A ghost is said to be the apparition of a
deceasedperson, frequently similar in appearance to that person, and usually encountered in places she or he frequented, the place of his or her death, or in association with the person's former belongings. The word "ghost" may also refer to the spiritor soulof a deceased person, or to any spirit or demon. [http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/ghost Merriam Webster dictionary, retrieved December 24, 2007 "a disembodied soul"] http://www.parapsych.org/glossary_e_k.html#g Parapsychological Association, glossary of key words frequently used in parapsychology, Retrieved December 13 2006] http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ghost Retrieved December 13 2006 "The spirit of a dead person, especially one believed to appear in bodily likeness to living persons or to haunt former habitats."] A place in which ghosts are supposed to appear is described as haunted. A related phenomenon is the poltergeist, literally a 'noisy spirit' that manifests itself by moving and influencing objects, though a widespread view today is that these occurences are either fraudulent or manifestations of the psychic energy of, particularly, adolescent girls. [Daniel Cohen (1994) "Encyclopedia of Ghosts". London, Michael O' Mara Books: 137-56] Phantom armies, animals, trains and ships have also been reported. [Christina Hole (1950) "Haunted England". London, Batsford: 150-163] [Daniel Cohen (1994) "Encyclopedia of Ghosts". London, Michael O' Mara Books: 8] The reality of ghosts is a vexed subject which divides believers and skeptics. ["The Oxford Book of the Supernatural" (1995) edited by D.J. Enright: 503-542] The study of ghosts is both the subject of folkloreand also, since the nineteenth century, of the investigations of parapsychologists, who have attempted to refine the vocabulary used in describing ghostly phenomena. Summoning or exorcising the shades of the departed is an item of belief and religious practice for spiritualistsand practitioners of ritual magic. Though some claims of ghostly phenomena are proven frauds others remain unexplained or are subject to conflicting explanations. So far no one explanation has gained universal acceptance. [Daniel Cohen (1994) "Encyclopedia of Ghosts". London, Michael O' Mara Books] According to a poll conducted in 2005 by the Gallup Organizationabout 32% of Americans believe in the existence of ghosts. cite web|url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2843/is_5_29/ai_n15400020 |title=Gallup poll shows that Americans' belief in the paranormal persists |accessdate=2007-09-19 |last=Musella |first=David park |date=Sept-October 2005 |publisher= Skeptical Inquirer]
According to some, the belief in ghosts as
soulsof the departed is closely related to the ancient concept of animism, which attributed souls to everything in nature, including human beings, animals, plants, rocks, etc. Some people believe the ghost or spiritnever leaves Earthuntil there is no-one left to remember the one who died. Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology edited by J. Gordon Melton Gale Research, ISBN 0-8103-5487-X] Nineteenth-century anthropologist James Frazerstated in his classic work, " The Golden Bough", that souls were seen as the creature within that animated the body:
"If a man lives and moves, it can only be because he has a little man or animal inside, who moves him. The animal inside the animal, the man inside the man, is the soul. And as the activity of an animal or man is explained by the presence of the soul, so the repose of sleep or death is explained by its absence; sleep or trance being the temporary, death being the permanent absence of the soul... " [http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext03/bough11.txt The Golden Bough] ,
Project Gutenberg, accessed January 16, 2007]
Although the human soul was sometimes symbolically or literally depicted in ancient cultures as a bird or other animal, it was 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.
Another widespread belief concerning ghosts is that they were composed of a misty, airy, or subtle material. Anthropologists speculate that this may also stem from early beliefs that ghosts were the person within the person, most noticeable in ancient cultures as a person's breath, which upon exhaling in colder climates appears visibly as a white mist.Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology edited by J. Gordon Melton Gale Research, ISBN 0-8103-5487-X] 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 analogybecame extended to mean the soul. In the Bible, Godis depicted as animating Adam with a breath.
In many cultures malignant, restless, ghosts are distinguished from the more benign spirits which are the subject of
Ancestor worship. [Richard Cavendish (1994) "The World of Ghosts and the Supernatural". Waymark Publications, Basingstoke: 5] Although the evidence for ghosts is largely anecdotal, the belief in ghosts throughout history has remained widespread and persistent.
