soul or spirit of a dead person or animal that can appear to the living
(Redirected from Apparitions)

In folklore, a ghost (sometimes known as an apparition, haunt, phantom, poltergeist, shade, specter or spectre, spirit, spook, and wraith) is the soul or spirit of a dead person or animal that can appear to the living.

Athenodoros Cananites and the Ghost, by Henry Justice Ford, c.1900
For other uses, see Ghosts (disambiguation).


Alphabetically by author name.
  • Great Pompey's shade complains that we are slow,
    And Scipio's ghost walks unavenged amongst us!
  • GHOST, n. The outward and visible sign of an inward fear.
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
  • Accounting for the uncommon behavior of ghosts, Heine mentions somebody's ingenious theory to the effect that they are as much afraid of us as we of them. Not quite, if I may judge from such tables of comparative speed as I am able to compile from memories of my own experience.
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
  • Man's need of self-esteem entails the need for a sense of control over reality – but no control is possible in a universe which, by one's own concession, contains the supernatural, the miraculous and the causeless, a universe in which one is at the mercy of ghosts and demons, in which one must deal, not with the unknown, but with the unknowable; no control is possible if man proposes, but a ghost disposes; no control is possible if the universe is a haunted house.
  • Where entity and quiddity,
    The ghosts of defunct bodies, fly.
  • Behind every man now alive stand 30 ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living.
  • When thoroughly reliable people encounter ghosts, their stories are difficult to explain away.
  • "That the dead are seen no more," said Imlac, "I will not undertake to maintain against the concurrent and unvaried testimony of all ages and of all nations. There is no people, rude or learned, among whom apparitions of the dead are not related and believed. This opinion, which perhaps prevails as far as human nature is diffused, could become universal only by its truth: those that never heard of one another would not have agreed in a tale which nothing but experience can make credible. That it is doubted by single cavillers can very little weaken the general evidence, and some who deny it with their tongues confess it by their fears."
  • So many ghosts, and forms of fright,
    Have started from their graves to-night,
    They have driven sleep from mine eyes away;
    I will go down to the chapel and pray.
  • Of calling shapes, and beck'ning shadows dire,
    And airy tongues that syllable men's names.
  • All heart they live, all head, all eye, all ear,
    All intellect, all sense, and as they please
    They limb themselves, and colour, shape, or size
    Assume, as likes them best, condense or rare.
  • What beck'ning ghost along the moonlight shade
    Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade?
    • Alexander Pope, Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady (1717), line 1
  • The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
    Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.
  • There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave.
    To tell us this.
  • I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them?
  • What are these,
    So wither'd, and so wild in their attire;
    That look not like the inhabitants o' th' earth,
    And yet are on 't?
  • A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
    Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
  • All on my own
    Here I stand.
    Am I humble, am I ghost?
    I'm on a limb to climb
    To something lawless I hope
    Am I humble, am I ghost?
    I found a way
    To look towards this day
    But it all hooked up
    This could only go one way
    I'm not alive, I'm not alive enough.
  • Here's to the ghost
    We still seem to host
    How he's becoming us
    Here come the vultures
    Here come the vultures
    Screaming down at us

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 33-34.
  • Who gather round, and wonder at the tale
    Of horrid apparition, tall and ghastly,
    That walks at dead of night, or takes his stand
    O'er some new-open'd grave; and, (strange to tell!)
    Evanishes at crowing of the cock.
  • The unexpected disappearance of Mr. Canning from the scene, followed by the transient and embarrassed phantom of Lord Goderich. (Quoted, "He flits across the stage a transient and embarrassed phantom.")
  • Thin, airy shoals of visionary ghosts.
    • Homer, Odyssey, Book XI, line 48. Pope's translation
  • My people too were scared with eerie sounds,
    A footstep, a low throbbing in the walls,
    A noise of falling weights that never fell,
    Weird whispers, bells that rang without a hand,
    Door-handles turn'd when none was at the door,
    And bolted doors that open'd of themselves;
    And one betwixt the dark and light had seen
    Her, bending by the cradle of her babe.
  • I look for ghosts; but none will force
    Their way to me; 'tis falsely said
    That even there was intercourse
    Between the living and the dead.

See also

  •   Encyclopedic article on Ghost on Wikipedia
  •   The dictionary definition of ghost on Wiktionary
  •   Media related to Ghosts on Wikimedia Commons