Do you believe in ghosts? If so, you have lots of company--a Gallup poll done in 2005 found that more than a third of Americans (37%) believe that ghosts exist. From antiquity stories of ghosts have been told and written down. The ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all had ghostly tales to tell. Some ghosts were considered benign, others were fearsome. Almost any culture throughout history and around the world that has a belief in an afterlife, also has a belief that the souls of the dead live on in some form and can return to locations where they lived or died; to help or harm or to complete some unfinished business from their lives.
Just what is a ghost? Nobody really knows. Those who believe in ghosts say they are the souls of persons who died and for varying reasons remain bound to a particular location. What do they look like? Reports vary. Most commonly they are seen as nebulous mists that can be white, black or gray. They can have a definite shape with detailed features, or be simply an orb or cloud. Some anthropologists have suggested that the white mist image may be related to the concept of a person's spirit being related to their breath, and the fact that in cold climates a person's breath can be seen as a white mist. Many reported ghosts are linked to locations and events that were traumatic or violent; for example, the Gettysburg Battlefield National Historical Park, site of one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War, is said to be one of the most-haunted locations in North America.
Ghosts hold a firm place in popular culture, and have inspired books such as A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, movies such as Ghost, Beetlejuice and Ghostbusters, and TV shows such as Long Island Medium, The Ghost Whisperer, and Scooby Doo; there are ghosts in the Harry Potter books and movies as well. The phenomena portrayed range from humorous to hoax, serious to spoof.
The days of cutting holes in a bed sheet for a do-it-yourself ghost costume are long past. We have costumes that let you bring fictional ghosts to life, or to create your own version of one. You can be beautiful or hideous, frightening or funny. You can become a ghostly pirate, knight, bride, groom, lady or gentleman. Add makeup, wigs and accessories for a complete look. You can also create a haunting atmosphere for your Halloween party, with our ghost-themed props and decorations. If your friends don't already believe in ghosts, they will after they see you in your awesome costume!