Ghost Stories

Ghost stories have impacted many cultures formillenniums, essentially providing a footing for beliefs in the supernatural and the existence of an afterworld. One might conclude that all of us know someone who has a "ghost tale" to share. Stories about ghosts and spirits have amazed us, causing us to wonder what might lie just beyond what we consider to be our "normal" habitat. For many, the question is this: Are ghost stories real or are such tales embellished fables of the imagination? Each ghost story you will find on this page is unique and enlightening; but it is up to you, the reader, to learn lessons from within the stories of ghosts. The ghost story can, perhaps, provide us with clues about the afterlife if we draw comparisons between accounts recorded from different areas of the world.

The following is an assortment of both classic and famous ghost stories as well an array of real, true accounts about ghosts that we have collected for your study.

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Common Threads in the Ghastly Tales
Ghost stories, whether modern or of old, all seem to share similar themes about ghosts' tragedies, unfinished business, unrest, visitations, and hopeless roamings among the living. Ghost stories also sometimes tell of similar ghostly messages of warning to aid those still alive, or tell of spirits with ill intentions, seeking revenge from those who wronged them in life. Some ghost stories truly enlighten while other ghost stories paint a picture of hell to frighten!

As you might imagine, ghost stories have been popular no matter what age we are speaking of, and people have various reasons for enjoying them, whether it's to learn something of the spirit world or simply for a good scare. Ghost stories often reflect upon religious or spiritual beliefs concerning death and the afterlife. People naturally want to believe in, and thus, read accounts about the survival of the human spirit after the expiration of the natural body. Descriptions of ghosts in stories fascinate mankind because one day we (all of us), too, will be spirits freed from our physical anatomy. So in reading of the ghost tale, we learn of other-worldly conditions and appearances, enabling us to become somewhat enlightened with what our future may hold.

History of Ghost Stories
Ghost stories began as ancient lore and told of visits to and from the other side of the grave, whereby heroes would learn of their destiny. The earliest of known ghost stories is The Epic of Gilgamesh, written upon cuneiform tablets in the Akkadian language.

One of the most famous ghost stories was written by Homer and known as the Odyssey, while other reknown poets, such as Ovid and Vergil, also penned classic ghost stories. In fact, Pliny the Younger might have told one of the first ghost stories about a haunted house in 62 AD!

Ghost Stories: Origins
Many famous authors have written stories about ghosts, such as Shakespeare, Henry James, M.R. James, Dickens, Wakefield, Irving, Aickman and of course, Edgar Allen Poe. Today, Stephen King has carried on the tradition of ghosts, by telling stories through books, television, and even movies!

Beyond the masters who have written many a ghost story lies cultural traditions and legends we share with one another. Many stories are passed down generations within families, never to be told to the world; yet these ghost stories are very personal and of greater meaning to them. The stories seem to evolve over time, though, as details are lost or forgotten. Yet, it seems almost every family, everywhere, has some sort of good ghost story hidden somewhere in their history.

Ghost stories can be fiction or true but usually include a haunting or experience with a ghost. Stories about ghosts are found within most cultures, whether modern or ancient. Ghost stories in classical literature have primarily been fictional, as they were typically used to teach a moral lesson. Charles Dickens' classic ghost story, A Christmas Carol, taught not only should we be benevolant to our fellow mankind, but that leading an immoral life can imprison one in their self-created hell in the afterlife.

Children also enjoy ghost stories, as evidenced by the popular Goosebumps books of recent years. It seems a good, non-terrifying ghost story awakens them to the supernatural and the unseen.

A great way to uncover ghost stories is while on vacation. Tourists with a love for the paranormal will want to look for ghost lore by searching gift shops and stores that carry books of regional hauntings written by local writers. Aspiring authors in many towns and regions will diligently research ghost tales and self-publish the stories which sell well to not only tourists, but local residents. One fine example of this phenomena, are the collection of ghost stories found within the Haunted Ohio series of books.

More Ghost Stories Topics to Explore
Special ghost stories found within different themes!

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