The Japanese rock group Ghost has been mystifying audiences with its invigorating brew of exotic sounds emanating from The Ghost House in Tokyo, as well as temples and other open-air locations. As a youth at a private junior high school, bandleader Masaki Batoh was exposed to rock music during field trips with his music teachers. He reminisces to Wire, “One of these places was Jazz Kizza, a small coffee shop that used to play jazz records. Through them [his teachers] I was awakened to the music of Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Velvet Underground, Beatles, and Rolling Stones.” Batoh also listened to English folk-rockers The Third Ear Band, German rock groups Can, Amon Düül, Popol Vuh, and traditional Japanese folk music.
Batoh founded Ghost with several of his college friends in Tokyo during the early 1980s. From the beginning, the band’s lineup was in a state of flux. Batoh explains to Ptolemaic Terrascope, “In the beginning, we used to play far-out long freak-outs in small college gigs. But the members of Ghost were always so changeable, mainly because the ideas of each one’s methods had always swayed between materialism amd spirituality... some wanted to express themselves through ordinary rock music while others wanted to make music through the philosphical, idealist way.”
Ghost had a different name for the first several years of its existence. However, in 1989, prior to the release of its first album, the band was asked by its record company to change its name. Batoh told Ongaku Otaku, “The boss of P.S.F. said our previous name, from 1983, was not suitable for our sound then. ‘How do you feel about changing the name?’ he asked. Okay…. So I was thinking, thinking, and one time when I took the train, I saw a poster for the movie Ghost. And I arrived, then, at our name. It sounded nice, it’s cool.”
Ghost’s self-titled first album was released in 1991. The material on the album was more song-oriented than the band’s live performances, which bandmembers called sokyo, or improvisations Batoh explained the changes in Ghost’s stylerta Otaku, “When we thought to make an album. Sie playè3jmany sokyo. But when we listened to it, the sound wasiot interesting…. At first we played the same ways, then we tried to make some tunes. Easy ones, two chords Sr three chords, using our instruments and sometimes banjo or Japanese instruments…. Finally, we cut the songs up with long improvisations.”
The band’s next album, Second Time Around, was more folk and folk-rock influenced. Ghost began to attract attention around the world, and critics began describing its music using other bands as reference points. This
Members include Masaki Batoh (b. Tokyo, Ja pan), vocals, guitar; Michio Kurihara (band-member c. 1997), guitar; Kohji Nishino , bass, oral holler, and spiritual shout; Kazuo Ogino , recorders, Celtic harp, lute, piano; Taishi Takizawa , 12 string guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, cello, flute, vibes, piano, and holly talking; Iwao Yamazaki , drums and mantra tangging.
Formed 1982 in Tokyo, Japan; recorded for PSF Records, c. 1989; debut album, Ghost, released on PSF, 1991; recorded for Drag City Records c. 1995; American debut album, Labi Rabi Rabi, on Drag City, 1997; toured United States c. 1995; appeared at Terrastock West Festival, San Francisco c. 1998.
Addresses: Record company —Drag City, P. O. Box 476867, Chicago, IL 60647.
did not bother Batoh, as he told Ongaku Otaku, “We don’t make music, it’s born from inside us. If our music sounds like some other bands Quicksilver, Amon Düül it’s all right. We don’t care at all. It was born from our inside, naturally and gradually constructed in its production.”
Ghost first toured the United States in 1995. Following the live album Temple Stone, the band released its, American debut album, Lama Rabi Rabi, on the Drag City label. In underground rock circles, Ghost was regarded as a major new player. The Wire said of the group, “It is [the] diversity of musical influences (many of which are stirred into the same song) that give Ghost their charm and individuality. It seems that anything that can be adapted to fit into their complex musical tapestry so long as it is strange or interesting enough to attract their imagination.”
