Most Ghost Stories that I've heard have the same four common components, strange lights, eerie sounds, strange smells and touching.
Spectres, lights, flashing on the walls, crossing doorways, lit or not, in the day or at night. Most can be explained. Seeing something from the corner of your eye is the most popular. Car headlights reflecting on surfaces. Curtains blowing in the wind, a shrouded old hag. A tree stump, a lumberjack. Depending on your imagination, anything can become a ghost and most can be explained but some can't.
Once in bed and asleep that's when the real ghosts come out. Many stories include the bedroom, waking in the middle of the night, you notice someone is standing a the foot of the bed. It's easily explainable as a "waking dream," or a "lucid dream." There are a few though, that can't be explained.
Ghostly apparitions are seen standing on landings, at tops of stair cases, in attics, in basements, some love kitchens which are usually a poltergeist, not a ghost. There is a difference and should not to be construed.
A spooky story usually accompanies the ghost, something ghastly had happened, in the library, a prison, in a hotel, in a castle, in a grave yard; like someone was murdered, a man committed suicide and hung himself, a little girl drowned in the bathtub, or a jilted bride still donning her Victorian wedding dress, floating across a room or standing in a door way or looking out an attic window waiting for her groom to return. The Lady in Grey, a common story.
Sounds, another important common component; the phantom footsteps, the creak on the staircase, the knock (three knocks), a slamming door that mysteriously opens, the rocking rocking chair.
A touch on the nape of your neck. A breath, a cool breeze, a tug.
Smells, of violets and home baked bread.
I almost forgot one of the most popular motifs in ghost lore is the Phantom Hitchhiker and its many versions, the most popular of ghost stories.
Then, that's another blog.
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