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For other uses, see Ghost (disambiguation).
"Ghostly" redirects here. For other uses, see Ghostly (disambiguation).
Hammersmith Ghost.PNG
Engraving of the Hammersmith Ghost in Kirby's Wonderful and Scientific Museum, a
magazine published in 1804[1]
Legendary creature
Sub grouping
Similar creatures
Other name(s) Spirits
Region Europe, The Americas, Asia, Africa, Oceania (Worldwide)
[show]Part of a series of articles on the paranormal
In folklore, a ghost (sometimes known as a spectre or specter, phantom, appariti
on, spirit, spook, or haunt) is the soul or spirit of a dead person or animal th
at can appear to the living. Descriptions of ghosts vary widely from an invisibl
e presence to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes, to realistic, lifelike
visions. The deliberate attempt to contact the spirit of a deceased person is k
nown as necromancy, or in spiritism as a seance.
The belief in the existence of an afterlife, as well as manifestations of the sp
irits of the dead is widespread, dating back to animism or ancestor worship in p
re-literate cultures. Certain religious practices funeral rites, exorcisms, and so
me practices of spiritualism and ritual magic are specifically designed to rest th
e spirits of the dead. Ghosts are generally described as solitary, human-like es
sences that haunt particular locations, objects, or people they were associated
with in life, though stories of ghostly armies and the ghosts of animals rather
than humans have also been recounted.
Further information: Spirit, Soul (spirit), wikt:anima, Genius (mythology), and
The English word ghost continues Old English gast, from a hypothetical Common Ge
rmanic *gaistaz. It is common to West Germanic, but lacking in North Germanic an
d East Germanic (the equivalent word in Gothic is ahma, Old Norse has andi m., o
nd f.). The pre-Germanic form was *ghoisdo-s, apparently from a root denoting "f
ury, anger" reflected in Old Norse geisa "to rage". The Germanic word is recorde
d as masculine only, but likely continues a neuter s-stem. The original meaning
of the Germanic word would thus have been an animating principle of the mind, in
particular capable of excitation and fury (compare o?r). In Germanic paganism,
"Germanic Mercury", and the later Odin, was at the same time the conductor of th
e dead and the "lord of fury" leading the Wild Hunt.
Besides denoting the human spirit or soul, both of the living and the deceased,
the Old English word is used as a synonym of Latin spiritus also in the meaning
of "breath" or "blast" from the earliest attestations (9th century). It could al
so denote any good or evil spirit, such as angels and demons; the Anglo-Saxon go
spel refers to the demonic possession of Matthew 12:43 as se uncl?na gast. Also
from the Old English period, the word could denote the spirit of God, viz. the "
Holy Ghost".
The now-prevailing sense of "the soul of a deceased person, spoken of as appeari
ng in a visible form" only emerges in Middle English (14th century). The modern
noun does, however, retain a wider field of application, extending on one hand t
o "soul", "spirit", "vital principle", "mind", or "psyche", the seat of feeling,
thought, and moral judgement; on the other hand used figuratively of any shadow
y outline, or fuzzy or unsubstantial image; in optics, photography, and cinemato
graphy especially, a flare, secondary image, or spurious signal.[4]

The synonym spook is a Dutch loanword, akin to Low German spok (of uncertain ety
mology); it entered the English language via American English in the 19th centur
y.[5][6][7][8] Alternative words in modern usage include spectre (from Latin spe
ctrum), the Scottish wraith (of obscure origin), phantom (via French ultimately
from Greek phantasma, compare fantasy) and apparition. The term shade in classic
al mythology translates Greek ,[9] or Latin umbra,[10] in reference to the notion of
spirits in the Greek underworld. "Haint" is a synonym for ghost used in regiona
l English of the southern United States,[11] and the "haint tale" is a common fe
ature of southern oral and literary tradition.[12] The term poltergeist is a Ger
man word, literally a "noisy ghost", for a spirit said to manifest itself by inv
isibly moving and influencing objects.[13]
Wraith is a Scots word for ghost, spectre, or apparition. It appeared in Scottis
h Romanticist literature, and acquired the more general or figurative sense of p
ortent or omen. In 18th- to 19th-century Scottish literature, it also applied to
aquatic spirits. The word has no commonly accepted etymology; the OED notes "of
obscure origin" only.[14] An association with the verb writhe was the etymology
favored by J. R. R. Tolkien.[15] Tolkien's use of the word in the naming of the
creatures known as the Ringwraiths has influenced later usage in fantasy litera
ture. Bogey[16] or bogy/bogie is a term for a ghost, and appears in Scottish poe
t John Mayne's Hallowe'en in 1780.[17][18]
A revenant is a deceased person returning from the dead to haunt the living, eit
her as a disembodied ghost or alternatively as an animated ("undead") corpse. Al
so related is the concept of a fetch, the visible ghost or spirit of a person ye
t alive.
