or, the Rational History of Apparitions, Dreams, Ecstasy, Magnetism, and Somnambulism in 1845 in which he claimed sightings of ghosts were the result of hallucinations.[65][66]

Ball lightning
A 1901 depiction of ball lightning

David Turner, a retired physical chemist, suggested that ball lightning could cause inanimate objects to move erratically.[67]

Joe Nickell of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry wrote that there was no credible scientific evidence that any location was inhabited by spirits of the dead.[68] Limitations of human perception and ordinary physical explanations can account for ghost sightings; for example, air pressure changes in a home causing doors to slam, humidity changes causing boards to creak, condensation in electrical connections causing intermittent behavior, or lights from a passing car reflected through a window at night. Pareidolia, an innate tendency to recognize patterns in random perceptions, is what some skeptics believe causes people to believe that they have 'seen ghosts'.[69] Reports of ghosts "seen out of the corner of the eye" may be accounted for by the sensitivity of human peripheral vision. According to Nickell, peripheral vision can easily mislead, especially late at night when the brain is tired and more likely to misinterpret sights and sounds.[70] Nickell further states, "science cannot substantiate the existence of a 'life energy' that could survive death without dissipating or function at all without a brain... why would... clothes survive?'" He asks, if ghosts glide, then why do people claim to hear them with "heavy footfalls"? Nickell says that ghosts act the same way as "dreams, memories, and imaginings, because they too are mental creations. They are evidence - not of another world, but of this real and natural one."[71]

Benjamin Radford from the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and author of the 2017 book Investigating Ghosts: The Scientific Search for Spirits writes that "ghost hunting is the world's most popular paranormal pursuit" yet, to date ghost hunters can't agree on what a ghost is, or offer proof that they exist "it's all speculation and guesswork". He writes that it would be "useful and important to distinguish between types of spirits and apparitions. Until then it's merely a parlor game distracting amateur ghost hunters from the task at hand."[72]

According to research in anomalistic psychology visions of ghosts may arise from hypnagogic hallucinations ("waking dreams" experienced in the transitional states to and from sleep).[73] In a study of two experiments into alleged hauntings (Wiseman et al. 2003) came to the conclusion "that people consistently report unusual experiences in 'haunted' areas because of environmental factors, which may differ across locations." Some of these factors included "the variance of local magnetic fields, size of location and lighting level stimuli of which witnesses may not be consciously aware".[74]

Some researchers, such as Michael Persinger of Laurentian University, Canada, have speculated that changes in geomagnetic fields (created, e.g., by tectonic stresses in the Earth's crust or solar activity) could stimulate the brain's temporal lobes and produce many of the experiences associated with hauntings.[75] Sound is thought to be another cause of supposed sightings. Richard Lord and Richard Wiseman have concluded that infrasound can cause humans to experience bizarre feelings in a room, such as anxiety, extreme sorrow, a feeling of being watched, or even the chills.[76] Carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause changes in perception of the visual and auditory systems,[77] was speculated upon as a possible explanation for haunted houses as early as 1921.

People who experience sleep paralysis often report seeing ghosts during their experiences. Neuroscientists Baland Jalal and V.S. Ramachandran have recently proposed neurological theories for why people hallucinate ghosts during sleep paralysis. Their theories emphasize the role of the parietal lobe and mirror neurons in triggering such ghostly hallucinations.[78]

By religion

Judaism and Christianity

Witch of Endor (Nikolay Ge)
Witch of Endor by Nikolai Ge, depicting King Saul encountering the ghost of Samuel (1857)

The Hebrew Bible contains several references to owb (Hebrew: אוֹב‎), which are in a few places akin to shades of classical mythology but mostly describing mediums in connection with necromancy and spiritism, which are grouped with witchcraft and other forms of divination under the category of forbidden occult activities.[79] The most notable reference to a shade is in the First Book of Samuel,[80] in which a disguised King Saul has the Witch of Endor conduct a seance to summon the dead prophet Samuel.

In the New Testament, Jesus has to persuade the Disciples that he is not a ghost following the resurrection, Luke 24:37–39 (some versions of the Bible, such as the KJV and NKJV, use the term "spirit"). Similarly, Jesus' followers at first believe he is a ghost (spirit) when they see him walking on water.[81]

Some Christian denominations consider ghosts as beings who while tied to earth, no longer live on the material plane and linger in an intermediate state before continuing their journey to heaven.[82][83][84][85] On occasion, God would allow the souls in this state to return to earth to warn the living of the need for repentance.[86] Christians are taught that it is sinful to attempt to conjure or control spirits in accordance with Deuteronomy XVIII: 9–12.[87][88]

Some ghosts are actually said to be demons in disguise, who the Church teaches, in accordance with I Timothy 4:1, that they "come to deceive people and draw them away from God and into bondage."[89] As a result, attempts to contact the dead may lead to unwanted contact with a demon or an unclean spirit, as was said to occur in the case of Robbie Mannheim, a fourteen-year-old Maryland youth.[90] The Seventh-Day Adventist view is that a "soul" is not equivalent to "spirit" or "ghost" (depending on the Bible version), and that save for the Holy Spirit, all spirits or ghosts are demons in disguise. Furthermore, they teach that in accordance with (Genesis 2:7, Ecclesiastes 12:7), there are only two components to a "soul", neither of which survives death, with each returning to its respective source.