Soon after Lama Rabi Rabi, Batoh released a solo album Collected Works, of unreleased demos and other material. Batoh did not originally intend to release the material, but was persuaded to by friends. He elucidates to The Wire, “One day I went into the studio and gathered up all the material I had for songs that had been left there for several years. At the same time I found odd demos with fragments of songwriting, singing, sound effects, and field recordings from various places. I edited together a tape for myself, for my secret joy. When I played it for some friends at Ghost House they suddenly stopped talking, and I thought they must have been disturbed by this rough, ominous sounding music. But as soon as I moved to stop the tape they asked me to leave it playing, they liked it [and] urged me to release the tapes as soon as possible. I never used to listen to other people’s advice about my own music but this time I obeyed.”
Another Ghost-related side project is Cosmic Invention, featuring a varying line-up of members of various Japanese underground rock groups. Batoh is very supportive of the underground rock scene in Japan, but never enjoyed pop music from his homeland. He told Ptolemaic Terrascope, “The situation regarding popular music in Japan just makes me feel sadness. I never say it’s hopeless, but almost all Japanese popular music has never produced any impression on my mind except for traditional folk. Although there has been a great number of groups, I have found none of them to be unique or interesting. They’re content on following on from American and European movements.”
In 1997, Ghost played a concert featuring a surprise appearance by Damo Suzuki, the Japanese vocalist for the German band Can during the 1970s, a major influence on Ghost. The following year, members of Ghost toured America with the folk-rock duo Damon and Naomi and Tom Rapp, leader of the 1960s folk-rock group Pearls Before Swine, another of the band members’ favorite performers. Those three performers shared the stage at the Terrastock West Festival, sponsored by the U.K. magazine Ptolemaic Terrascope. The set ventured from gentle ballads to avant-garde noise, and was a highlight of the three-day event. Ghost continues to amaze and delighta growing number of fans worldwide, mixing disparate musical traditions and influences into an earthbound yet otherworldly musical stew.
Ghost, PSF, 1991, reissued Drag City, 1997.
“Improvised Yama Tura,” (on Tokyo Flashback Volume 1), PSF, 1991.
“Sun Is Tangging” (on Tokyo Flaskback Volume 2), PSF, 1992.
Second Time Around, PSF, 1992, reissued Drag City, 1997.
Temple Stone, PSF, 1993, reissued Drag City, 1997.
“Images of April” (on From The Dead In Space: A Tribute To Tom Rapp), Magic Eye, 1997.
Lama Rabi Rabi, Drag City, 1997.
“Return To Coimbula” (excerpt on Succour), Flydaddy, 1997.
“Return To Coimbula” (on Alms), Fleece, 1997.
“Moungod Air Cave” / “Guru In The Echo”, Now Sound, 1997.
Masaki Batoh solo
Masaki Batoh, A GhostFrom The Darkened Sea, Now Sound, 1996.
Masaki Batoh, Kikaokubeshi, Now Sound, 1997.
Masaki Batoh, Collected Works, Now Sound, 1997.
(With Masaki Batoh and others), Cosmic Invention, Help Your Satori Mind, Now Sound, 1997.
Ongaku Otaku, Issue 3.
Ptolemaic Terrascope, April, 1993; September, 1997.
The Wire, January, 1997; August, 1997.
http://www.terrascope.org, (September 28, 1998).
http://www.allmusic.com, (September 28, 1998).
Additional information was obtained through press materials from Drag City Records.