Anthropological context[edit]
Further information: Animism, Ancestor worship, Origin of religion, and Anthropo
logy of religion
A notion of the transcendent, supernatural, or numinous, usually involving entit
ies like ghosts, demons, or deities, is a cultural universal.[19] In pre-literat
e folk religions, these beliefs are often summarized under animism and ancestor
worship. Some people believe the ghost or spirit never leaves Earth until there
is no-one left to remember the one who died.[20]
In many cultures malignant, restless ghosts are distinguished from the more beni
gn spirits involved in ancestor worship.[21]
Ancestor worship typically involves rites intended to prevent revenants, vengefu
l spirits of the dead, imagined as starving and envious of the living. Strategie
s for preventing revenants may either include sacrifice, i.e., giving the dead f
ood and drink to pacify them, or magical banishment of the deceased to force the
m not to return. Ritual feeding of the dead is performed in traditions like the
Chinese Ghost Festival or the Western All Souls' Day. Magical banishment of the
dead is present in many of the world's burial customs. The bodies found in many
tumuli (kurgan) had been ritually bound before burial,[22] and the custom of bin
ding the dead persists, for example, in rural Anatolia.[23]
Nineteenth-century anthropologist James Frazer stated in his classic work, The G
olden Bough, that souls were seen as the creature within that animated the body.
Ghosts and the afterlife[edit]
Further information: Soul (spirit), Psyche (psychology), Underworld, Hungry ghos
t, and Psychopomp
Further information: Ghost Festival, All Souls' Day, Day of the Dead, and Ghost
Although the human soul was sometimes symbolically or literally depicted in anci

ent cultures as a bird or other animal, it appears to have been widely held that
the soul was an exact reproduction of the body in every feature, even down to c
lothing the person wore. This is depicted in artwork from various ancient cultur
es, including such works as the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which shows deceased
people in the afterlife appearing much as they did before death, including the s
tyle of dress.
Fear of ghosts[edit]
Main article: Fear of ghosts
Yurei (Japanese ghost) from the Hyakkai Zukan, ca. 1737
While deceased ancestors are universally regarded as venerable, and often believ
ed to have a continued presence in some form of afterlife, the spirit of a decea
sed person that persists in the material world (a ghost) is regarded as an unnat
ural or undesirable state of affairs and the idea of ghosts or revenants is asso
ciated with a reaction of fear. This is universally the case in pre-modern folk
cultures, but fear of ghosts also remains an integral aspect of the modern ghost
story, Gothic horror, and other horror fiction dealing with the supernatural.
Common attributes[edit]
Another widespread belief concerning ghosts is that they are composed of a misty
, airy, or subtle material. Anthropologists link this idea to early beliefs that
ghosts were the person within the person (the person's spirit), most noticeable
in ancient cultures as a person's breath, which upon exhaling in colder climate
s appears visibly as a white mist.[20] This belief may have also fostered the me
taphorical meaning of "breath" in certain languages, such as the Latin spiritus
and the Greek pneuma, which by analogy became extended to mean the soul. In the
Bible, God is depicted as synthesising Adam, as a living soul, from the dust of
the Earth and the breath of God.
In many traditional accounts, ghosts were often thought to be deceased people lo
oking for vengeance (vengeful ghosts), or imprisoned on earth for bad things the
y did during life. The appearance of a ghost has often been regarded as an omen
or portent of death. Seeing one's own ghostly double or "fetch" is a related ome
n of death.[25]
Union Cemetery in Easton, Connecticut is home to the legend of the White Lady.
White ladies were reported to appear in many rural areas, and supposed to have d
ied tragically or suffered trauma in life. White Lady legends are found around t
he world. Common to many of them is the theme of losing or being betrayed by a h
usband or fiance. They are often associated with an individual family line or re
garded as a harbinger of death similar to a banshee.