Christadelphians and Jehovah's Witnesses reject the view of a living, conscious soul after death.[91]

Jewish mythology and folkloric traditions of the Oral Law such as the Aggadah describe Dybbuks, a malicious possessing spirit believed to be the dislocated soul of a dead person, as well as the ruḥin ("spirits"), the ṭelane (evening spirits), ṭiharire (midday spirits), and ẓafrire (morning spirits).[92]

Islam

While the Islamic view is that the spirits of the dead are unable to either return to or make any contact with the world of the living,[93] reports of ghost sightings are believed to be the work of the jinn, particularly the shayātīn ("devils") (both terms appearing in the Quran) who have powers to shape-shift and usually take the form and appearance of dead people (such as family members) to deceive and mislead.[94] However, in certain Muslim lore, belief in the existence of wandering spirits as a result of the restlessness of souls of people who died a violent death, can be found.[95]

Buddhism

In Buddhism, there are a number of planes of existence into which a person can be reborn, one of which is the realm of hungry ghosts.[96]

By culture

African folklore

For the Igbo people, a man is simultaneously a physical and spiritual entity. However, it is his spirited dimension that is eternal.[97] In the Akan conception, we witness five parts of the human personality. We have the Nipadua (body), the Okra (soul), Sunsum (spirit), Ntoro (character from father), Mogya (character from mother).[97] The Humr people of southwestern Kordofan, Sudan consume the drink Umm Nyolokh, which is prepared from the liver and bone marrow of giraffes. Richard Rudgley [98] hypothesises that Umm Nyolokh may contain DMT and certain online websites further theorise that giraffe liver might owe its putative psychoactivity to substances derived from psychoactive plants, such as Acacia spp. consumed by the animal. The drink is said to cause hallucinations of giraffes, believed by the Humr to be the ghosts of giraffes. [99][100]

European folklore

Banquo
Macbeth Seeing the Ghost of Banquo by Théodore Chassériau

Belief in ghosts in European folklore is characterized by the recurring fear of "returning" or revenant deceased who may harm the living. This includes the Scandinavian gjenganger, the Romanian strigoi, the Serbian vampir, the Greek vrykolakas, etc. In Scandinavian and Finnish tradition, ghosts appear in corporeal form, and their supernatural nature is given away by behavior rather than appearance. In fact, in many stories they are first mistaken for the living. They may be mute, appear and disappear suddenly, or leave no footprints or other traces.

English folklore is particularly notable for its numerous haunted locations.

Belief in the soul and an afterlife remained near universal until the emergence of atheism in the 18th century. In the 19th century, spiritism resurrected "belief in ghosts" as the object of systematic inquiry, and popular opinion in Western culture remains divided.[101]

South and Southeast Asia

Indian subcontinent

A bhoot or bhut (Hindi: भूत, Gujarati: ભૂત, Urdu: بهوت‎, Bengali: ভূত, Odia: ଭୂତ) is a supernatural creature, usually the ghost of a deceased person, in the popular culture, literature and some ancient texts of the Indian subcontinent.

Interpretations of how bhoots come into existence vary by region and community, but they are usually considered to be perturbed and restless due to some factor that prevents them from moving on (to transmigration, non-being, nirvana, or heaven or hell, depending on tradition). This could be a violent death, unsettled matters in their lives, or simply the failure of their survivors to perform proper funerals.[102]

In Central and Northern India, ojha or spirit guides play a central role. It duly happens when in the night someone sleeps and decorates something on the wall, and they say that if one sees the spirit the next thing in the morning he will become a spirit too, and that to a headless spirit and the soul of the body will remain the dark with the dark lord from the spirits who reside in the body of every human in Central and Northern India. It is also believed that if someone calls one from behind, never turn back and see because the spirit may catch the human to make it a spirit. Other types of spirits in Hindu mythology include Baital, an evil spirit who haunts cemeteries and takes demonic possession of corpses, and Pishacha, a type of flesh-eating demon.

There are many kinds of ghosts and similar supernatural entities that frequently come up in Bengali culture, its folklores and form an important part in Bengali peoples' socio-cultural beliefs and superstitions. It is believed that the spirits of those who cannot find peace in the afterlife or die unnatural deaths remain on Earth. The word Pret (from Sanskrit) is also used in Bengali to mean ghost. In Bengal, ghosts are believed to be the spirit after death of an unsatisfied human being or a soul of a person who dies in unnatural or abnormal circumstances (like murder, suicide or accident). Even it is believed that other animals and creatures can also be turned into ghost after their death.

Thailand

XRF-krasue
Krasue, a Thai female ghost known as Ap in Khmer

Ghosts in Thailand are part of local folklore and have now become part of the popular culture of the country. Phraya Anuman Rajadhon was the first Thai scholar who seriously studied Thai folk beliefs and took notes on the nocturnal village spirits of Thailand. He established that, since such spirits were not represented in paintings or drawings, they were purely based on descriptions of popular orally transmitted traditional stories. Therefore, most of the contemporary iconography of ghosts such as Nang Tani, Nang Takian,[103] Krasue, Krahang,[104] Phi Hua Kat, Phi Pop, Phi Phong, Phi Phraya, and Mae Nak has its origins in Thai films that have now become classics.[105][106] The most feared spirit in Thailand is Phi Tai Hong, the ghost of a person who has died suddenly of a violent death.[107] The folklore of Thailand also includes the belief that sleep paralysis is caused by a ghost, Phi Am.

