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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Spotlight On: Ghosts (Helluva Halloween)

Today, we're going to talk about on our chain-rattling, sheet-wearing, see-through friends. Today, we shine the spotlight on -- or through -- ghosts...

ghost - gohst

- noun
1. the soul of a dead person, a disembodied spirit imagined, usually as a vague, shadowy or evanescent form, as wandering among or haunting living persons.
2. a mere shadow or semblance; a trace: He's a ghost of his former self.
3. a remote possibility: He hasn't a ghost of a chance.
4. (sometimes initial capital letter) a spiritual being.
5. the principle of life; soul; spirit.

ghost Look up ghost at Dictionary.com
O.E. gast "soul, spirit, life, breath," from P.Gmc. *ghoizdoz (cf. O.S. gest, O.Fris. jest, M.Du. gheest, Ger. Geist "spirit, ghost"), from PIE base *ghois- "to be excited, frightened" (cf. Skt. hedah "wrath;" Avestan zaesha- "horrible, frightful;" Goth. usgaisjan, O.E. g├Žstan "to frighten"). This was the usual W.Gmc. word for "supernatural being," and the primary sense seems t o have been connected to the idea of "to wound, tear, pull to pieces." The surviving O.E. senses, however, are in Christian writing, where it is used to render L. spiritus, a sense preserved in Holy Ghost. Modern sense of "disembodied spirit of a dead person" is attested from c.1385 and returns the word toward its ancient sense. Most IE words for "soul, spirit" also double with ref. to supernatural spirits. Many have a base sense of "appearance" (e.g. G k. phantasma; Fr. spectre; Pol. widmo, from O.C.S. videti "to see;" O.E. scin, O.H.G. giskin, originally "appearance, apparition," related to O.E. scinan, O.H.G. skinan "to shine"). Other concepts are in Fr. revenant, lit. "returning" (from the other world), O.N. aptr-ganga, lit. "back-comer." Bret. bugelnoz is lit. "night-child." L. manes, lit. "the good ones," is a euphemism. The gh- spelling appeared c.1425 in Caxton, influenced by Flem. and M.Du. gheest, but was rare in Eng. before c.1550. Sense of "slight suggestion" (in ghost image, ghost of a chance, etc.) is first recorded 1613; that in ghost writing is from 1884, but that term is not found until 1927. Ghost town is from 1931. Ghost in the machine was Gilbert Ryle's term (1949) for "the mind viewed as separate from the body."

So, yeah...
Everyone seems to scoff at the existence of our transparent buddies, yet everyone seems to have their own ghost story. Curious, no? Whether they're floating around our heads like annoying little fireflies, ruining family pictures as ectoplasmic orbs, or going all poltergeist and sucking Carrie Ann through the TV, ghosts are a hard presence to deny. It seems the wisest course of action, then, to make sure you live in a relatively new house (less chance of a death on the property -- and a late night visitor in your bedroom) that is not built on any sort of sacred ground (for the love of god <-- ha!, punny). And just in case, you should probably keep The Ghostbusters on speed dial.

Now, actually having a ghost can be a strain. I mean, the lack of sleep and the cost of replacing broken dishes alone is enough to put anyone on edge. Chances are you're going to want to make some brave but foolish attempt to exorcise your home of them. If this is the case, I would suggest you take some time to familiarize yourself with ghost hunting via T.A.P.S., and learn just how much you need to learn

And if you die trying to rid your home of ghosts, well -- chances are, you'll become one, too. Sorry. But you can at least learn what type of ghost you're going to become, and start planning ahead on how best to haunt those you love or love to irritate:

But until then, why not scare yourself silly, while observing the enemy, with one of the most creeptasticly awesome ghost movies ever...

Famous Ghosts:

The Arts and Crafts Ghost (P. Swayze)

T he Dead Dad Ghost (Hamlet's pops)

The Friendliest Ghost (Casper, yo)

If you're going ghost hunting, you may want to brush up with some visual aids:

and for the aural learners among you, or all of you Thomas Edison wannabes, I present these ghost voices (known as electric voice phenomena, or EVP):

Check out another style of ghost hunting with The Paranormal Research Society
or find one in your state

Bone up on your own ghost-busting skills by playing the game

You may also want to check out:
This list of ghost books
or these ghostly films


Add your own ghost link!
Go the the Helluva Halloween main page to share yours now!


  1. I love ghost stories--I just picked up The Canterville Ghost to read. Have you seen The Others yet? So scary!

  2. I really enjoyed The Others, even though I know some people that ragged on it. They said it was predictable and boring, but
    a) I don't think a movie needs to be flashy to be good
    b) It can still be a great story done well, even if you do figure out the ending, and
    c) I don't care.


  3. I love ghost stories and you're right seems everyone has a tale.

    It's why I love Ghost Whisperer.


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