Legends of ghost ships have existed since the 18th century; most notable of thes
e is the Flying Dutchman. This theme has been used in literature in The Rime of
the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge.
The idea of ghosts can be considered a tradition for certain cultures. Many beli
eve in the spirit world and often try to stay in contact with their loved ones.
See also: Haunted house
A place where ghosts are reported is described as haunted, and often seen as bei
ng inhabited by spirits of deceased who may have been former residents or were f
amiliar with the property. Supernatural activity inside homes is said to be main
ly associated with violent or tragic events in the building's past such as murde
r, accidental death, or suicide sometimes in the recent or ancient past. But not a
ll hauntings are at a place of a violent death, or even on violent grounds. Many

cultures and religions believe the essence of a being, such as the 'soul', cont
inues to exist. Some religious views argue that the 'spirits' of those who have
died have not 'passed over' and are trapped inside the property where their memo
ries and energy are strong.
Ancient Near East and Egypt[edit]
Main article: Ghosts in Mesopotamian religions
Main article: Ghosts in ancient Egyptian culture
There are many references to ghosts in Mesopotamian religions
the religions of S
umer, Babylon, Assyria, and other early states in Mesopotamia. Traces of these b
eliefs survive in the later Abrahamic religions that came to dominate the region
.[26] Ghosts were thought to be created at time of death, taking on the memory a
nd personality of the dead person. They traveled to the netherworld, where they
were assigned a position, and led an existence similar in some ways to that of t
he living. Relatives of the dead were expected to make offerings of food and dri
nk to the dead to ease their conditions. If they did not, the ghosts could infli
ct misfortune and illness on the living. Traditional healing practices ascribed
a variety of illnesses to the action of ghosts, while others were caused by gods
or demons.[27]
The Hebrew Bible contains few references to ghosts, associating spiritism with f
orbidden occult activities cf. Deuteronomy 18:11. The most notable reference is
in the First Book of Samuel (I Samuel 28:3 19 KJV), in which a disguised King Saul
has the Witch of Endor summon the spirit or ghost of Samuel.
Egyptian Akh glyph The soul and spirit re-united after death
There was widespread belief in ghosts in ancient Egyptian culture. The soul and
spirit were believed to exist after death, with the ability to assist or harm th
e living, and the possibility of a second death. Over a period of more than 2,50
0 years, Egyptian beliefs about the nature of the afterlife evolved constantly.
Many of these beliefs were recorded in hieroglyph inscriptions, papyrus scrolls
and tomb paintings. The Egyptian Book of the Dead compiles some of the beliefs f
rom different periods of ancient Egyptian history.[28] In modern times, the fanc
iful concept of a mummy coming back to life and wreaking vengeance when disturbe
d has spawned a whole genre of horror stories and films.[29]
Classical Antiquity[edit]
Further information: Shade (mythology) and Magic in the Greco-Roman world
Archaic and Classical Greece[edit]
Ghosts appeared in Homer's Odyssey and Iliad, in which they were described as va
nishing "as a vapor, gibbering and whining into the earth". Homer's ghosts had l
ittle interaction with the world of the living. Periodically they were called up
on to provide advice or prophecy, but they do not appear to be particularly fear
ed. Ghosts in the classical world often appeared in the form of vapor or smoke,
but at other times they were described as being substantial, appearing as they h
ad been at the time of death, complete with the wounds that killed them.[30]
By the 5th century BC, classical Greek ghosts had become haunting, frightening c
reatures who could work to either good or evil purposes. The spirit of the dead
was believed to hover near the resting place of the corpse, and cemeteries were
places the living avoided. The dead were to be ritually mourned through public c
eremony, sacrifice, and libations, or else they might return to haunt their fami
lies. The ancient Greeks held annual feasts to honor and placate the spirits of
the dead, to which the family ghosts were invited, and after which they were "..
.firmly invited to leave until the same time next year."[31]
The 5th-century BC play Oresteia contains one of the first ghosts to appear in a
work of fiction.