Tibet

There is widespread belief in ghosts in Tibetan culture. Ghosts are explicitly recognized in the Tibetan Buddhist religion as they were in Indian Buddhism,[108] occupying a distinct but overlapping world to the human one, and feature in many traditional legends. When a human dies, after a period of uncertainty they may enter the ghost world. A hungry ghost (Tibetan: yidag, yi-dvags; Sanskrit: प्रेत) has a tiny throat and huge stomach, and so can never be satisfied. Ghosts may be killed with a ritual dagger or caught in a spirit trap and burnt, thus releasing them to be reborn. Ghosts may also be exorcised, and an annual festival is held throughout Tibet for this purpose. Some say that Dorje Shugden, the ghost of a powerful 17th-century monk, is a deity, but the Dalai Lama asserts that he is an evil spirit, which has caused a split in the Tibetan exile community.

Austronesia

There are many Malay ghost myths, remnants of old animist beliefs that have been shaped by later Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim influences in the modern states of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. Some ghost concepts such as the female vampires Pontianak and Penanggalan are shared throughout the region. Ghosts are a popular theme in modern Malaysian and Indonesian films. There are also many references to ghosts in Filipino culture, ranging from ancient legendary creatures such as the Manananggal and Tiyanak to more modern urban legends and horror films. The beliefs, legends and stories are as diverse as the people of the Philippines.

There was widespread belief in ghosts in Polynesian culture, some of which persists today. After death, a person's ghost normally traveled to the sky world or the underworld, but some could stay on earth. In many Polynesian legends, ghosts were often actively involved in the affairs of the living. Ghosts might also cause sickness or even invade the body of ordinary people, to be driven out through strong medicines.[109]

East and Central Asia

China

ZhongKui-by-GongKai
An image of Zhong Kui, the vanquisher of ghosts and evil beings, painted sometime before 1304 A.D. by Gong Kai

There are many references to ghosts in Chinese culture. Even Confucius said, "Respect ghosts and gods, but keep away from them."[110]

The ghosts take many forms, depending on how the person died, and are often harmful. Many Chinese ghost beliefs have been accepted by neighboring cultures, notably Japan and southeast Asia. Ghost beliefs are closely associated with traditional Chinese religion based on ancestor worship, many of which were incorporated in Taoism. Later beliefs were influenced by Buddhism, and in turn influenced and created uniquely Chinese Buddhist beliefs.

Many Chinese today believe it possible to contact the spirits of their ancestors through a medium, and that ancestors can help descendants if properly respected and rewarded. The annual ghost festival is celebrated by Chinese around the world. On this day, ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm. Ghosts are described in classical Chinese texts as well as modern literature and films.

A recent article in the China Post stated that nearly eighty-seven percent of Chinese office workers believe in ghosts, and some fifty-two percent of workers will wear hand art, necklaces, crosses, or even place a crystal ball on their desks to keep ghosts at bay, according to the poll.

Japan

Kuniyoshi The Ghosts
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, The Ghosts, c. 1850

Yūrei (幽霊) are figures in Japanese folklore, analogous to Western legends of ghosts. The name consists of two kanji, (), meaning "faint" or "dim", and (rei), meaning "soul" or "spirit". Alternative names include 亡霊 (Bōrei) meaning ruined or departed spirit, 死霊 (Shiryō) meaning dead spirit, or the more encompassing 妖怪 (Yōkai) or お化け (Obake).

Like their Chinese and Western counterparts, they are thought to be spirits kept from a peaceful afterlife.

Americas

Mexico

Catrinas 2
Catrinas, one of the most popular figures of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico

There is extensive and varied belief in ghosts in Mexican culture. The modern state of Mexico before the Spanish conquest was inhabited by diverse peoples such as the Maya and Aztec, and their beliefs have survived and evolved, combined with the beliefs of the Spanish colonists. The Day of the Dead incorporates pre-Columbian beliefs with Christian elements. Mexican literature and films include many stories of ghosts interacting with the living.

United States

According to the Gallup Poll News Service, belief in haunted houses, ghosts, communication with the dead, and witches had an especially steep increase over the 1990s.[111] A 2005 Gallup poll found that about 32 percent of Americans believe in ghosts.[112]

Depiction in the arts

Eugène Delacroix. The Phantom on the Terrace, Hamlet
The Phantom on the Terrace from Shakespeare's Hamlet (engraving by Eugène Delacroix, 1843)
A Magician by Edward Kelly
John Dee and Edward Kelley invoking the spirit of a deceased person (engraving from the Astrology by Ebenezer Sibly, 1806)

Ghosts are prominent in story-telling of various nations. The ghost story is ubiquitous across all cultures from oral folktales to works of literature. While ghost stories are often explicitly meant to be scary, they have been written to serve all sorts of purposes, from comedy to morality tales. Ghosts often appear in the narrative as sentinels or prophets of things to come. Belief in ghosts is found in all cultures around the world, and thus ghost stories may be passed down orally or in written form.[113]

Spirits of the dead appear in literature as early as Homer's Odyssey, which features a journey to the underworld and the hero encountering the ghosts of the dead,[113] and the Old Testament, in which the Witch of Endor summons the spirit of the prophet Samuel.[113]

Renaissance to Romanticism (1500 to 1840)

One of the more recognizable ghosts in English literature is the shade of Hamlet's murdered father in Shakespeare's The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. In Hamlet, it is the ghost who demands that Prince Hamlet investigate his "murder most foul" and seek revenge upon his usurping uncle, King Claudius.

