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In folklore, mythology, and modern media such as literary fiction, a ghost (sometimes known as a spectre [British English] or specter [American English], phantom, apparition, spirit, spook, or haunt) is the soul or spirit of a dead 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 barely visible wispy shapes, to realistic, lifelike 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 rest 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 phantom armies, ghost trains, phantom ships, and even ghost animals have also been recounted.<ref>Hole, pp. 150–163</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

Ghost sections
Intro  Terminology  Typology  History  By religion  By culture  Depiction in the arts  Metaphorical usages  See also  References  Bibliography  Further reading  External links  

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