Roman Empire and Late Antiquity[edit]

The ancient Romans believed a ghost could be used to exact revenge on an enemy b
y scratching a curse on a piece of lead or pottery and placing it into a grave.[
Plutarch, in the 1st century AD, described the haunting of the baths at Chaerone
a by the ghost of a murdered man. The ghost's loud and frightful groans caused t
he people of the town to seal up the doors of the building.[33] Another celebrat
ed account of a haunted house from the ancient classical world is given by Pliny
the Younger (c. 50 AD).[34] Pliny describes the haunting of a house in Athens o
f the Stoic philosopher Athenodorus, who lived about 100 years before Pliny. Ath
enodorus was working late at night when he was disturbed by a ghost bound in cha
ins. He followed the ghost outside where it indicated a spot on the ground. When
Athenodorus later excavated the area, a shackled skeleton was unearthed. The ha
unting ceased when this was given a proper reburial.[35] The writers Plautus and
Lucian also wrote stories about haunted houses.
In the New Testament, Jesus has to persuade the Disciples that he is not a ghost
following the resurrection, Luke 24:37 39 (some versions of the Bible, such as th
e KJV and NKJV, use the term "spirit"). Similarly, Jesus' followers at first bel
ieved he was a ghost (spirit) when they saw him walking on water.
One of the first persons to express disbelief in ghosts was Lucian of Samosata i
n the 2nd century AD. In his tale "The Doubter" (circa 150 AD), he relates how D
emocritus "the learned man from Abdera in Thrace" lived in a tomb outside the ci
ty gates to prove that cemeteries were not haunted by the spirits of the departe
d. Lucian relates how he persisted in his disbelief despite practical jokes perp
etrated by "some young men of Abdera" who dressed up in black robes with skull m
asks to frighten him.[36] This account by Lucian notes something about the popul
ar classical expectation of how a ghost should look.
In the 5th century AD, the Christian priest Constantius of Lyon recorded an inst
ance of the recurring theme of the improperly buried dead who come back to haunt
the living, and who can only cease their haunting when their bones have been di
scovered and properly reburied.[37]
Middle Ages[edit]
Ghosts reported in medieval Europe tended to fall into two categories: the souls
of the dead, or demons. The souls of the dead returned for a specific purpose.
Demonic ghosts existed only to torment or tempt the living. The living could tel
l them apart by demanding their purpose in the name of Jesus Christ. The soul of
a dead person would divulge their mission, while a demonic ghost would be banis
hed at the sound of the Holy Name.[38]
Most ghosts were souls assigned to Purgatory, condemned for a specific period to
atone for their transgressions in life. Their penance was generally related to
their sin. For example, the ghost of a man who had been abusive to his servants
was condemned to tear off and swallow bits of his own tongue; the ghost of anoth
er man, who had neglected to leave his cloak to the poor, was condemned to wear
the cloak, now "heavy as a church tower". These ghosts appeared to the living to
ask for prayers to end their suffering. Other dead souls returned to urge the l
iving to confess their sins before their own deaths.[39]
Medieval European ghosts were more substantial than ghosts described in the Vict
orian age, and there are accounts of ghosts being wrestled with and physically r
estrained until a priest could arrive to hear its confession. Some were less sol
id, and could move through walls. Often they were described as paler and sadder
versions of the person they had been while alive, and dressed in tattered gray r
ags. The vast majority of reported sightings were male.[40]

There were some reported cases of ghostly armies, fighting battles at night in t
he forest, or in the remains of an Iron Age hillfort, as at Wandlebury, near Cam
bridge, England. Living knights were sometimes challenged to single combat by ph
antom knights, which vanished when defeated.[41]
From the medieval period an apparition of a ghost is recorded from 1211, at the
time of the Albigensian Crusade.[42] Gervase of Tilbury, Marshal of Arles, wrote
that the image of Guilhem, a boy recently murdered in the forest, appeared in h
is cousin's home in Beaucaire, near Avignon. This series of "visits" lasted all
of the summer. Through his cousin, who spoke for him, the boy allegedly held con
versations with anyone who wished, until the local priest requested to speak to
the boy directly, leading to an extended disquisition on theology. The boy narra
ted the trauma of death and the unhappiness of his fellow souls in Purgatory, an
d reported that God was most pleased with the ongoing Crusade against the Cathar
heretics, launched three years earlier. The time of the Albigensian Crusade in
southern France was marked by intense and prolonged warfare, this constant blood
shed and dislocation of populations being the context for these reported visits
by the murdered boy.