In English Renaissance theater, ghosts were often depicted in the garb of the living and even in armor, as with the ghost of Hamlet's father. Armor, being out-of-date by the time of the Renaissance, gave the stage ghost a sense of antiquity.[114] But the sheeted ghost began to gain ground on stage in the 19th century because an armored ghost could not satisfactorily convey the requisite spookiness: it clanked and creaked, and had to be moved about by complicated pulley systems or elevators. These clanking ghosts being hoisted about the stage became objects of ridicule as they became clichéd stage elements. Ann Jones and Peter Stallybrass, in Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory, point out, "In fact, it is as laughter increasingly threatens the Ghost that he starts to be staged not in armor but in some form of 'spirit drapery'."[115]

Victorian/Edwardian (1840 to 1920)

Pyle pirates ghost
The ghost of a pirate, from Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1903)

The "classic" ghost story arose during the Victorian period, and included authors such as M. R. James, Sheridan Le Fanu, Violet Hunt, and Henry James. Classic ghost stories were influenced by the gothic fiction tradition, and contain elements of folklore and psychology. M. R. James summed up the essential elements of a ghost story as, "Malevolence and terror, the glare of evil faces, ‘the stony grin of unearthly malice', pursuing forms in darkness, and 'long-drawn, distant screams', are all in place, and so is a modicum of blood, shed with deliberation and carefully husbanded...".[116] One of the key early appearances by ghosts was The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole in 1764, considered to be the first gothic novel.[113][117][118]

Famous literary apparitions from this period are the ghosts of A Christmas Carol, in which Ebenezer Scrooge is helped to see the error of his ways by the ghost of his former colleague Jacob Marley, and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come.

Modern era (1920 to 1970)

Brown lady
Brown Lady of Raynham Hall, a claimed ghost photograph by Captain Hubert C. Provand. First published in Country Life magazine, 1936

Professional parapsychologists and "ghosts hunters", such as Harry Price, active in the 1920s and 1930s, and Peter Underwood, active in the 1940s and 1950s, published accounts of their experiences with ostensibly true ghost stories such as Price's The Most Haunted House in England, and Underwood's Ghosts of Borley (both recounting experiences at Borley Rectory). The writer Frank Edwards delved into ghost stories in his books of his, like "Stranger than Science."

Children's benevolent ghost stories became popular, such as Casper the Friendly Ghost, created in the 1930s and appearing in comics, animated cartoons, and eventually a 1995 feature film.

With the advent of motion pictures and television, screen depictions of ghosts became common, and spanned a variety of genres; the works of Shakespeare, Dickens and Wilde have all been made into cinematic versions. Novel-length tales have been difficult to adapt to cinema, although that of The Haunting of Hill House to The Haunting in 1963 is an exception.[118]

Sentimental depictions during this period were more popular in cinema than horror, and include the 1947 film The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, which was later adapted to television with a successful 1968–70 TV series.[118] Genuine psychological horror films from this period include 1944's The Uninvited, and 1945's Dead of Night.

Post-modern (1970–present)

The 1970s saw screen depictions of ghosts diverge into distinct genres of the romantic and horror. A common theme in the romantic genre from this period is the ghost as a benign guide or messenger, often with unfinished business, such as 1989's Field of Dreams, the 1990 film Ghost, and the 1993 comedy Heart and Souls.[119] In the horror genre, 1980's The Fog, and the A Nightmare on Elm Street series of films from the 1980s and 1990s are notable examples of the trend for the merging of ghost stories with scenes of physical violence.[118]

Popularised in such films as the 1984 comedy Ghostbusters, ghost hunting became a hobby for many who formed ghost hunting societies to explore reportedly haunted places. The ghost hunting theme has been featured in reality television series, such as Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Ghost Lab, Most Haunted, and A Haunting. It is also represented in children's television by such programs as The Ghost Hunter and Ghost Trackers. Ghost hunting also gave rise to multiple guidebooks to haunted locations, and ghost hunting "how-to" manuals.

The 1990s saw a return to classic "gothic" ghosts, whose dangers were more psychological than physical. Examples of films from this period include 1999's The Sixth Sense and The Others.

Asian cinema has also produced horror films about ghosts, such as the 1998 Japanese film Ringu (remade in the US as The Ring in 2002), and the Pang brothers' 2002 film The Eye.[120] Indian ghost movies are popular not just in India, but in the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia, and other parts of the world. Some Indian ghost movies such as the comedy / horror film Chandramukhi have been commercial successes, dubbed into several languages.[121]

In fictional television programming, ghosts have been explored in series such as Supernatural, Ghost Whisperer, and Medium.

In animated fictional television programming, ghosts have served as the central element in series such as Casper the Friendly Ghost, Danny Phantom, and Scooby-Doo. Various other television shows have depicted ghosts as well.

