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Ghost Identification

Updated on December 12, 2013

Ghosts and Spirits

Ghost, specter, apparition, phantom, shade, spook or wraith whatever you choose to call it, they all amount to the same thing. No matter what word you choose to use a ghost is basically defined as the disembodied spirit or form of a person who is no longer alive.

And although the terms are all the same, not all ghosts are the same. Ghosts are classified not only by the way they appear but in the way that they behave. And not all ghosts have a human form. One of the very first things to learn about ghosts is how and why they are classified in a certain way. Please read more if you really are interested in exploring this fascinating and sometimes spooky topic.

Classifying Ghosts

One of the very first things to understand about ghosts is how they are classified. Ghosts are not all the same, in fact they are very different. The very first thing to determine is if the ghost is even human in nature. Countless people have claimed to have seen different types of motorized vehicles and cars. Others have seen or heard animals that are known to have long since passed. Paranormal encounters have also included glowing lights and orbs.

Human: Ghosts that are human have been described in a number of different forms. The most common is that of an actual person with a transparent appearance. The specter has a very clear form and is recognizable as being a human.

Another form that is very common is that of a smoky apparition. The specter appears to have a moving misty quality. These beings tend to be transparent and often are only black and white. The other quality about misty specters is that they may be whole or partial. Some are very clearly defined from their head right down to their toes while others are only floating or hovering heads and torsos.

Animal: Paranormal activity often includes animals. The animals may be seen or heard alone or in the company of human apparitions. One of the more common scenarios is that of a ghostly being been seen riding a horse. There are numerous legends about highwaymen being seen still riding their steed years after they have passed on.

Dogs and cats are often seen in the spirit realm. There is a very famous lighthouse in the northern US that is said to be the home of a resident ghost cat. And in Ireland there is said to be a ghost dog that still guards the grave of its master years after it has passed.

In Britain there have been a number of stories about a bear haunting the woods. Many people claim to have seen and heard the bear although there are never any tracks. It is believed to be the ghost of the last bear in all of England.

The tower of London is noted for having resident animal ghosts. At one point in its history the tower had been used as a zoo and some believe that these ghosts may be residents from that period of time. Others think that the animals are the ghosts of guard dogs who used to work and guard the palace.

Vehicles: Trains are very common in the paranormal realm. People often claim to have heard or seen phantom trains. One of the most famous trains that has been sighted is that of Abraham Lincoln. It is said that his funeral train can been seen every April traveling the exact same route as it followed to take his body back to Springfield to be buried.

There are numerous legends about cars being seen near places where drivers have gone off the highway. Many of the cars are said to be seen either driving dangerously towards oncoming traffic with their high beams on and then disappearing or are seen passing slower moving cars and then just disappearing.

Orbs: Many people who have witnessed paranormal phenomenon claim that they have seen strange glowing balls of light. These balls are usually not larger than a baseball and often follow a certain flight path. Witnesses claim that they often see the orbs night after night at the same time and in the same place.

As you can clearly see ghosts come in many different forms, but they all have one thing in common, they are ghosts!

Types of Ghosts

Once a ghost has been established as being "human" they are then further classified. Apparitions are grouped by their appearance, their behavior and where they appear. It is believed that ghosts have reasons for remaining and that their actions and locations reflect this. People who investigate the paranormal use this information to classify apparitions into sub categories. Ghosts can often fall into more than one category.

Task: Many believe that a spirit may remain among the living because they feel that they have a task to do. The apparition wants something to be finished or completed before they move on. Many believe that once the task is done the ghost will be satisfied and will no longer appear.

Justice: Many specters that are seen are those of people who were killed in a violent way. People who investigate the paranormal and witnesses believe that this kid of ghost is returning to find justice. They either want their killer found or they want their own remains located. They want justice to be done.

Repeating: This type of ghost shows up on a regular basis and does the exact same thing every time they appear. They are not interactive and seem to be completely unaware of anything that is going on around them.

One train of thought about this is that the specter is being punished for something that they did in life. The actions that they are performing are a kind of atonement for some evil or wrong doing. Believers think that this specter is doomed to repeat the action forever.