Haunted houses are featured in the 9th-century Arabian Nights (such as the tale
of Ali the Cairene and the Haunted House in Baghdad).[43]
European Renaissance to Romanticism[edit]
"Hamlet and his father's ghost" by Henry Fuseli (1796 drawing). The ghost is wea
ring stylized plate armor in 17th-century style, including a morion type helmet
and tassets. Depicting ghosts as wearing armor, to suggest a sense of antiquity,
was common in Elizabethan theater.
Renaissance magic took a revived interest in the occult, including necromancy. I
n the era of the Reformation and Counter Reformation, there was frequently a bac
klash against unwholesome interest in the dark arts, typified by writers such as
Thomas Erastus.[44] The Swiss Reformed pastor Ludwig Lavater supplied one of th
e most frequently reprinted books of the period with his Of Ghosts and Spirits W
alking By Night.[45]
The Child Ballad "Sweet William's Ghost" (1868) recounts the story of a ghost re
turning to his fiancee begging her to free him from his promise to marry her. He
cannot marry her because he is dead but her refusal would mean his damnation. T
his reflects a popular British belief that the dead haunted their lovers if they
took up with a new love without some formal release.[46] "The Unquiet Grave" ex
presses a belief even more widespread, found in various locations over Europe: g
hosts can stem from the excessive grief of the living, whose mourning interferes
with the dead's peaceful rest.[47] In many folktales from around the world, the
hero arranges for the burial of a dead man. Soon after, he gains a companion wh
o aids him and, in the end, the hero's companion reveals that he is in fact the
dead man.[48] Instances of this include the Italian fairy tale "Fair Brow" and t
he Swedish "The Bird 'Grip'".
Modern period of western culture[edit]
Spiritualist movement[edit]
By 1853, when the popular song Spirit Rappings was published, Spiritualism was a
n object of intense curiosity.
Main article: Spiritualism
Spiritualism is a monotheistic belief system or religion, postulating a belief i
n God, but with a distinguishing feature of belief that spirits of the dead resi
ding in the spirit world can be contacted by "mediums", who can then provide inf
ormation about the afterlife.[49]

Spiritualism developed in the United States and reached its peak growth in membe
rship from the 1840s to the 1920s, especially in English-language countries.[50]
[51] By 1897, it was said to have more than eight million followers in the Unite
d States and Europe,[52] mostly drawn from the middle and upper classes, while t
he corresponding movement in continental Europe and Latin America is known as Sp
The religion flourished for a half century without canonical texts or formal org
anization, attaining cohesion by periodicals, tours by trance lecturers, camp me
etings, and the missionary activities of accomplished mediums.[53] Many prominen
t Spiritualists were women. Most followers supported causes such as the abolitio
n of slavery and women's suffrage.[50] By the late 1880s, credibility of the inf
ormal movement weakened, due to accusations of fraud among mediums, and formal S
piritualist organizations began to appear.[50] Spiritualism is currently practic
ed primarily through various denominational Spiritualist Churches in the United
States and United Kingdom.
Main article: Spiritism
Spiritism, or French spiritualism, is based on the five books of the Spiritist C
odification written by French educator Hypolite Leon Denizard Rivail under the p
seudonym Allan Kardec reporting seances in which he observed a series of phenome
na that he attributed to incorporeal intelligence (spirits). His assumption of s
pirit communication was validated by many contemporaries, among them many scient
ists and philosophers who attended seances and studied the phenomena. His work w
as later extended by writers like Leon Denis, Arthur Conan Doyle, Camille Flamma
rion, Ernesto Bozzano, Chico Xavier, Divaldo Pereira Franco, Waldo Vieira, Johan
nes Greber,[54] and others.