Metaphorical usages

Nietzsche argued that people generally wear prudent masks in company; but that an alternative strategy for social interaction is to present oneself as an absence, as a social ghost – "One reaches out for us but gets no hold of us"[122] – a sentiment later echoed (if in a less positive way) by Carl Jung.[123]

Nick Harkaway has considered that all people carry a host of ghosts in their heads in the form of impressions of past acquaintances – ghosts who represent mental maps of other people in the world and serve as philosophical reference points.[124]

Object relations theory sees human personalities as formed by splitting off aspects of the person that he or she deems incompatible; whereupon the person may be haunted in later life by such ghosts of his or her alternate selves.[125]

See also

References

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  104. ^ Phi Krahang. Thaighosts.net. Retrieved on 2013-03-21.
  105. ^ Movie poster showing Thai ghosts Krahang and Krasue with Count Dracula. photobucket.com
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  112. ^ Lyons, Linda (July 12, 2005). "One-Third of Americans Believe Dearly May Not Have Departed". Gallup Polls. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
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  114. ^ Ann Jones & Peter Stallybrass, Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory, Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  115. ^ Holland, Peter (2005). Shakespeare Survey: Volume 58, Writing about Shakespeare. Cambridge University Press. p. 40.
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  117. ^ "The Castle of Otranto: The creepy tale that launched gothic fiction". BBC. Retrieved October 7, 2017
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  119. ^ Chanko, Kenneth M. (August 8, 1993). "FILM; When It Comes to the Hereafter, Romance and Sentiment Rule". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
  120. ^ Rafferty, Terence (June 8, 2003). "Why Asian Ghost Stories Are the Best". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
  121. ^ Mohamed, Shoaib (September 24, 2007). "The Bus Conductor Turned Superstar Who Took the Right Bus to Demi". Behindwoods. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  122. ^ Quoted in Gary Gutting ed., The Cambridge Companion to Foucault (2003) p. 235
  123. ^ C. G. Jung, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology (London 1953) p. 197
  124. ^ Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World (2008) p. 380
  125. ^ Michael Parsons, The Dove that Returns, the Dove that Vanishes (2000) p. 83-4

Bibliography

  • Finucane, R. C., Appearances of the Dead: A Cultural History of Ghosts, Prometheus Books, 1984, ISBN 0879752386.
  • Hervey, Sheila, Some Canadian Ghosts, in series, Original Canadian Pocket Book[s], Richmond Hill, Ont.: Pocket Books, 1973, SBN 671-78629-6
  • Hole, Christina, Haunted England, Batsford: London, 1950.

Further reading

  • Fairly, John & Welfare, Simon, Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers, Putnam: New York, 1985.
  • Felton, D., Haunted Greece and Rome: Ghost Stories From Classical Antiquity, University of Texas Press, 1999.
  • Johnston, Sarah Iles, Restless Dead: Encounters Between the Living and the Dead in Ancient Greece, University of California Press, 1999.
  • MacKenzie, Andrew, Apparitions and Ghosts, Arthur Barker, 1971.
  • Moreman, Christopher, Beyond the Threshold: Afterlife Beliefs and Experiences in World Religions, Rowman & Littlefield, 2008.

External links

  • Media related to Ghosts at Wikimedia Commons
A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, commonly known as A Christmas Carol, is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London by Chapman & Hall in 1843 and illustrated by John Leech. A Christmas Carol recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. After their visits, Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man.

Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol during a period when the British were exploring and re-evaluating past Christmas traditions, including carols and newer customs such as Christmas trees. He was influenced by the experiences of his own youth and by the Christmas stories of other authors including Washington Irving and Douglas Jerrold. Dickens had written three Christmas stories prior to the novella, and was inspired following a visit to the Field Lane Ragged School, one of several establishments for London's street children. The treatment of the poor and the ability of a selfish man to redeem himself by transforming into a more sympathetic character are the key themes of the story. There is discussion among academics as to whether this was a fully secular story, or if it is a Christian allegory.

Published on 19 December, the first edition sold out by Christmas Eve; by the end of 1844 thirteen editions had been released. Most critics reviewed the novella favourably. The story was illicitly copied in January 1844; Dickens took legal action against the publishers, who went bankrupt, further reducing Dickens's small profits from the publication. He went on to write four other Christmas stories in subsequent years. In 1849 he began public readings of the story which proved so successful he undertook 127 further performances until 1870, the year of his death. A Christmas Carol has never been out of print and has been translated into several languages; the story has been adapted many times for film, stage, opera and other media.

A Christmas Carol captured the zeitgeist of the mid-Victorian revival of the Christmas holiday. Dickens had acknowledged the influence of the modern Western observance of Christmas and later inspired several aspects of Christmas, including family gatherings, seasonal food and drink, dancing, games and a festive generosity of spirit.

Electronic dance music

Electronic dance music (EDM), also known as dance music, club music, or simply dance, is a broad range of percussive electronic music genres made largely for nightclubs, raves and festivals. It is generally produced for playback by disc jockeys who create seamless selections of tracks, called a mix by segueing from one recording to another. EDM producers also perform their music live in a concert or festival setting in what is sometimes called a live PA. In Europe, EDM is more commonly called 'dance music', or simply 'dance'.In the late 1980s and early 1990s, following the emergence of raving, pirate radios and an upsurge of interest in club culture, EDM achieved widespread mainstream popularity in Europe. In the United States at that time, acceptance of dance culture was not universal; although both electro and Chicago house music were influential both in Europe and the United States, mainstream media outlets and the record industry remained openly hostile to it.There was also a perceived association between EDM and drug culture, which led governments at state and city level to enact laws and policies intended to halt the spread of rave culture.Subsequently, in the new millennium, the popularity of EDM increased globally, largely in Australia and the United States. By the early 2010s, the term "electronic dance music" and the initialism "EDM" was being pushed by the American music industry and music press in an effort to rebrand American rave culture. Despite the industry's attempt to create a specific EDM brand, the initialism remains in use as an umbrella term for multiple genres, including house, techno, trance, drum and bass, and dubstep, as well as their respective subgenres.

