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What is the difference between ghost and spirit?


Skilled Investigator
Hi! My understanding of "ghost" vs "spirit" is that a ghost is specifically the manifestation of a being (human or whatever else) that was once living and corporeal but is now deceased or divided from its physical existence / life. (Was alive. Now dead.) A "spirit" on the other hand, is a being which may or may not have always existed in an otherworldly / non-corporeal form, sometimes even from animistic traditions. There is not a necessary association with the afterlife.

For example, the totems of certain cultures, or "obake" / "mononoke" of Japanese tradition, or Black Dogs, wisps, occasionally even faeries of European lore, or the lesser deities of Greek or Celtic tradition have more in common with "spirits".

However, Banshees, Poltergeists, and the kind of entities that are said to roam through haunted houses are said to have once had human existence -- these are "ghosts."

The line is not rigidly drawn -- but basically, one was once a physical entity. The other -- generally speaking although not always -- was not. Hope that helps.


Paranormal Novice
From my personal studies over the years, I've looked at many different schools of thought on these matters. When I came across the Theosophical teachings by Helena P. Blavatsky, I have to say that not only is the material addressed in her writings immense and sometimes overwhelming, but I feel, very thought provoking and in my opinion helps to clarify what can sometimes become very muddled and confusing in the "new age" interpretation.

On this subject of ghosts/spooks and that of spirit, it is explained in a manner that would include pages of reading that I wouldn't want to impose on you. However, the simplest way I can address the question would be thus: That which we refer to as a "ghost" is really the dregs or "shell"/residual remains of the physical body that has its own time to dissolve, lets say, as the remaining aspects of the individuals former life move on to their respectful planes to a period of "rest" until the next reincarnation. The term "spirit" (and these are Theosophical teachings which I might subscribe to, but not my words) has over time become confused with the latter. However, the esoteric (hidden) schools of thought hold that the term "Spirit" would be the "highest" representation of our "individuality" (not personality).

Sorry for being long winded, but I'm really bad at condensing these ideas! There is so much more if one takes the time to research.....anyway, I hope that this is somewhat helpful!


Paranormal Novice
Ghosts are like a soul that finds it difficult to cross the realm between living and the non-living. Negative connotations about it manifest on the ghost stories. Spirit however are good vibes that may either be present in air, they were like according to many, guardian angels..


Skilled Investigator
Evolved as in the evolution of an idea as oppsed some kind of social status. I don't think I'm "better" than anyone. I do however maintain I have thought it through more than most people.
Ok. Hang on. "Most people" ?? Such as...? I see evidence that you have thought about it, sure -- but more that your perspective is merely different, not "more evolved".