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What’s your favorite word for “ghost”?

The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall

The famous Brown Lady of Raynham Hall (Norfolk) captured in this photo from 1936.

“Ghost” can mean many things, especially in today’s world of being obsessed with paranormal investigation (or the term I’m not a fan of… “ghost hunting”). Depending on your spiritual beliefs, many would argue that some of these terms specifically describe “earthbound” ghosts, rather that “spirits” that have crossed over into what I would describe as “the other side”. And, of course, I have a hard time holding back and not giving my own opinion or description of what some of these terms specifically mean to me. Some of these terms I think are just older terms that I would just never use at all.

What terms do you use? What do some of these terms specifically mean to you?

Let’s start with the term “ghost”, shall we? Throughout this post I’ll be including definitions from dictionary.com, the Webster’s dictionary from my bookshelf that I received from my late Great Grandmother Thomas when I was a child, and one reference from the Donning International Encyclopaedic Psychic Dictionary (yes, it’s spelled that way… I don’t know why).

Ghost:

Spirit, dead person appearing again. Specter. (Webster’s Dictionary)

The soul of a dead person, a disembodied spirit imagined,usually as a vague,
shadowy or evanescent form, aswandering among or haunting living persons. (Dictionary.com)

An energy field that makes its presence known periodically in the same area, giving the awareness of a living person; brings a drop of temperature with its presence; perceived clairaudient or audiently by its activities and movements; perceived clairvoyantly as a fluffy, transparent human-like mass, moving very slowly. (Donning International Encyclopaedic Psychic Dictionary)

apparition:

Unexpected appearance, esp. of ghost (Webster’s Dictionary)

A supernatural appearance of a person or thing, especially a ghost; a specter or phantom; wraith. Anything that appears, especially something remarkable or startling. An act of appearing; manifestation. (Dictionary.com)

entity:

Thing’s being or existence. Reality. Thing having real existence. (Webster’s Dictionary)

Something that has a real existence; thing. (Dictionary.com)

phantasm:

Vision of absent person. Illusion (Webster’s Dictionary)

An apparition or specter. (Dictionary.com)

phantom:

Apparition, specter, ghost (Webster’s Dictionary)  

An apparition or specter. (Dictionary.com)

specter (sometimes “spectre”):

Ghost or an image of something unpleasant (From Webster’s Dictionary)

A visible incorporeal spirit, especially one of a terrifying nature; ghost;
phantom; apparition. (Dictionary.com)

spirit:

(You have to go all the way to the 8th definition to get to what we’re looking for for this purpose) Ghost (Webster’s Dictionary)

The principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul. The incorporeal part of humans. The soul regarded as separating from the body at death. Conscious, incorporeal being, as opposed to matter. A supernatural, incorporeal being, especially one inhabiting a place, object, etc., or having a particular character. (Dictionary.com)

spook:

Ghost (Webster’s Dictionary) 

Informal. A ghost; specter. (Dictionary.com)

wraith:

Apparition of a person seen shortly before or after death. Specter. (Webster’s Dictionary)

An apparition of a living person supposed to portend his orher death. A visible spirit. (Dictionary.com)


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