Ghost (Marvel Comics)

Ghost is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is usually depicted as an adversary of Iron Man.

Ghost has been substantially adapted from the comics into multiple forms of media, including several animated television series voiced by Jim Cummings. Hannah John-Kamen portrays a female version of the character in the 2018 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Ghost (Swedish band)

Ghost is a Swedish rock band that was formed in Linköping, Sweden in 2006. In 2010, they released a 3-track demo followed by a 7" vinyl titled "Elizabeth", and later their debut full-length album Opus Eponymous. The Grammis-nominated album was widely praised and significantly increased their popularity. Their second album and major label debut Infestissumam was released in 2013, debuted at number one in Sweden, and won the Grammis Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Album. The band released their third studio album, Meliora, in 2015, to much critical acclaim and high record sales, reaching number one in their home country of Sweden, and number eight in the United States. Its lead single, "Cirice", earned them the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance. The band released their fourth studio album, Prequelle, in 2018.

Ghost is easily recognizable owing greatly to its eccentric on-stage presence. Seven of the group's eight members, its 'Nameless Ghouls', wear virtually identical, face-concealing costumes. Prior to a 2017 lawsuit filed by former members of the band, lead singer Tobias Forge obscured his identity behind the character "Papa Emeritus". The character, which consists of Forge in a prosthetic mask and makeup can be best described as a 'demonic anti-pope'. The Papa Emeritus Character has gone through four incarnations - I, II, III, and Nihil. As of the 2018 album Prequelle and subsequent world tour, Forge portrays a character known as "Cardinal Copia", who is described as being unrelated to any of the Papa Emeritus characters and whose costume consists of either Cardinal vestments or a black or white tuxedo alongside a prosthetic mask with black eye makeup and the multi-colored eyes which had been present in each Papa character.

Ghost Dance

The Ghost Dance (Caddo: Nanissáanah, also called the Ghost Dance of 1890) was a new religious movement incorporated into numerous Native American belief systems. According to the teachings of the Northern Paiute spiritual leader Wovoka (renamed Jack Wilson), proper practice of the dance would reunite the living with spirits of the dead, bring the spirits to fight on their behalf, make the white colonists leave, and bring peace, prosperity, and unity to Native American peoples throughout the region.The basis for the Ghost Dance is the circle dance, a traditional dance done by many Native Americans. The Ghost Dance was first practiced by the Nevada Northern Paiute in 1889. The practice swept throughout much of the Western United States, quickly reaching areas of California and Oklahoma. As the Ghost Dance spread from its original source, different tribes synthesized selective aspects of the ritual with their own beliefs.

The Ghost Dance was associate(Wovoka's) prophecy of an end to white expansion while preaching goals of clean living, an honest life, and cross-cultural cooperation by Indians. Practice of the Ghost Dance movement was believed to have contributed to Lakota resistance to assimilation under the Dawes Act. In the Wounded Knee Massacre in December 1890, United States Army forces killed at least 153 Miniconjou and Hunkpapa from the Lakota people. The Lakota variation on the Ghost Dance tended towards millenarianism, an innovation that distinguished the Lakota interpretation from Jack Wilson's original teachings. The Caddo still practice the Ghost Dance today.

Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider is the name of many antiheroes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Marvel had previously used the name for a Western character whose name was later changed to Phantom Rider.

The first supernatural Ghost Rider is stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze, who, in order to save the life of his father, agreed to give his soul to "Satan" (later revealed to be an arch-demon named Mephisto). At night and when around evil, Blaze finds his flesh consumed by hellfire, causing his head to become a flaming skull. He rides a fiery motorcycle and wields blasts of hellfire from his body, usually from his skeletal hands. He eventually learns he has been bonded with the demon Zarathos. Blaze was featured in the Ghost Rider series from 1972 to 1983. The subsequent Ghost Rider series (1990–1998) featured Danny Ketch as a new Ghost Rider. After his sister was injured by ninja gangsters, Ketch came in contact with a motorcycle that had somehow been mystically enchanted to contain the essence of a Spirit of Vengeance. Blaze reappeared in this 1990s series as a supporting character, and it was later revealed that Danny and his sister were Johnny Blaze's long lost siblings. In 2000s comics, Blaze again became the Ghost Rider, succeeding Ketch. In 2013, Robbie Reyes became Ghost Rider as part of the Marvel NOW! initiative.

Nicolas Cage starred as the Johnny Blaze iteration of the character in the 2007 film Ghost Rider and its 2012 sequel, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Gabriel Luna plays Robbie Reyes in the television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Ghost Rider (film)

Ghost Rider is a 2007 American supernatural superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The film was written and directed by Mark Steven Johnson, and stars Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze / Ghost Rider, with Eva Mendes, Wes Bentley, Sam Elliott, Donal Logue, Matt Long, and Peter Fonda in supporting roles.

