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You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Episodes Seasons. Learn more More Like This. Back to Life TV Series Comedy Drama. Dead Pixels TV Series Comedy Fantasy. Comedy Crime Mystery. Yonderland — Comedy Fantasy Horror. Years and Years TV Series Good Omens Quacks — Lee and Dean — Cold war drama following a Russian Jewish inventor and his family living in Britain.

Comedy Talk-Show. Edit Cast Series cast summary: Laurence Rickard Kitty 6 episodes, Mathew Baynton Thomas 6 episodes, Simon Farnaby Julian 6 episodes, Martha Howe-Douglas Lady Button 6 episodes, Jim Howick Pat 6 episodes, Charlotte Ritchie Alison 6 episodes, Kiell Smith-Bynoe Descriptions of the apparition of ghosts vary widely: the mode of manifestation can range from an invisible presence to translucent or wispy shapes, to realistic, life-like visions. They are also one of the most recurring "monsters of the week" in the series, appearing in many episodes.

Normally, a Ghost will start out confused and disoriented before realizing they are dead. In some cases, the trauma of sudden death can be so great that a Ghost will think that they are still alive and continue in a routine from their lives, oblivious to the fact they are dead. A reaper explained to Dean Winchester that the longer a ghost remains on earth the more dangerous and violent it becomes. Sam Winchester once explained to the ghost of a woman they helped that ghosts can become like injured animals - they become so angry and upset that all they can do is lash out at anyone who crosses their paths.

Ghosts have skewed views of existence as Sam puts it, "ghosts only see what they want to see. It's also been stated as a fact that ghosts are the most common type of paranormal activity that Hunters encounter and hunt on a daily basis. They are also sometimes bound to their bodies unless their bodies have been put to rest.

A ghost encountered in Of Grave Importance , who had been active for eighty years, explained to Bobby that a ghost's power to interact with the physical world comes from two places. One is complete calm where the ghost has to "tell" an object what to do and the other from blind rage. The ghost also explained in more detail the degradation of a ghost into a violent spirit saying the longer a ghost remains on earth and depending on the ghost they lose more and more of themselves until they become little more than a wild animal.

He also pointed out a worse case, where trapped spirits were little more than listless zombies; a state Bobby called "Ghost Alzheimer's". While it was generally not known where ghosts go after their remains are burned, it was revealed that reapers still indeed take them to their final resting place. However, if a Reaper is influenced by an outside source, they may take the soul to the wrong place as seen in Taxi Driver.

According to the ghost of Kevin Tran , when Metatron enacted his spell Heaven was locked down, forcing all good spirits to remain stuck in the Veil. These ghosts are generally trapped in the places they died unless attached to an object that is taken away from there. This was remedied however when the angels returned to Heaven and Metatron was imprisoned. Normally ghosts appear in the form of the physical body which they had when they were still alive. 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. 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. A notion of the transcendent , supernatural , or numinous , usually involving entities like ghosts, demons , or deities , is a cultural universal. Some people believe the ghost or spirit never leaves Earth until there is no-one left to remember the one who died.

In many cultures, malignant, restless ghosts are distinguished from the more benign spirits involved in ancestor worship. 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. 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, [32] and the custom of binding the dead persists, for example, in rural Anatolia.

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. 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. 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. 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. In the Bible , God is depicted as synthesising Adam , as a living soul, from the dust of the Earth and the breath of God.

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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. 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.

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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. 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. 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.

The science and logic of ghosts

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. 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.

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. 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 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, 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. 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.


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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. 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. 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.

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. 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.

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.


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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 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. 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.

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.

Ghost | Definition of Ghost by Merriam-Webster

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. 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. 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.

How Ghosts Work

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. 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. From the medieval period an apparition of a ghost is recorded from , at the time of the Albigensian Crusade.

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.

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. 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. 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.

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. Spiritualism developed in the United States and reached its peak growth in membership from the s to the s, especially in English-language countries.

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. Most followers supported causes such as the abolition of slavery and women's suffrage. Spiritism has adherents in many countries throughout the world, including Spain, United States, Canada, [67] Japan, Germany, France, England, Argentina, Portugal, and especially Brazil, which has the largest proportion and greatest number of followers.

The physician John Ferriar wrote "An Essay Towards a Theory of Apparitions" in in which he argued that sightings of ghosts were the result of optical illusions. David Turner, a retired physical chemist, suggested that ball lightning could cause inanimate objects to move erratically. 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. Pareidolia , an innate tendency to recognize patterns in random perceptions, is what some skeptics believe causes people to believe that they have 'seen ghosts'.

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. 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. Benjamin Radford from the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and author of the 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. 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. Some researchers, such as Michael Persinger of Laurentian University , Canada, have speculated that changes in geomagnetic fields created, e. 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.

People who experience sleep paralysis often report seeing ghosts during their experiences. Neuroscientists Baland Jalal and V. 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. Similarly, Jesus' followers at first believe he is a ghost spirit when they see him walking on water. Some Christian denominations [ which?

Some ghosts are actually said to be demons in disguise, who the Church teaches, in accordance with I Timothy , that they "come to deceive people and draw them away from God and into bondage. Furthermore, they teach that in accordance with Genesis , Ecclesiastes , 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. Jewish mythology and folkloric traditions describe dybbuks , malicious possessing spirits believed to be the dislocated soul of a dead person. It supposedly leaves the host body once it has accomplished its goal, sometimes after being helped.

According to Islam, the souls of the deceased dwell in Barzakh and while it is only a barrier in Quran , in Islamic tradition, the world, especially cemeteries, are perforated with several gateway to the otherworld. Since the just souls remain close to their tomb, some people try to communicate with them in order to gain hidden knowledge. Contact with the dead is not the same as contact with jinn , who alike could provide knowledge concealed from living human. In contrast to traditional Islamic thought, Salafi scholars state that spirits of the dead are unable to either return to or make any contact with the world of the living, [] and ghost sightings are attributed to the Salafi concept of jinn.

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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. If the hungry ghosts are fed by non-relatives, they would not bother the community. For the Igbo people , a man is simultaneously a physical and spiritual entity. However, it is his spirited dimension that is eternal. We have the Nipadua body , the Okra soul , Sunsum spirit , Ntoro character from father , Mogya character from mother.