- Akakyevich, Akakii his ghost steals coats off people’s backs. [Russ. Lit.: Gogol The Overcoat ]
- Alfonso the murdered prince returns as a ghost to frustrate the usurper and proclaim the true heir. [Br. Lit.: Walpole The Castle of Otranto in Magill I, 124]
- Alonzo the Brave appears as ghost to lover. [Br. Lit.: “Alonzo the Brave” in Walsh Modern, 14]
- Andrea ghost returns to the Spanish court to learn of the events that followed his death. [Br. Drama: The Spanish Tragedy in Magill II, 990]
- Angels of Mons a spectral army of angels that supposedly came between German and British forces (1914). [Br. and Fr. Hist.: Wallechinsky, 447]
- Banquo his ghost appears to Macbeth at a banquet, sitting in Macbeth’s own seat. [Br. Drama: Shakespeare Macbeth ]
- Bhta haunter of cemeteries; attendant of Shiva. [Hindu Myth.: Parrinder, 45]
- Blithe Spirit ghost of witty first wife returns to mock her husband and his second wife. [Br. Drama: Noel Coward Blithe Spirit in On Stage, 236]
- Caesar’s ghost warns Brutus that he and Caesar will meet, again at Phillipi. [Br. Lit.: Shakespeare Julius Caesar ]
- Canterville ghost after haunting an English house for three centuries, disappeared forever when new American owners refused to take him seriously. [Br. Lit.: Oscar Wilde “The Canterville Ghost”]
- Casper meek little ghost who desires only to make friends. [Am. Comics: “Casper the Friendly Ghost” in Horn, 162]
- Devil and Daniel Webster, The Webster defends his client before a jury of the ghosts of American villains. [Am. Lit.: Haydn & Fuller, 382]
- Drury Lane Theater Ghost said to bring great acting success to those who see it. [Br. Folklore: Wallechinsky, 446]
- Epworth Poltergeist supposedly invaded the house of Rev. Samuel Wesley. [Am. Folklore: Wallechinsky, 446]
- Flying Dutchman ghost ship off Cape of Good Hope; sighting it forbodes disaster. [Folklore: Brewer Note-Book, 335]
- Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The New England cottage haunted by the spirit of its 19th-century owner. [Am. TV: Terrace]
- Ghost Goes West, The merry Scottish ghost follows his castle when it is moved to America. [Am. Cinema: Halliwell]
- Ghost of Charles Rosmer , the itinerant peddler returns to the property where he was murdered. [Folklore: Wallechinsky, 446]
- Ghost of Christmas Past , the Scrooge’s first monitor; spirit presenting past. [Br. Lit.: A Christmas Carol ]
- Ghost of Christmas Present , the Scrooge’s second monitor; spirit presenting present. [Br. Lit.: A Christmas Carol ]
- Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, the Scrooge’s third monitor; spirit presenting future. [Br. Lit.: A Christmas Carol ]
- Ghost of Hamlet’s Father , the appears to the prince, states he was murdered by Claudius and demands revenge. [Br. Lit.: Hamlet ]
- Ghost’s Walk, the spirit and step of Lady Morbury Dedlock. [Br. Lit.: Bleak House ]
- Glas, Bodach ghostly bearer of evil tidings. [Br. Lit.: Waverley ]
- Headless Horseman, the phantom who scares Ichabod Crane out of his wits. [Am. Lit.: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories ]
- Homunculus formless spirit of learning. [Ger. Lit.: Faust ]
- Kirby, George and Marian ghosts who occupy Topper’s house. [TV: “Topper” in Terrace II, 381]
- Ligeia months after her own death and the narrator’s remarriage, she materializes upon the death of his second wife. [Am. Lit.: Poe Ligeia ]
- Marley the friendly ghost who helps Ebenezer Scrooge become more benevolent. [Br. Lit.: A Christmas Carol ]
- Mauthe Doog ghostly black spaniel that haunted Peel Castle. [Br. Folklore: Benét, 649]
- Morland, Catherine terrified by imagined ghosts at the medieval abbey where she is a guest. [Br. Lit.: Northanger Abbey in Benét, 720]
- Nighe, Bean ghost of a woman who died in childbirth. [Scot. Folklore: Briggs, 15–16]
- Phantom of the Opera, The deformed man haunts opera house for vengeance. [Am. Cinema: Halliwell, 562]
- Phantom, The mysterious, ghostlike foe of injustice in a mythical African-Asian country. [Am. Comics: Horn, 551]
