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In folklore, a ghost (sometimes known as an apparition, haunt, phantom, poltergeist, shade, specter or spectre, spirit, spook, and wraith) is the soul or spirit of a dead person or animal that can appear to the living.
- For other uses, see Ghosts (disambiguation).
- Alphabetically by author name.
- Great Pompey's shade complains that we are slow,
And Scipio's ghost walks unavenged amongst us!
- Joseph Addison, Cato, A Tragedy (1713), Act II, scene 1
- Man's need of self-esteem entails the need for a sense of control over reality – but no control is possible in a universe which, by one's own concession, contains the supernatural, the miraculous and the causeless, a universe in which one is at the mercy of ghosts and demons, in which one must deal, not with the unknown, but with the unknowable; no control is possible if man proposes, but a ghost disposes; no control is possible if the universe is a haunted house.
- Nathaniel Branden, "Mental Health versus Mysticism and Self-Sacrifice" (1963)
- Where entity and quiddity,
The ghosts of defunct bodies, fly.
- Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part I (1663-64), Canto I, line 145
- Behind every man now alive stand 30 ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living.
- Arthur C. Clarke 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) "Foreword"
- When thoroughly reliable people encounter ghosts, their stories are difficult to explain away.
- C.B. Colby in Strangely Enough, p. 177 (1963)
- "That the dead are seen no more," said Imlac, "I will not undertake to maintain against the concurrent and unvaried testimony of all ages and of all nations. There is no people, rude or learned, among whom apparitions of the dead are not related and believed. This opinion, which perhaps prevails as far as human nature is diffused, could become universal only by its truth: those that never heard of one another would not have agreed in a tale which nothing but experience can make credible. That it is doubted by single cavillers can very little weaken the general evidence, and some who deny it with their tongues confess it by their fears."
- Samuel Johnson, Rasselas (1759), Chapter 31
- So many ghosts, and forms of fright,
Have started from their graves to-night,
They have driven sleep from mine eyes away;
I will go down to the chapel and pray.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Golden Legend (1872), Part IV
- Of calling shapes, and beck'ning shadows dire,
And airy tongues that syllable men's names.
- For spirits when they please
Can either sex assume, or both.
- Whence and what are thou, execrable shape?
- All heart they live, all head, all eye, all ear,
All intellect, all sense, and as they please
They limb themselves, and colour, shape, or size
Assume, as likes them best, condense or rare.
- What beck'ning ghost along the moonlight shade
Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade?
- Alexander Pope, Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady (1717), line 1
- The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.
- There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave.
To tell us this.
- I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?
- What are these,
So wither'd, and so wild in their attire;
That look not like the inhabitants o' th' earth,
And yet are on 't?
- Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand?
- A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
- Now it is the time of night,
That the graves, all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite,
In the church-way paths to glide.
- Ghosts don’t do things to you. Ghosts make you do unspeakable things to yourself.
- I kept on ignoring him. The dead are only ghosts, after all.
- All on my own
Here I stand.
Am I humble, am I ghost?
I’m on a limb to climb
To something lawless I hope
Am I humble, am I ghost?
I found a way
To look towards this day
But it all hooked up
This could only go one way
I’m not alive, I’m not alive enough.
- Here’s to the ghost
We still seem to host
How he’s becoming us
Here come the vultures
Here come the vultures
Screaming down at us
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 33-34.
- Who gather round, and wonder at the tale
Of horrid apparition, tall and ghastly,
That walks at dead of night, or takes his stand
O'er some new-open'd grave; and, (strange to tell!)
Evanishes at crowing of the cock.
- Robert Blair, The Grave, line 67
- The Nightmare Life-in-Death was she.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Ancient Mariner, Part III
- The unexpected disappearance of Mr. Canning from the scene, followed by the transient and embarrassed phantom of Lord Goderich. (Quoted, "He flits across the stage a transient and embarrassed phantom.")
- Benjamin Disraeli, Endymian, Chapter III
- Thin, airy shoals of visionary ghosts.
- Homer, Odyssey, Book XI, line 48. Pope's translation
- My people too were scared with eerie sounds,
A footstep, a low throbbing in the walls,
A noise of falling weights that never fell,
Weird whispers, bells that rang without a hand,
Door-handles turn'd when none was at the door,
And bolted doors that open'd of themselves;
And one betwixt the dark and light had seen
Her, bending by the cradle of her babe.
- Alfred Tennyson, The Ring
- I look for ghosts; but none will force
Their way to me; 'tis falsely said
That even there was intercourse
Between the living and the dead.
- William Wordsworth, Affliction of Margaret