A surprising number of people believe in ghosts. A 2017 survey by Chapman University found that 52 percent of Americans believe places can be haunted by spirits, an increase of approximately 11 percent since 2015. An earlier UK survey found that 52 percent of participants believed in the supernatural. But there may be a more scientific basis to things that go bump in the night than a restless afterlife.
Ghosts and spirits are essentially the same as they live in the same realm and have the same kind of energy. However, there are subtle differences too.
A ghost has more of a negative connotation associated with it when in comparison to a spirit. It is like a soul that finds it difficult to cross the realm between living and the non-living. Ghost stories add on to this feeling of being scared and wary of ghosts that you might find around the corner.
On the other hand, spirits are there, and we may feel them such as a cold blast of air or a sound in the corner. They are like elves in fairytales who might be mischievous but not harm you maliciously. Spirits are here to give us a guiding hand and are associated with a guardian angel. A parent or grandparent who loved you dearly and can’t bear seeing you in anguish will come to you in your time of need. They can be great sources of comfort and even advice one in subtle ways.
Ghosts do nothing of this sort for us. They are there and just their presence is ominous with bad tidings. They are probably waiting for someone to help them to pass on to the next realm where they actually belong.
The Flying Dutchman is one of the most famous ghost ships, seen by generations of sailors. The 17th century sailing ship can never make port, hopelessly sailing the oceans forever, and is an omen of doom to anyone who sees her. Inspired by the legend, Richard Wagner composed his opera Der Fliegende Hollander.