Ghost

A ghost (pl. ghosts) is a type of spirit native to the incorporeal realm but often appearing in the corporeal realm - the lingering soul of a being who once lived. Ghosts are almost universally the remnants of humans or other mortals, though occasionally a murdered immortal can produce one. The more violent or traumatic their death was, the stronger they are.


Physiology

Ghosts are incorporeal. They have the shape that their bodies held in life (more specifically the shape they held at the time of their death), but it is made up of only energy. Unless they were a shapeshifter of some kind in life, ghosts cannot take another form, but they can appear invisible at will - in fact it takes much more effort for them to manifest visibly. Many tend to appear/disappear in a certain pattern or at a certain time, if undisturbed. For the most part, they are intangible, though depending on the sensitivity of people around them some sensation might be felt (typically chills or prickling).

Some ghosts can attain a corporeal state, but this is ALWAYS temporary, usually for a certain time or a certain night of the year associated with their death. In general, ghosts have no physical form in the material world - this means that physical barriers mean nothing to them. Iron can prove to be an exception to this -although it will not harm them, iron will disperse their energy if it passes through them. Also, an unbroken line or circle of salt is a barrier that cannot be crossed by any ghost.

As ghosts are already dead, they cannot be killed, but they can be exorcised or banished with the proper rituals. They can be destroyed, but unless they have some tie to the physical world whatever is used to destroy them must be able to bridge the corporeal and incorporeal realms. Aside from this possibility, ghosts are immortal and unchanging.


Magical Characteristics

Like all spirits, ghosts exist most solidly in the spirit world. However, many of them can cross into the material world, as long as they have some sort of tie there, or the veil between the worlds is thin. This tie can be a location, object, or person that had an important role in their life or death. Ghosts in the material world can sometimes concentrate enough to manipulate objects, usually to rattle them, move them, or otherwise get attention. This type of occurrence typically earns the ghost the epithet of 'poltergeist'.

Ghosts can possess a body IF that body's soul is elsewhere (i.e. astrally projected) - which is why most astral projectors take precautions to prevent this from happening. The only other method for a ghost to enter a body is if they are allowed in by the host soul for some reason (for example, to allow them to communicate more easily with their loved ones).

Even when a spirit's true form is not visible to the naked eye, it will appear in a mirror. If they are possessing someone, this image will appear as an overlay of the body's reflection. If they are invisible, this image will appear faintly. If they are in some other form, only their true form will be reflected. Ghosts also appear on film occasionally, or in peripheral vision.


Society and Habitat

Ghosts do not have an established society, and in fact it is rare to find more than one in a specific location unless they are tied together by the events of their death, or that location has known many bloody or tragic events.

When their physical body dies, ghosts linger at their body for a few days. After that, if they do not immediately move on to the proper afterlife, they drift into the spirit world and wander there. Ghosts in the material world often linger because of 'unfinished business' - and spirits like this can usually be appeased and sent on to the other side. Other apparitions remain by sheer strength of will, or as memories of emotionally powerful events like battles, murders, mass deaths, etc., and therefore cannot be appeased in this manner.