- Quint, Peter and Miss Jessel former lovers return to haunt house. [Am. Lit.: The Turn of the Screw ]
- Richard III visited by the ghosts of all his victims. [Br. Lit.: Shakespeare Richard III ]
- Ruddigore the ghosts of his ancestors confront the current baronet and change his life. [Br. Opera: Gilbert and Sullivan Ruddigore ]
- Samuel his spirit appears to Saul through the witch of Endor. [O.T.: I Samuel 28:24]
- Short Hoggers of Whittinghame ghost of baby murdered by his mother cannot rest because he is “nameless.” [Br. Folklore: Briggs, 363–364]
- Topper house he purchases is haunted by the young couple who owned it previously and their dog. [Am. Lit., Cin., TV: Topper in Halliwell, 718]
- Vermilion Phantom ghost rumored to have appeared at various times in French history, such as before deaths of Henry IV and Napoleon. [Fr. History: Wallechinsky, 445]
- White House Ghost several people supposedly saw Abraham Lincoln’s ghost there. [Am. Folklore: Wallechinsky, 447]
- White Lady ghost seen in different castles and palaces belonging to Prussia’s royal family. [Prussian Folklore: Brewer Hand-book, 1207]
- White Lady of Avenel “a tutelary spirit.” [Br. Lit.: The Monastery, Brewer Handbook, 1208]
- White Lady of Ireland the domestic spirit of a family; intimates approaching death with shrieks [Irish Folklore: Brewer Handbook, 1208]
- Wild Huntsman spectral hunter with dogs who frequents the Black Forest. [Ger. Folklore: Brewer Handbook, 1207]
British fashion house
Founded: in 1984 by Tanya Sarne. Company History: Opened London shop, 1994; opened flagship London store, 1997; launched G2 collection, 1997; opened boutiques in Paris, Los Angeles, and Amsterdam, 1998; signed licensing agreement with Oliver Goldsmith for eyewear, 1998; introduced shoe and knitwear lines, 1999; launched signature fragrance Ghost, 2000; planned second women's fragrance, 2001-02. Awards: British Apparel Export award, 1992. Company Address: The Chapel, 263 Kensal Rd., London W10 5DB, England.
Stegemeyer, Anne, Who's Who in Fashion, Third Edition, New York,1996.
Fallon, James, "Ghost: Getting the U.S. Spirit," in WWD, 11 January 1993.
Spindler, Amy M., "Color It with Silver and Spice," in the New York Times, 4 November 1993.
"New York Update—Ghost," in WWD, 11 April 1994.
Orlean, Susan, "The Talk of the Town: Fashion Designers Uptown and Downtown Get Ready for This Week's Shows in Bryant Park," in the New Yorker, 7 November 1994.
Fallon, James, "Ghost readies Trendy G2 for Spring-Summer 1997," in WWD, 20 August 1996.
——, "Ghost Focuses on Growth," in WWD, 18 June 1998.
Hammond, Teena, "L.A.'s a Ghost Town," in WWD, 24 June 1998.
"Ghost—Fashion Designer Tanya Sarne," in WWD, 29 September 1998.
Watson, Shane, "Tanya Boards the Ghost Train," from London Life, available online at www.thisislondon.co.uk, 1999.
"Ghost Story," in Soap, Perfumery & Cosmetics, February 2000.
"Fashion Marches On," in WWD, 23 February 2001.***
The British label Ghost was founded in 1984 by Tanya Sarne and has since become a firmly established name in the fashion industry. The company's signature use of flowing fabric, with its softly crinkled look cut in loose, flowing shapes, forms the basis of each collection. Ghost designs are not usually viewed as the cutting edge of fashion; this was particularly true during the power-dressing period of the 1980s, when strict tailoring and padded shoulders were a major element in fashion. A label such as Ghost offered an individual and alternative way of dressing.
Fabrics are the hallmark of each Ghost collection and almost all of them are woven from viscose yarns derived from specially-grown soft wools with a fluid, crêpe-like texture. An intricate process of washing, shrinking, and dyeing is applied to each garment, which is constructed from the unfinished material or "grey cloth" and dyed at the final stage. These "grey cloth" garments are cut several sizes bigger to allow for the ensuing process of shrinking that occurs when the viscose is boiled to the consistency of vintage crêpe fabric.