Ghost stories date back to ancient times, and can be found in many different cultures. The Chinese philosopher, Mo Tzu (470-391 BC), is quoted as having said:
"The way to find out whether anything exists or not is to depend on the
testimonyof the ears and eyes of the multitude. If some have heard it or some have seen it then we have to say it exists. If no one has heard it and no one has seen it then we have to say it does not exist. So, then, why not go to some village or some district and inquire? If from antiquity to the present, and since the beginning of man, there are men who have seen the bodies of ghosts and spirits and heard their voices, how can we say that they do not exist? If none have heard them and none have seen them, then how can we say they do? But those who deny the existence of the spirits say: "Many in the world have heard and seen something of ghosts and spirits. Since they vary in testimony, who are to be accepted as really having heard and seen them?" Mo Tzu said: As we are to rely on what many have jointly seen and what many have jointly heard, the case of Tu Po is to be accepted." [http://www.cic.sfu.ca/nacc/articles/legalmohist/mozi_mei/wadegiles/momei_31wg1.html "The Ethical and Political Works of Motse [Mo-tzu] " Book VIII, Chapter XXXI "On Ghosts (III) Electronic republication of the translation by W. P. Mei (London: Probsthain, 1929) Retrieved Dec 19, 2006] (note: King Hsuan (827-783 BC) executed his minister, Tu Po, on false charges even after being warned that Tu Po's ghost would seek revenge. Three years later, according to historical chronicles, Tu Po's ghost shot and killed Hsuan with a bow and arrow before an assembly of feudal lords.)
Easternreligious traditions also subscribe to the concept of ghosts. The Hindu Garuda Puranahas detailed information about ghosts. [http://veda.harekrsna.cz/planetarium/index.htm#15 Vedic cosmology] , accessed February 27, 2007]
Hebrew Torahand the Biblecontain few references to ghosts, associating spiritism with forbidden occult activities cf. Deuteronomy18:11. The most notable reference is in the First Book of Samuel (I Samuel 28:7-19 KJV), in which a disguised King Saul has the Witch of Endorsummon the spirit of Samuel. In the New Testament, Jesushas to persuade the Disciples that he is not a ghost following the resurrection, Matthew 24. In a similar vein, Jesus' followers at first believe him to be a ghost when they see him walking on water.
A celebrated account of a haunted house, from the ancient classical world, is given by
Pliny the Younger(c. (50 AD). [ cite web|url=http://www.siu.edu/news/ghosts.html |title=Classical ghost stories |accessdate=2007-09-19 |last=Jaehnig |first=K.C. |date=1999-03-11 |publisher= Southern Illinois University ] Pliny describes, in a letter to a friend, how Athenodoros Cananites(c. 74 BC – 7 AD), a Stoic philosopher, decided to rent a large house in Athens, to investigate widespread rumors that it was haunted. Athenodoros staked out at the house that night, and, sure enough, a disheveled, aged spectre, bound at feet and hands with rattling chains, eventually appeared. The spirit then beckoned for Athenodoros to follow him; Athenodoros complied, but the ghost soon vanished. The philosopher marked the spot where the old man had disappeared, and, on the next day, advised the magistrates to dig there. The man's shackled bones were reportedly uncovered three years later. After a proper burial, the hauntings ceased. [ cite web|url=http://www.bartleby.com/9/4/1083.html |title=LXXXIII. To Sura |accessdate=2007-09-19 |first=Pliny the Younger |work=bartleby.com ]
From the medieval period an apparition of a ghost is recorded from 1211, at the time of the
Albigensian Crusade[Mark Gregory Pegg (2008) "A Most Holy War". Oxford University Press, New York: 3-5, 116-117. ISBN 978-0-19-517131-0] . 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, France. 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 Godwas 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 vists by the murdered boy.