Ghost Rider was released on February 16, 2007 in the United States. The film was met with negative reviews from critics, but was a box office success, earning $228.7 million worldwide on a $110 million budget. Ghost Rider was released on DVD, Blu-ray and UMD on June 12, 2007. A stand-alone sequel, titled Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, was released on February 17, 2012, with Cage reprising his role.

Ghost Whisperer

Ghost Whisperer is an American supernatural television series, which ran on CBS from September 23, 2005, to May 21, 2010.The series follows the life of Melinda Gordon (Jennifer Love Hewitt), who has the ability to see and communicate with ghosts. While trying to live a normal life as possible—she is married and owns an antique store—Melinda helps earthbound spirits resolve their problems and cross over into the light, or the spirit world. Her tasks are difficult and at times she struggles with people who push her away and disbelieve her gift. In addition, the ghosts are mysterious and sometimes menacing in the beginning and Melinda must use the clues available to her to understand the spirits' needs and help them. The show was created by John Gray and was produced by Sander/Moses Productions, executive producer, and Jennifer Love Hewitt in association with ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios.On May 18, 2010, CBS canceled the show after five seasons.

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell (Japanese: 攻殻機動隊, Hepburn: Kōkaku Kidōtai, "Mobile Armored Riot Police") is a Japanese media franchise originally published as a seinen manga series of the same name written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow. The manga, first serialized in 1989 under the subtitle of The Ghost in the Shell, and later published as its own tankōbon volumes by Kodansha, told the story of the fictional counter-cyberterrorist organization Public Security Section 9, led by protagonist Major Motoko Kusanagi, in the mid-21st century of Japan.

Animation studio Production I.G has produced several different anime adaptations of Ghost in the Shell, starting with the 1995 film of the same name, telling the story of Section 9's investigation of the Puppet Master. The television series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex followed in 2002, telling an alternate story from the manga and first film, featuring Section 9's investigations of government corruption in the Laughing Man and Individual Eleven incidents. A sequel to the 1995 film, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, was released in 2004. In 2006, the film Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Solid State Society retook the story of the television series. 2013 saw the start of the Ghost in the Shell: Arise original video animation (OVA) series, consisting of four parts through mid-2014. The series was recompiled in early 2015 as a television series titled Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Alternative Architecture, airing with an additional two episodes (one part). An animated feature film produced by most of the Arise staff, titled Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie, was released on June 20, 2015. A live-action American film of the same name was released on March 31, 2017.

Ghost town

A ghost town is an abandoned village, town, or city, usually one that contains substantial visible remains. A town often becomes a ghost town because the economic activity that supported it has failed, or due to natural or human-caused disasters such as floods, prolonged droughts, government actions, uncontrolled lawlessness, war, pollution, or nuclear disasters. The term can sometimes refer to cities, towns, and neighbourhoods that are still populated, but significantly less so than in past years; for example, those affected by high levels of unemployment and dereliction.Some ghost towns, especially those that preserve period-specific architecture, have become tourist attractions. Some examples are Bannack, Calico, Centralia, Oatman, and South Pass City in the United States, Barkerville in Canada, Craco in Italy, Elizabeth Bay and Kolmanskop in Namibia, Pripyat in Ukraine, and Danushkodi in India.

The town of Plymouth on the Caribbean island of Montserrat is a ghost town that is the de jure capital of Montserrat. It was rendered uninhabitable by volcanic ash from an eruption.

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters is a 1984 American fantasy comedy film produced and directed by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. It stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd and Ramis as Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler, eccentric parapsychologists who start a ghost-catching business in New York City. Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis co-star as their client Dana Barrett and her neighbor Louis Tully.

Aykroyd conceived Ghostbusters as a project for himself and fellow Saturday Night Live alumnus John Belushi, with the protagonists traveling through time and space. Aykroyd and Ramis rewrote the script following Belushi's death and after Reitman deemed Aykroyd's initial vision financially impractical. Filming took place from October 1983 to January 1984.

Ghostbusters was released in the United States on June 8, 1984. It received positive reviews and grossed $242 million in the United States and more than $295 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing comedy film of its time. At the 57th Academy Awards, it was nominated for Best Visual Effects and Best Original Song (for the theme song). The American Film Institute ranked Ghostbusters 28th on its 100 Years...100 Laughs list of film comedies. In 2015, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".Ghostbusters launched a media franchise, which includes a 1989 sequel, two animated television series (The Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters), video games, and a 2016 reboot.

Ghostwriter

A ghostwriter is hired to write literary or journalistic works, speeches, or other texts that are officially credited to another person as the author. Celebrities, executives, participants in timely news stories, and political leaders often hire ghostwriters to draft or edit autobiographies, memoirs, magazine articles, or other written material. In music, ghostwriters are often used to write songs, lyrics, and instrumental pieces. Screenplay authors can also use ghostwriters to either edit or rewrite their scripts to improve them.

Usually, there is a confidentiality clause in the contract between the ghostwriter and the credited author that obligates the former to remain anonymous. Sometimes the ghostwriter is acknowledged by the author or publisher for his or her writing services, euphemistically called a "researcher" or "research assistant", but often the ghostwriter is not credited.

Ghostwriting (or simply "ghosting") also occurs in other creative fields. Composers have long hired ghostwriters to help them to write musical pieces and songs; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is an example of a well-known composer who was paid to ghostwrite music for wealthy patrons. Ghosting also occurs in popular music. A pop music ghostwriter writes lyrics and a melody in the style of the credited musician. In hip hop music, the increasing use of ghostwriters by high-profile hip-hop stars has led to controversy. In the visual arts, it is not uncommon in either fine art or commercial art such as comics for a number of assistants to do work on a piece that is credited to a single artist. However, when credit is established for the writer, the acknowledgement of their contribution is public domain and the writer in question would not be considered a ghostwriter.

