This article is from 2021 and may be outdated. We're working on restoring a newer version.
Ghosts, spirits, apparitions… those words don’t mean the same things.
A GHOST usually refers to anything that suggests a spirit (of someone dead) is haunting a site.
A SPIRIT can be any kind of spiritual entity, including an angel, a ghost, a sprite, or a sense of something deeply spiritual and religious.
AN APPARITION is a ghostly figure that appears like someone (or something) living, but it’s rarely as solid as its living counterparts.
Remember, some people are happy to use the word “ghost” for any spirit of the dead.
For example, some people happily talk about their granny’s benevolent “spirit.”
Describing her as a “ghost” could sound harsh.
She’s not haunting them, she’s visiting.
The difference can be very important.
Tip: Looking for fresh places to find ghosts? Search online and in books for the following words and phrases. You may discover a haunted site you didn’t know about.
Here are some words that refer to ghosts. Some really do mean the same thing as ghosts. Others are related, more or less, but definitely aren’t ghosts.
– Ancestral spirit.
– Angel (or guardian angel), cherubim, seraphim.
– Banshee (Bean Sidhe).
– Being (or glorified being, celestial being, etc.).
– Coiste bodhar (coach of the dead).
– Cuirp dhaondachbach (Celtic spirit in physical-appearing form).
– Daemon. (Different than a demon.)
– Deceased (usually “the deceased”).
– Departed (or departed person).
– Djin, djinn, genie, genii, or jinnee.
– Fairy, faerie, or one of the good people.
– Ghoul, ghoule, ghowl, ghul, ghuli. (Definitely not just a ghost.)
– Goblin (or hobgoblin).
– Green Lady.
– Heavenly visitor.
– Incorporeal being (or immaterial being).
– Manes. (Note: That’s the singular.)
– Shadow person.
– Soul (or beatified soul).
– Specter or spectre.
– Spirit (or earthbound spirit, or vital spirit).
– Supernatural being.
– The unseen.