The traditional dyeing and shrinking process employed by Ghost is rarely used in production today, due to its cost and the fact that it is extremely time-consuming. Another feature of Ghost design is its richly varied use of color, which can achieve great depth on the viscose fabric and changes each season from softest pastels and pale powdery shades to rich autumnal and spicy tones. The signature fabric is also treated with surface decoration such as embroidery, cutwork, and broderie anglaise lace effects. Due to the soft, fluid nature of the fabric, Ghost was initially perceived as being primarily summerwear. Over the years, however, new fabrics have been introduced, such as in the autumn-winter collections which have included quilted satin, velours, and mohair wool mixes.
Like many of its British counterparts, the vast majority of Ghost's business is export, of which America and Japan represent around half of its sales volume (Europe, Australia, the Caribbean, and the Middle East make up the rest). Sarne began selling her designs in New York through high-end department and specialty stores in 1987, and Ghost' winning of the British Apparel Export award in 1992 gave the company a much higher profile. The following year, 1993, Sarne began showing her collections in New York.
According to Sarne, her philosophy of creating clothes (which she describes as "by women, for women,") is the key to the considerable success of the Ghost label and its appeal to a wide-ranging age group. The revolutionary nature of each Ghost collection, which means existing pieces can be added to each season, is another appealing feature of the company's designs and may be the key to dressing in the 1990s. "It's a unique product and very feminine," says Sarne of the Ghost label. "It also has a very 'antipower dressing' stance—a look I believe will only increase in importance as the decade progresses."
Sarne and Ghost were very busy in the mid-and late 1990s. A London store was opened in 1994, followed by a 3,500-foot flagship store three years later. Sarne expanded her design range to include knitwear, eyewear (through a license with Oliver Goldsmith), and shoes. In 1998 came new boutiques in Paris, Amersterdam, and Los Angeles, with future plans for a New York store.
Sarne's lovely, hardly-there viscose dresses have remained a favorite for women around the world, but especially in California. To mark the opening of her Los Angeles shop, Sarne threw a festive bash well attended by the area's glitterati. Though the company's roots are still firmly planted in the UK, Sarne much admires her American clientéle. "Our clothing is perfect for the L.A. climate and the L.A. mentality," Sarne told Women's Wear Daily in June 1998. In New York, stores like Neiman Marcus, Henri Bendel, and Barneys do a brisk business selling Ghost designs, but as Sarne explained, "People in New York think they're trendier and sharper, but our best sales have always been in L.A."
So just who wears Ghost designs? As Sarne told Shane Watson of London Life, from the This is London website in 1999, "I can find any woman a Ghost outfit that will make her look wonderful. Guaranteed, any shape, any size, any age." In 2000 Sarne admirers had a new way to wear Ghost, with the debut of a signature fragrance, with another women's scent planned for the next year or so. Back in London, Sarne and her new head designer, Amy Roberts, showed a winning collection of dresses and separates in February 2001. Women's Wear Daily commented (23 February 2001), "This collection should definitely give the label a boost."
updated by Nelly Rhodes
The moot point is whether ghosts are real or whether they belong in the eye or sixth sense of the beholder. Aside from such epistemological questions regarding the nature of reality, even the question of belief in the ghostly is fraught with ambivalence. For example, while denying that she believed in ghosts, Madame du Deffand admitted to being afraid of them. The reality of such fears is borne out by the evidence of tombstones testifying to those who died of fright after seeing a ghost. Those foolhardy enough to spend the night at London's most famous haunted house at 50 Berkeley Square, for instance, did not always live to tell the tale.
Traditionally being a deceased person who appears to the living, a ghost can also appear as a reanimated corpse or even be a supernatural spirit of a non-human variety or animal spirit phantom, as in Edgar Allan Poe's The Black Cat (1843). Associated often with a particular building, ghosts can be the restless spirits of suicides, those denied a resting place, or those who have met a violent death; hence the grisly apparitions of mutilated or dismembered bodies, like Matthew ‘Monk’ Lewis' Bleeding Nun, or the headless woman, whose image graces many a public house sign across Britain.
