Ghosts: Spirits of the Dead around the World

Ghosts are, perhaps, one of only two truly universal monsters... monsters that are believed of worldwide. A ghost is said to be the spirit of a dead person or animal which has returned to the world of the living in a disembodied form. Beyond this, ghosts can be different from country to country, person to person. Sometimes a figure of a person is seen, hazy or distinct; sometimes a voice is heard, or a presence felt; sometimes a ghost is even something as simple as a sound that shouldn’t be there, but is known to be associated with a departed person.

        Many ghosts appear only once, to just one or two people. These brief visits usually have a distinct purpose behind them, as if to say that those who have departed cannot truly rest until one last job is taken care of. A common behavior of this type of ghost are those that appear as a notice of the person’s death to their loved ones, generally appearing shortly before or after the dying person has finally passed on. Some ghosts return to ask for help in finishing a task that has prevented them from resting.

        Some ghosts don’t go away; instead, they continue to visit places they either knew in life, or became associated with through death. When a location is regularly visited by activity that is believed to be caused by ghosts, that place is said to be “haunted.” Some hauntings are quiet and benign; the ghost makes a few noises or sometimes moves things, but does nothing that really bothers the people living or working near it. Some hauntings are impossible to live or work near. Sites of hauntings can become a battleground between living people who currently own a property and the ghosts of the dead who seem to see the living as invaders into their chosen residence. A bad haunting can drive people away, or even destroy the structure.

        Another difference in ghosts that stay is that some show signs of intelligence, being capable of interacting some with changes in the environment and/or in response to actions from living beings in the same area. Other ghosts seem to merely repeat behaviors over and over, sometimes predictably, as if they are simply a recording of an event that continues to be displayed.

        While many events are attributed in general to ghosts as an 'explanation,' for our purposes here in Anomalies I will only list cases wherein the paranormal activity can be or is in some way associated with a once living being... the actual meaning of the word 'ghost.' This does not mean that the being must be identified; just that the account should show a possible connection to a return of the dead, rather than any other sort of paranormal or scientific cause.

Accounts Attributed to Ghosts