Holy Spirit in Christianity

For the majority of Christian denominations, the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is the third person (hypostasis) of the Trinity: the Triune God manifested as God the Father, God the Son, and the God the Holy Spirit; each person itself being God.Nontrinitarian Christians, who reject the doctrine of the Trinity, differ significantly from mainstream Christianity in their beliefs about the Holy Spirit and generally fall into several distinct categories such as Unitarianism, Binitarianism, Modalism, and others. Some Christian theologians identify the Holy Spirit with the Ruach Hakodesh in Jewish scripture, and with many similar names including the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God), Ruach YHWH (Spirit of Yahweh), and the Ruach Hakmah (Spirit of Wisdom). In the New Testament it is identified with the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Truth, the Paraclete and the Holy Spirit.The New Testament details a close relationship between the Holy Spirit and Jesus during his earthly life and ministry. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke and the Nicene Creed state that Jesus was "conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary". The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove during his baptism, and in his Farewell Discourse after the Last Supper Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to his disciples after his departure.The Holy Spirit is referred to as "the Lord, the Giver of Life" in the Nicene Creed, which summarises several key beliefs held by many Christian denominations. The participation of the Holy Spirit in the tripartite nature of conversion is apparent in Jesus' final post-resurrection instruction to his disciples at the end of the Gospel of Matthew (28:19): "make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," and "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Since the first century, Christians have also called upon God with the trinitarian formula "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" in prayer, absolution and benediction. In the book of the Acts of the Apostles the arrival of the Holy Spirit happens fifty days after the resurrection of the Christ, and is currently celebrated in Christendom with the feast of Pentecost.In Christian theology, pneumatology refers to the study of the Holy Spirit.

List of ghost films

Ghost movies and shows can fall into a wide range of genres, including romance, comedy, horror, juvenile interest, and drama. Depictions of ghosts are as diverse as Casper the Friendly Ghost, Beetlejuice, Hamlet's father, Jacob Marley, Freddy Krueger, and Moaning Myrtle, as well as the traditional spectral spirits and other bumps in the night.

Scooby-Doo

Scooby-Doo is an American animated franchise, comprising many animated television series produced from 1969 to the present day. Writers Joe Ruby and Ken Spears created the original series, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, for Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1969. This Saturday-morning cartoon series featured four teenagers—Fred Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, and Norville "Shaggy" Rogers—and their talking brown Great Dane named Scooby-Doo, who solve mysteries involving supposedly supernatural creatures through a series of antics and missteps.Following the success of the original series, Hanna-Barbera and its successor Warner Bros. Animation have produced numerous follow-up and spin-off animated series and several related works, including television specials and made-for-TV movies, a line of direct-to-video films, and two Warner Bros.–produced theatrical feature films. Some versions of Scooby-Doo feature different variations on the show's supernatural theme, and include characters such as Scooby's cousin Scooby-Dum and nephew Scrappy-Doo in addition to or instead of some of the original characters.

Scooby-Doo was originally broadcast on CBS from 1969 to 1975, when it moved to ABC. ABC aired the show until canceling it in 1986, and presented a spin-off featuring the characters as children, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, from 1988 until 1991. New Scooby-Doo series aired as part of Kids' WB on The WB Network and its successor, The CW Network, from 2002 until 2008. Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated aired on Cartoon Network from 2010 to 2013, and Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! aired on Cartoon Network from 2015 to 2018. Repeats of the various Scooby-Doo series are broadcast frequently on Cartoon Network's sister channel Boomerang in the United States as well as other countries.

In 2013, TV Guide ranked Scooby-Doo the fifth greatest TV cartoon.

Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost

Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost is a 2019 American animated direct-to-video supernatural comedy mystery film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, and the thirty-second entry in the direct-to-video series of Scooby-Doo films. The film is a continuation of the 1985 animated series The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo. The film was released on DVD and digital on February 5, 2019.

Steve Buscemi

Steven Vincent Buscemi (; Italian: [buʃˈʃɛːmi]; born December 13, 1957) is an American actor, comedian, director, and former firefighter. Buscemi has starred and supported in numerous successful Hollywood and indie films, including Parting Glances, New York Stories, Mystery Train, Reservoir Dogs, Desperado, Con Air, Armageddon, The Grey Zone, Ghost World, Big Fish, and The Death of Stalin. He is also known for his appearances in the Coen brothers films Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, Fargo, and The Big Lebowski. Buscemi provides the voice of Randall Boggs in the Monsters, Inc. franchise.

From 2010 to 2014 he portrayed Enoch "Nucky" Thompson in the critically acclaimed series Boardwalk Empire, which earned him two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Golden Globe, and two nominations for an Emmy Award. He made his directorial debut in 1996 with Trees Lounge, in which he also starred. Other works include Animal Factory (2000), Lonesome Jim (2005), and Interview (2007). He has also directed numerous episodes of TV shows, including Homicide: Life on the Street, The Sopranos, Oz, 30 Rock, and Nurse Jackie. He currently hosts the Emmy Award-winning AOL On comedy talk-show Park Bench.

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