The other reason for this kind of behavior is thought to be that of a person who died in a violent, sudden death or suffered a very traumatic event in their life. This specter repeats that event over and over again and cannot seem to move past the event. They are almost locked into the moment. These kinds of ghosts are often seen on battle fields or crash sites.

Warning: For believers in the paranormal these are often the scariest type of ghost. This is the ghost that appears right before a tragic event occurs, usually they are seen right before a person dies. The classic example of this ghost is the banshee. This specter is said to only appear moments before members of certain families die. Warning ghosts are not always the harbingers of death. It is thought that some ghosts remain among the living to warn people of danger or prevent accidents. These specters are often observed at railway crossings and sites of previous car accidents.

Interactive: This is a ghost that seems to be aware of its surroundings. It often has the ability to move things and is conscious of people and activities that are occurring around it. This ghost is the type that can interact with people.

Unresponsive: This ghost does not have any interest in those that are around. It does not seem to want or have the ability to interact with anything or anyone in the vicinity. This ghost is often a repeating ghost. They are only focused on their task.

Poltergeist: This is an interactive ghost. It is known to appear in the homes where young people or emotionally disturbed people reside. The poltergeist is known as being the prankster of the spirit world. It is a very inter active ghost and often likes to move things and play jokes. A poltergeist is often the most annoying and disruptive.

Malevolent:: Among the very scariest of all the apparitions this specter is said to have evil intentions. In is an interactive ghost that desires to harm those in the living world.

Ghosts are one of the most common things in the paranormal world however they are not the only things under investigation. There are many other things in the supernatural world that have no explanation.

Have you ever seen a ghost?

Many people have seen ghosts, apparitions or have heard spooky unexplained noises. Have you ever had a paranormal encounter?

What did you see or hear?

See results

Ghost Idioms, Phrases and Terms

The Word Ghost in the English language

  • Pale as a ghost; having no color, a person's face is pasty white, lacking color

  • Look like you've seen a ghost; having an expression of fear or terror

  • Ghostwriter; a person who does the actual writing on behalf of someone else. They do not get credit for the work

  • Ghosted; a term that describes a fuzzy or gray appearance on tool bars or menus. It indicates that a selection cannot be made

  • Ghost crab; a variety of crab that lives in the Atlantic Ocean Their territory stretches from the northern US all the way to Brazil

  • Ghost cell; a red blood cell that lacks color, one that has no hemoglobin

  • Ghost of a chance; having almost no chance, a very slim window of opportunity

  • Ghost; a game that can be played by any number of people. One person starts off with a three letter word and then each person adds a letter to that word in turn. Each letter must create a new word. The idea is to keep going until no more letters can be added.

    E.g. mat, matt, matte matter, matters

  • Ghost; a nonexistent person who is on the company payroll. Companies use 'ghost" workers to hide money and avoid taxes

  • Ghost server; a complete back-up a, server that is used to copy material exactly to another computer or pc

  • Ghost net; an old abandoned fishing net, it is usually a hazard that kills and entangles fish and marine animals

  • Give up the ghost; to die or cease to exist

  • Ghost town; a town where the buildings still remain but all the people have left

  • Ghost dance; a dance preformed by the native North American Indians

  • Ghost of his former self; term referring to a person who has lost a lot of weight, usually in reference to a person who is very sick

  • Ghost image; term used to refer to a shadow effect on a photo, television screen or computer monitor

  • Ghostly presence; a feeling or sense that someone or something is there

  • Ghost car; a term that refer to an unmarked police car

  • Ghost Chili; this chilli pepper is properly known as the Naga Jolokia pepper. It is native to India and has been recorded as the world's hottest pepper

  • Ghost leopard; properly known as the snow leopard, it is also known as the gray ghost. These leopards are native to the high mountains of Asia

Eerie Amazon Selections

Personal Note

In keeping with the season and the challenge I decided to create all five of my lenses with the same general topic. When I began researching ghosts and discovered the enormity of the subject I realized that having only one lens could not truly do the material justice therefore I decided to break my Ghost lens into five separate ones with each one focusing on a particular ghost subject.

Please note that my lens was written with the fun of Halloween in mind. None of the content is meant to be offensive in any way to anyone or any religion. They also do not necessarily represent my own beliefs or practices.

Please share your spooky thoughts

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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i have too many stories. i am told that i am a portal. they are here right now.


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