Spiritism has adherents in many countries throughout the world, including Spain,
United States, Canada,[55] Japan, Germany, France, England, Argentina, Portugal
, and especially Brazil, which has the largest proportion and greatest number of
Scientific view[edit]
See also: Paranormal
The physician John Ferriar wrote An essay towards a theory of apparitions in 181
3 in which he argued that sightings of ghosts were the result of optical illusio
ns. Later the French physician Alexandre Jacques Francois Briere de Boismont pub
lished On Hallucinations: Or, the Rational History of Apparitions, Dreams, Ecsta
sy, Magnetism, and Somnambulism in 1845 in which he claimed sightings of ghosts
were the result of hallucinations.[57][58]
David Turner, a retired physical chemist, suggested that ball lightning could ca
use inanimate objects to move erratically.[59]
Joe Nickell of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry wrote that there was no credi
ble scientific evidence that any location was inhabited by spirits of the dead.[
60] Limitations of human perception and ordinary physical explanations can accou
nt for ghost sightings; for example, air pressure changes in a home causing door
s to slam, or lights from a passing car reflected through a window at night. Par
eidolia, an innate tendency to recognize patterns in random perceptions, is what
some skeptics believe causes people to believe that they have 'seen ghosts'.[61
] Reports of ghosts "seen out of the corner of the eye" may be accounted for by
the sensitivity of human peripheral vision. According to Nickell, peripheral vis
ion can easily mislead, especially late at night when the brain is tired and mor
e likely to misinterpret sights and sounds.[62]
According to research in anomalistic psychology visions of ghosts may arise from
hypnagogic hallucinations ("waking dreams" experienced in the transitional stat

es to and from sleep).[63] In a study of two experiments into alleged hauntings

(Wiseman et al. 2003) came to the conclusion "that people consistently report un
usual experiences in haunted' areas because of environmental factors, which may d
iffer across locations." Some of these factors included "the variance of local m
agnetic fields, size of location and lighting level stimuli of which witnesses ma
y not be consciously aware".[64]
Some researchers, such as Michael Persinger of Laurentian University, Canada, ha
ve speculated that changes in geomagnetic fields (created, e.g., by tectonic str
esses in the Earth's crust or solar activity) could stimulate the brain's tempor
al lobes and produce many of the experiences associated with hauntings.[65] Soun
d is thought to be another cause of supposed sightings. Richard Lord and Richard
Wiseman have concluded that infrasound can cause humans to experience bizarre f
eelings in a room, such as anxiety, extreme sorrow, a feeling of being watched,
or even the chills.[66] Carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause changes in pe
rception of the visual and auditory systems,[67] was speculated upon as a possib
le explanation for haunted houses as early as 1921.
By religion[edit]
Further information: Allhallowtide
The Hebrew Torah and the Bible contain a few references to ghosts, associating s
piritism with forbidden occult activities.[68] The most notable reference is in
the First Book of Samuel,[69] in which a disguised King Saul has the Witch of En
dor summon the spirit or ghost of Samuel. In the New Testament, Jesus has to per
suade the Disciples that he is not a ghost following the resurrection, Luke 24:3
7 39 (some versions of the Bible, such as the KJV and NKJV, use the term "spirit")
. Similarly, Jesus' followers at first believe he is a ghost (spirit) when they
see him walking on water.[70]
Some denominations within the Christian Church[citation needed] consider ghosts
as beings who while tied to earth, no longer live on the material plane,[71] whi
le others teach that ghosts are beings who linger in an interim state before con
tinuing their journey to heaven.[71][72][73][74] On occasion, God would allow th
e souls in this state to return to earth to warn the living of the need for repe
ntance.[75] Jews and Christians are taught that it is sinful to attempt to conju
re or control spirits in accordance with Deuteronomy XVIII: 9 12.[76][77]
Some ghosts are actually said to be demons in disguise, who the Church teaches,
in accordance with I Timothy 4:1, that they "come to deceive people and draw the
m away from God and into bondage."[78] As a result, attempts to contact the dead
may lead to unwanted contact with a demon or an unclean spirit, as was said to
occur in the case of Robbie Mannheim, a fourteen-year-old Maryland youth.[79] Th
e Seventh-Day Adventist view is that a "soul" is not equivalent to "spirit" or "
ghost" (depending on the Bible version), and that save for the Holy Spirit, all
spirits or ghosts are demons in disguise. Furthermore, they teach that in accord
ance with (Genesis 2:7, Ecclesiastes 12:7), there are only two components to a "
soul", neither of which survives death with each returning to its respective sourc
Christadelphians reject the view of a living, conscious soul after death.[80]
The Talmud[81] tells of a being called a shade ?? that is similar to other creat
ures in that it lives and dies but consists only of a form but lacks matter that
forms mass, thus rendering it invisible. Since it has no physical mass it is ca
pable of transporting itself from one end of the world to the other.