Many other stories from the
Middle Agesand the Romantic erarely on the macabreand the fantastic, and ghosts are a major theme in literature from those eras. The Child ballad" Sweet William's Ghost" recounts the story of a ghost returning to beg a woman to free him from his promise to marry her, as he obviously cannot being dead; her refusal would mean his damnation. This reflects a popular British belief that the dead would haunt their lovers if they took up with a new love without some formal release. [ Francis James Child, "The English and Scottish Popular Ballads", v 2, p 227, Dover Publications, New York 1965] " The Unquiet Grave" expresses a belief even more widespread, found in various location over Europe: ghosts can stem from the excessive grief of the living, whose mourning interferes with the dead's peaceful rest. [Francis James Child, "The English and Scottish Popular Ballads", v 2, p 234, Dover Publications, New York 1965] 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.Cite web|url=http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9037771/grateful-dead#23476.hook|title=Grateful dead|accessdate=2007-12-14|publisher=Encyclopædia Britannica Online|year=2007|work=Encyclopædia Britannica] Instances of this include the Italian fairy tale" Fair Brow" and the Swedish " The Bird 'Grip'".
In many traditional accounts, ghosts were often thought to be deceased people looking for
vengeance, 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. [Christina Hole (1950) "Haunted England": 13-27]
In 1848 the Fox sisters of Hydesfield in New York State claimed to have communication with the disembodied spirits of the dead and launched the
Spiritualistmovement, which claimed many adherents in the nineteenth century. [John Fairley and Simon Welfare (1985) "Arthur C Clarke's World of Strange Powers": 251] The claims of spiritualists and others as to the reality of ghosts were investigated by the Society for Psychical Research, founded in London in 1882. The Society set up a Committee on Haunted Houses and a Literary Committee which looked at the literature on the subject. [John Fairley and Simon Welfare (1985) "Arthur C Clarke's World of Strange Powers": 251] Apparitions of the recently deceased, at the moment of their death, to their friends and relations, were very commonly reported. [John Fairley and Simon Welfare (1985) "Arthur C Clarke's World of Strange Powers": 132-5] [Christina Hole (1950) "Haunted England": 13-27] One celebrated example was the strange appearance of Vice-AdmiralSir George Tryon, walking through the drawing room, of his family home in Eaton Square, London, looking straight ahead, without exchanging a word to anyone, in front of several guests at a party being given by his wife on 22 June 1893 whilst he was supposed to be in a ship of the Mediterranean Squadron, manoeuvering of the coast of Syria. Subsequently it was reported that he had gone down with his ship, the HMS "Victoria", that very same night, after it had collided with the HMS "Camperdown" following an unexplained and bizarre order to turn the ship in the direction of the other vessel. [Christina Hole (1950) "Haunted England": 21-22] Such crisis apparitions have received serious study by parapsychologistswith various explanations given to account for them, including telepathy, as well as the traditional view that they represent disembodied spirits. [Richard Cavendish (1994) "The World of Ghosts and the Supernatural". Waymark Publications, Basingstoke: 35] cite book | last = Fontana | first = David | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Is There an Afterlife: A Comprehensive Review of the Evidence | publisher = O Books | year= 2005 | location = Hants, UK | pages = | url = | doi = | id = ISBN 1903816904 ]
Critics of "eyewitness ghost sightings" suggest that limitations of human perception and ordinary physical explanations can account for such sightings; for example, air pressure changes in a home causing doors to slam, or lights from a passing car reflected through a window at night. cite web|url=http://www.csicop.org/sb/2001-06/visit.html |title=The Visit |accessdate=2007-09-19 |last=Weinstein |first=Larry |month=June | year=2001 |publisher=
Committee for Skeptical Inquiry] Pareidolia, an innate tendency to recognize patterns in random perceptions, is what some skeptics believe causes people to believe that they have seen ghosts. [ cite web|url=http://skepdic.com/pareidol.html |title=pareidolia |accessdate=2007-09-19 |last=Carroll |first=Robert Todd |month=June | year=2001 |work=skepdic.com ] Reports of ghosts "seen out of the corner of the eye" may be accounted for by the sensitivity of human peripheral vision. According to skeptical investigator Joe Nickell:
...peripheral vision is very sensitive and can easily mislead, especially late at night, when the brain is tired and more likely to misinterpret sights and sounds.
