When filmmakers from the Far East decide to get mysterious, they do not fool around. Hollywood does vampires reasonably well perhaps because it has so many of them. The Asian ghost story has a distinguished lineage: serious filmmakers like Kenji Mizoguchi, Masaki Kobayashi and Stanley Kwan have worked in the genre without shame and without a hint of condescension to the shades and specters and odd bits of ectoplasm that populate it. And the films of Mr. Nakata and the Pangs have absorbed some of that mournful dignity; it's as if the filmmakers were discharging a solemn duty, honoring an obligation to the spirits they invoke. The unquiet spirit in ''Ringu'' resides in a grainy, amateurish-looking videotape it looks like a Surrealist short from the 's that kills anyone unlucky enough to view it.
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. In ghostlore , descriptions of ghosts vary widely from an invisible presence to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes, to realistic, lifelike forms. The belief in the existence of an afterlife , as well as manifestations of the spirits of the dead, is widespread, dating back to animism or ancestor worship in pre-literate cultures.
Telling tales of ghouls and spectres can have a surprising benefit by encouraging people to change the way they behave. Halloween is a time when ghosts and spooky decorations are on public display, reminding us of the realm of the dead. But could they also be instructing us in important lessons on how to lead moral lives?