View Full Version : Ghosts...

09-13-2004, 04:51 AM
Ghost stories came up on the horror forum, and it got me interested to do a little research.

All I've been coming up with so far is just ghost stories for the sake of ghost stories... for scares.

I'm looking for a more "cultural" view... a span of religions, histories... what they think of the paranormal. Since my plan is to use it for a fantasy genre, I decided to post here rather than horror.

If anyone knows a place off the top of their head, I'd be grateful. Thanks!

09-13-2004, 04:57 AM
Actually, I am writing a ghost story currently, though mine would probably fall more into the realm of light horror not fantasy. Ghosts are often used in fantasy: Piers Anthony, JK Rowling, Caspar I think falls into fantasy, etc. Do you want examples of how they are used in fantasy, or are you looking more for cultural lore associated with ghosts?

09-13-2004, 05:01 AM
Culture lore, sorry. (;

09-13-2004, 05:05 AM
Try the Chinese. No, I'm serious. They have a holiday called the Feast of the Hungry Ghost, or something similar.
Their culture is very into their ancestors, and ghosts play a big part of it.
I don't want to give you wrong information, I don't know that much about it.
I am sure if you Google it you can come up with some good sites.

09-13-2004, 05:07 AM
Rissey, I was just about to look into the Chinese! I had a link opened, but it was a dead end...

09-13-2004, 06:16 AM
Arabic peoples have an interesting take on ghosts as well. They call them djinns, and they are not spirits in the sense that ghosts are, but are actually other dimensional beings created from fire.

09-13-2004, 03:20 PM
Some thoughts where ghosts figure in sf/f:
Star Trek. (all generations, but especially Deep Space Nine)
Ursala K. Le Guin's "Lathe of Heaven"
Stargate Atlantis

Googled, found this:
Results 11 - 20 of about 222,000 for ghosts in fantasy fiction.
The Lives of Ghosts and Other Shades of Memory (http://www.silverlakepublishing.com/catalog/ghosts.html)
and this: "Fantasy is the oldest form of fiction, starting with heroic quests like that of Gilgamesh, and including the tales of the War at Troy, complete with talking horses and ghosts."

and well, you look :grin

09-22-2004, 03:04 AM
I completely agree on the subject of ghosts - look at Chinese, Native American and even Caribbean cultures. I think one way or another you'll find a lot of deep rooted superstitions and traditions. I would suspect (guessing) that you'll probably find more on the importance of ghosts within cultures that stress family tradition and honor...

Can't speak from experience... most of the ghosts I see scare the bejeezums out of me.


09-22-2004, 03:38 AM
Different cultures describe different things as "ghosts" (although of course it's really just the way we choose to translate their word). There's a ghost in the Icelandic Saga of Grettir the Strong, which is a physical being that Grettir has to fight. From the description, it seems to be more like a zombie than anything we'd call a ghost.

09-27-2004, 10:25 PM
I think the traditional ghost was often a zombie or vampire like creature, something decomposing that crawled out of the grave to interfere with the living.

Flawed Creation
10-12-2004, 09:43 AM
as i understood it, djinnwere not ghosts...

they are their own separate race, not deceased people.

10-12-2004, 04:23 PM
as i understood it, djinn were not ghosts...

That's true. They exist in another dimension and are made from fire. Mac said "what they think of the paranormal," and though djinn are not ghosts in the strict sense of the word, they do seem to fall into the paranormal category.