Nickell also states that a person's belief that a location is haunted may cause them to interpret mundane events as confirmations of a haunting:
Once the idea of a ghost appears in a household . . . no longer is an object merely mislaid. . . . There gets to be a dynamic in a place where the idea that it's haunted takes on a life of its own. One-of-a-kind quirks that could never be repeated all become further evidence of the haunting.
Soundis thought to be another cause of supposed sightings. Frequencieslower than 20 hertzare called infrasoundand are normally inaudible, but scientists Richard Lord and Richard Wisemanhave concluded that infrasound can cause humans to experience bizarre feelings in a room, such as anxiety, extreme sorrow or even the chills. cite web|url=http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/09/08/1062901994082.html?oneclick=true |title=Sounds like terror in the air |accessdate=2007-09-19 |date=2003-09-09 |work=Reuters |publisher=smh.com.au ]
Carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause changes in perception of the visual and auditory systems,cite journal|author=Choi IS|title=Carbon monoxide poisoning: systemic manifestations and complications|journal=J. Korean Med. Sci.|volume=16|issue=3|pages=253–61|year=2001|pmid=11410684|doi=|issn=] was recognized as a possible explanation for
haunted houses as early as 1921.
Another potential explanation of apparitions is that they are hypnagogic hallucinations.
The traditional perception of ghosts wearing clothing is considered illogical by some researchers, given the supposed spiritual nature of ghosts, suggesting that the basis of what a ghost is said to look like and consist of is quite dependent on preconceptions made by society. [ cite web|url=http://www.csicop.org/sb/2006-12/i-files.html |title=Headless Ghosts I Have Known |accessdate=2007-09-19 |last=Nickell |first=Joe |month=December | year=2006 |publisher=
Committee for Skeptical Inquiry] Unclothed ghosts have, however, been reported. For instance in "The World's Strangest Ghost Stories" (1958) R. Thurston Hopkinsgives a chilling account of the "Naked Ghost of Rattlesden" ( Suffolk). [R. Thurston Hopkins (1958)" The World's Strangest Ghost Stories". Kingswood, World's Work: 173-83] Skeptics also say that, to date, there is no credible scientific evidence that any location is inhabited by spirits of the dead. [ cite web|url=http://www.csicop.org/si/2000-09/i-files.html |title=Haunted Inns Tales of Spectral Guests |accessdate=2007-09-19 |last=Nickell |first=Joe |date=Sept-October 2000 |publisher= Committee for Skeptical Inquiry]
Some researchers, such as Professor Michael Persinger (
Laurentian University, Canada), have speculated that changes in geomagneticfields (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. This theory has been tested in various ways. Some scientists have examined the relationship between the time of onset of unusual phenomena in allegedly haunted locations and any sudden increases in global geomagnetic activity. Others have investigated whether the location of alleged hauntings is associated with certain types of magnetic activity. Finally, a third strand of work has involved laboratory studies in which stimulation of the temporal lobe with transcerebralclarifyme magnetic fields has elicited subjective experiences that strongly parallel phenomena associated with hauntings. All of this work is controversial; it has attracted a large amount of debate and disagreement. [ cite web|url=http://www.richardwiseman.com/research/ghosts.html |title=Research of Professor Richard Wiseman |accessdate=2007-09-25 |last=Wiseman |first=Richard |date=0 |publisher=Society for Psychical Research ]
Ghosts are prominent in the popular cultures of various nations. The
ghost storyis ubiquitous across all cultures from oral folktalesto works of literature.
Perhaps the most recognizable ghost in
English literatureis the shade of Hamlet's father in the play "The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark." In "Hamlet", it is the ghost that encourages the title character to investigate his "murder most foul" and seek revenge upon King Claudius, the suspected murderer of Hamlet's father.
