Saturday, October 8, 2011

Halloween Spooktacular:Ghosts and Spirits

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Information courtesy of Wikipedia



In traditional belief, a ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living. Descriptions of the apparition of ghosts vary widely from an invisible presence to translucent or wispy shapes, to realistic, life-like visions. The deliberate attempt to contact the spirit of a deceased person is known as necromancy, or in spiritism as a séance.

The belief in manifestations of the spirits of the dead is widespread, dating back to animism or ancestor worship in pre-literate cultures. Certain religious practices—funeral rites, exorcisms, and some practices of spiritualism and ritual magic—are specifically designed to appease the spirits of the dead. Ghosts are generally described as solitary essences that haunt particular locations, objects, or people they were associated with in life, though stories of the phantom armies, ghost trains, phantom ships, and even ghost animals have also been recounted.

Terminology

Further information: spirit, soul (spirit), anima, genius (mythology), and Geist The English word ghost continues Old English gást, from a hypothetical Common Germanic *gaistaz. It is common to West Germanic, but lacking in North and East Germanic (the equivalent word in Gothic is ahma, Old Norse has andi m., önd f.). The pre-Germanic form was *ghoisdo-s, apparently from a root denoting "fury, anger" reflected in Old Norse geisa "to rage". The Germanic word is recorded as masculine only, but likely continues a neuter s-stem. The original meaning of the Germanic word would thus have been an animating principle of the mind, in particular capable of excitation and fury (compare óðr). In Germanic paganism, "Germanic Mercury", and the later Odin, was at the same time the conductor of the dead and the "lord of fury" leading the Wild Hunt.
Besides denoting the human spirit or soul, both of the living and the deceased, the Old English word is used as a synonym of Latin spiritus also in the meaning of "breath" or "blast" from the earliest attestations (9th century). It could also denote any good or evil spirit, i.e. angels and demons; the Anglo-Saxon gospel refers to the demonic possession of Matthew 12:43 as se unclæna gast. Also from the Old English period, the word could denote the spirit of God, viz. the "Holy Ghost". The now prevailing sense of "the soul of a deceased person, spoken of as appearing in a visible form" only emerges in Middle English (14th century). The modern noun does, however, retain a wider field of application, extending on one hand to "soul", "spirit", "vital principle", "mind" or "psyche", the seat of feeling, thought and moral judgement; on the other hand used figuratively of any shadowy outline, fuzzy or unsubstantial image, in optics, photography and cinematography especially a flare, secondary image or spurious signal.

The synonym spook is a Dutch loanword, akin to Low German spôk (of uncertain etymology); it entered the English language via the United States in the 19th century. Alternative words in modern usage include spectre (from Latin spectrum), the Scottish wraith (of obscure origin), phantom (via French ultimately from Greek phantasma, compare fantasy) and apparition. The term shade in classical mythology translates Greek σκιά,or Latin umbra in reference to the notion of spirits in the Greek underworld. "Haint" is a synonym for ghost used in regional English of the southern United States,and the "haint tale" is a common feature of southern oral and literary tradition. The term poltergeist is a German word, literally a "noisy ghost", for a spirit said to manifest itself by invisibly moving and influencing objects.

Wraith is a Scottish dialectal word for "ghost", "spectre" or "apparition". It came to be used in Scottish Romanticist literature, and acquired the more general or figurative sense of "portent" or "omen". In 18th- to 19th-century Scottish literature, it was also applied to aquatic spirits. The word has no commonly accepted etymology; OED notes "of obscure origin" only. An association with the verb writhe was the etymology favored by J. R. R. Tolkien. Tolkien's use of the word in the naming of the creatures known as the Ringwraiths has influenced later usage in fantasy literature. Bogie is an Ulster Scots term for a ghost, and appears in Scottish poet John Mayne's Hallowe'en in 1780.

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.

So What do You think? Do you believe in Ghosts? Have you ever experienced or seen a ghost? Remember all comments count as extra entries for the big giveaway.

15 comments:

miki said...

I believe there are something we can't explain ( and that are better left like that)

I never saw a ghost or perhaps but without my knowing

isabelle(dot)frisch(at)gmail(dot)com

Carol L. said...

I've never seen a Ghost and I'd certainly hope it stays that way. :) I've heard noises I can't explain as well as two of my children in the same room. Uncomfortable feeling for sure. But I do believe there's something because there are too many unexplained happenings going on.
Thanks for the post. It was very informative.
Congrats winners. I'll choose Hope Chest again. Thanks for the opportunity.
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

Carol L. said...

sorry, the end of the post had a copied and pasted sentence that had nothing to do with this comment. :) Spooky lol
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

Temperance said...

Sure why not, anything is posable so why shouldnt ghost be:)
I loved your post!
elliott2668(at)yahoo(dot)com

Ollie said...

Oh yes I believe in ghosts. There have been so many people who have experienced things that it can't be our imaginations.

Thanks for this giveaway!

redfirewood888(AT)yahoo(DOT)ca

Ollie aka DarkBloodyVamp

KainsHottie said...

I don't think I believe in actual ghosts. I believe that once people die, they can contact us, but not in the traditional sense of an actual presence.
phaedracamille@gmail.com

Na said...

I do believe in ghosts even though I have never encountered them. I'm not sure I would want to meet one though!

Cambonified (at) yahoo (dot) com

June M. said...

I don't know that I believe in them, but I don't not believe. I have heard stories from people that I trust (some I wonder if it is their imagination), and my nephew once freaked me & my sis (his mom) out by "seeing" someone, and he was just like 3 years old.
June M.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Vivien said...

I love going to 'haunted houses'. You know the ones that are rumored to have ghosts, abandoned and falling apart. But I don't believe in ghosts.

Vivien
deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Amy said...

I kind of believe in ghosts/spirits, though I never want to encounter one. I like to believe that my loved ones "live" on after death.

angeldream3[AT]gmail[DOT]com

Rachel said...

I've never seen a ghost, although I've heard plenty of tales from those I love and trust, but I'd like to believe there's more to life than death.
Perhaps it may not be as a "ghost" per say, but I'd like to think we continue to exist in some way after we die.

rachybee101@live.com.au

Abby said...

Never seen a ghost which is probably a good thing since I scare easily. Read lots of those ghost stories though. Scary!!

I think there are beings though.

reviewsbyabby at gmail dot com

donnas said...

Great post. I do believe in ghosts and do believe Ive seen one once in the house where I grew up and have had a couple other experiences that can not be easily explained.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Anne said...

I love watching PBS shows about haunted places, but don't really believe myself.

acm05atjuno.com

Maria (pronounced Mariah) said...

My mom swears ghosts rearranged my brother and my rooms when I was little. The three of us were the only ones home. She heard the furniture being moved around in our rooms and I woke up to my bed on the other side of the room. Very creepy! So I say yes...there are other spirits of some kind watching over us. Ghost, angels...who knows?

mmafsmith at gmail dot com

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