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spiritualistic manifestation of a person or object in which a form not actually present is seen with such intensity that belief in its reality is created. The ancient and widespread belief in apparitions and ghosts (specters of dead persons) is based on the idea that
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[Ger.,=knocking ghost], in spiritism, certain phenomena, such as rapping, movement of furniture, and breaking of crockery, for which there is no apparent scientific explanation.
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Ghost(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
A ghost is an apparition or vision of a spirit of the dead; “apparition” is the term preferred by parapsychologists. Ghosts are found in the folklore, art, and literature of all nations. Throughout England, there are haunted sites galore where numerous witnesses have seen a ghost or ghosts … single individuals to whole armies from the past. Houses, castles, gardens, woods, and crossroads are sites for these hauntings. Frederick W. H. Myers, founder of the Society for Psychical Research, defined a ghost as, “A manifestation of persistent personal energy, or as an indication that some kind of force is being exercised after death which is in some way connected with a person previously known on earth.”
It is not always the ghost of a deceased person which is witnessed. There are records of ghosts of animals and even of inanimate objects such as coaches, trains, and airplanes. It is said that a belief in ghosts grows out of the universal human need for some assurance of survival of death. Ancestor worship is one form of religious awareness that ties in with a belief in ghosts. In some areas, these ancestral ghosts take on the power of minor gods and it is felt that unless steps are taken to propitiate them, they can be harmful to the living. Generally speaking, however, ghosts are not able to harm the living. Their appearance may be frightening, especially in its unexpectedness, but there are virtually no records of actual physical hurt coming from an apparition.
Ghosts are seldom, if ever, floating sheeted figures of the cartoon variety. Some early forms were of the dead as they had been buried in their winding sheets, but the majority seem to appear much as they had in life, fully and appropriately clothed. Ghosts are occasionally harbingers of death. It is said that Josephine’s ghost appeared to Napoleon some days before he died, to signal his coming death, and a Black Friar supposedly appeared to members of Lord Byron’s family for the same reason. A phantom drummer—the once-young lover of the Lady Airlie—drums to signal an approaching death in the family of the Ogilvys, Earls of Airlie, Scotland.
Many ghosts seem to haunt particular places because of some tragedy or traumatic event that occurred to them either at death or just prior to it, while others are there because of extreme happiness known in those places. This signals the fact that the ghost is actually a spirit that either is unaware of its own death or is unwilling to admit to it. Many Spiritualist groups form what are called Rescue Circles, designed specifically to contact such spirits and to persuade them to move on, as they need to do.
Many ghosts and apparitions have been photographed. As with much in the general field of parapsychology and Spiritualism, it is easy to fake such photographs. However, there are a very large number of photographs that have been examined and verified by photographic experts. One example is the photograph taken by the vicar of Newby Church in Yorkshire, England, that shows a cowled figure standing to the right of the altar. The “Brown Lady of Raynham Hall” in England has been photographed descending the main staircase. A photograph taken of Isabella Houg of Newark, New Jersey, in 1922, showed an accompanying figure of her long dead uncle when the picture was developed. Mr. and Mrs. Chinnery of Ipswich, England, had been to visit the grave of Mrs. Chinnery’s deceased mother and, as they were preparing to leave, Mrs. Mabel Chinnery—on impulse—turned and took a photograph of her husband sitting in their family car. When the photograph was developed it showed the figure of her deceased mother sitting in the back seat of the car. All of these photographs have been proven not to have been faked. Rarely, however, is the ghost actually seen by the photographer. It is only on development of the picture that the apparition is discovered.
The psychical researcher Harry Price referred to Borley Rectory in Suffolk, as “the most haunted house in England.” For forty years Price investigated ghosts and hauntings. He founded the National Laboratory of Psychical Research, now part of the University of London. He claimed that the large nineteenth century house built by the Reverend Henry Bull in the 1860s was the scene of more ghostly activity than anywhere else. It certainly did have the ghost of a nun, a phantom coach, writing that appeared on walls, poltergeist activity, and more. At séances held by Price at the house, there were rappings, apparitions, and pebbles flying through the air, keys pushed out of locks, and a whole host of similar phenomena. Although the vast majority of reported ghost sightings can be explained away, a small percentage cannot.
What does it mean when you dream about a ghost?
Ghosts symbolize the essence of what no longer is obtainable (e.g., people sometimes believe they don’t have “a ghost of a chance”).
ghost(1) See ghosted.
(2) A faint second image that appears close to the primary image on a CRT. A CRT ghost is an electronics synchronization problem.
(3) A faint second image that appears close to the primary image on a printout from a mechanical printer. It is caused by bouncing print elements as the paper passes by.
(4) A double image appearing in 3D shutter glasses due to synchronization issues. See 3D sync.
(5) To make an exact copy of an operating system or the contents of a hard disk for backup or for migrating to another computer. Aptly named, Norton Ghost is a popular utility that duplicates the contents of a hard drive. The program can also be used to copy failing disks, taking hours to complete the operation, because it has to re-read marginal sectors over and over. See ghosting server and cloning software.
(6) A secondary signal in a communications transmission that arrives ahead of or later than the primary signal.