Possibly the next most famous apparitions are the ghosts of "
A Christmas Carol", where the ghost of Jacob Marley, The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Presentand The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Comehelp Ebenezer Scroogesee the error of his ways. Oscar Wilde's " The Canterville Ghost" has been adapted for film and television on several occasions. Henry James's " The Turn of the Screw" has also appeared in a number of adaptations, notably the film "The Innocents" and Benjamin Britten's opera"The Turn of the Screw". Noel Coward's play " Blithe Spirit", later made into a film, places a more humorous slant on the phenomenon of haunting of individuals and specific locations.
Films including or centering on ghosts are common, and span a variety of genres. Ghosts can also be found in various television programs.
ghost huntingtheme has also become prevalent in reality television seriesparticularly " Ghost Hunters" and " Ghost Hunters International", but also " Most Haunted", and " A Haunting". It is also represented in children's television by such programmes as " The Ghost Hunter".
Grateful Deadadopted their name and iconography from a series of traditional ghost stories known as Grateful Dead.
Electronic voice phenomenon
Ghosts in Bengali culture
List of alleged haunted locations
List of U.S. paranormal guides
Stambovsky v. Ackley
The Atlantic Paranormal Society
The Bell Witch
The Canterville Ghost
William H. Mumler
Black dog (ghost)
* [http://www.scifi.com/ghosthunters Ghost Hunters] Investigations by the Sci-Fi Channel
* [http://science.howstuffworks.com/ghost.htm How Stuff Works - Ghosts]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
См. также в других словарях:
Ghost — (g[=o]st), n. [OE. gast, gost, soul, spirit, AS. g[=a]st breath, spirit, soul; akin to OS. g[=e]st spirit, soul, D. geest, G. geist, and prob. to E. gaze, ghastly.] [1913 Webster] 1. The spirit; the soul of man. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Then gives… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
Ghost — (englisch: Geist) steht für ein Softwareprodukt zum Erstellen von Speicherabbildern von Datenträgern, siehe Ghost (Software) ein Softwareprodukt zur Datensicherung, G4L (Ghost für Linux) eine Luxuslimousine von Rolls Royce Motor Cars, Rolls Royce … Deutsch Wikipedia
ghost — O.E. gast soul, spirit, life, breath; good or bad spirit, angel, demon, from P.Gmc. *ghoizdoz (Cf. O.S. gest, O.Fris. jest, M.Du. gheest, Du. geest, Ger. Geist spirit, ghost ), from PIE root *gheis to be excited, amazed, frightened (Cf. Skt.… … Etymology dictionary
ghost — ghost; ghost·dom; ghost·ess; ghost·i·ly; ghost·li·ness; ghost·ol·o·gy; ghost·ship; ghost·ing; ghost·ly; … English syllables
Ghost (BD) — Ghost (bande dessinée) Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Ghost dans le monde de la bande dessinée peut faire référence à : Ghost, une super héroïne apparaissant dans sa propre série,… … Wikipédia en Français
Ghost — Título Ghost, la sombra del amor (México, Chile, Colombia, Perú y Argentina) Ghost, más allá del amor (España) Ficha técnica Dirección Jerry Zucker … Wikipedia Español
ghost — ► NOUN 1) an apparition of a dead person which is believed to appear to the living. 2) a faint trace: the ghost of a smile. 3) a faint secondary image produced by a fault in an optical system or on a cathode ray screen. ► VERB ▪ act as ghost… … English terms dictionary
ghost´i|ly — ghost|y «GOHS tee», adjective, ghost|i|er, ghost|i|est. of or like a ghost; ghostly. –ghost´i|ly, adverb … Useful english dictionary
ghost|y — «GOHS tee», adjective, ghost|i|er, ghost|i|est. of or like a ghost; ghostly. –ghost´i|ly, adverb … Useful english dictionary
ghost — [gōst] n. [altered (prob. after Fl gheest) < ME goste < OE gast, soul, spirit, demon, akin to Ger geist < IE base * gheizd , to be excited, frightened > Sans hēḋ , to be angry] 1. the spirit or soul: now only in give up the ghost (to… … English World dictionary
ghost|ly — «GOHST lee», adjective, li|er, li|est. 1. like a ghost; pale, dim, and shadowy: »A ghostly form walked across the stage. SYNONYM(S): spectral … Useful english dictionary