Women have been regarded as being particularly sensitive to psychic phenomena. Spiritualism was in vogue for the Victorians, especially since the mechanics of spirit possession involving the female medium, who was overwhelmed by a greater force, reinforced the normative feminine ideal of passive surrender. The empowerment this entailed for women, both mentally and physically, once in the spirit mode was a subversion of the restrictions of femininity. The potential for transgressive behaviour when ‘out of the body’ could manifest itself through blasphemous and obscene language that would drive sitters away from the seance table. Not only could the medium be unruly, but so too could be the spirit or apparition, especially if it turned into a poltergeist which specialized in creating physical disturbances. In Noel Coward's play Blithe Spirit (1941), the troublesome ghost of Elvira appears after a table-rapping session to meddle in her ex-husband's new marriage.
Control over the spirit world through necromancy or the raising of the dead has traversed history from the biblical Witch of Endor, who raises the prophet Samuel's spirit (1 Samuel 28: 11–19) to Aleister Crowley's invocation of the Great God Pan, the result of which allegedly drove him mad. The ghosts of those who died insane or incarcerated against their will have ‘lived on’ to torment their captors and ancestors. Jenny Spinner, after being imprisoned in the East Wing of Knebworth House in Hertfordshire, supposedly worked so hard at her spinning wheel that she went mad. One version of her ‘autobiography’ describes how she faked suicide to effect her escape by impersonating her own ghost. That her ghost was reputed to have haunted the East Wing until it was demolished in 1811 is an irony she had not foreseen. Spinner's story probably inspired a later owner of Knebworth House, Edward Bluwer–Lytton, who wrote the short story The Haunted and the Haunters (1857). At his ancestral home, Bulwer–Lytton entertained Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, fellow ghost story writers, who picnicked at midnight in the tower bedroom, which is reputed to be still haunted.
The origin of the term ‘ghost’ is shrouded in cobweb-like uncertainty, which dates back to pre-Teutonic origins. Like the wailing banshee who is a harbinger of death, the ghost cries out for a narrative context, since even the most disembodied ghost needs to be fleshed out with a ghost story. Apparitions and spectres are the cast of a story-line replayed through time, like the lonely sentinel who haunts Chester's Roman ruins or the hungry ghosts of famine-stricken Ireland. Such phantom theatre is captured best by a narrator reciting a spine-chilling tale in a haunted setting to a receptive audience. Ghosts need ghost stories in order to preserve for themselves their most tangible and enduring after-death existence.
Whether ghosts emanate from some mysterious ectoplasm, or are the product of psychical projection emanating from electromagnetic fields glavanized by certain individuals and generated by certain locations, or are psychosomatic hallucinations, is still unknown. Do the ghost and ancestral spirit stories of so many cultures represent a subconscious challenge to a collective fear of death, or do they express the uncertainty surrounding our individual corporeality? Having survived the advent of the electric light bulb, ghosts appear to be here to stay. Neither do they fear to tread beyond the traditional boundaries of the ivy-covered Gothic ruin. Nowadays psychic investigators and exorcists are invited to hauntings that take place on recently built housing estates. Like Oscar Wilde's eponymous hero in The Canterville Ghost (1887), for whom clanking chains and a creaking suit of armour were passé, the modern ghost is moving into new territory, such as the world of the computer, where its ghostly presence ventures to compete with the virtual realities of cyberspace.
See also ectoplasm.
ghost / gōst/ • n. an apparition of a dead person that is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image: the building is haunted by the ghost of a monk | fig. the ghosts of communism returned to haunt the living. ∎ [as adj.] appearing or manifesting but not actually existing: the Flying Dutchman is the most famous ghost ship. ∎ a faint trace of something: she gave the ghost of a smile. ∎ archaic a spirit or soul. ∎ a faint secondary image produced by a fault in an optical system or on a cathode-ray screen, e.g., by faulty television reception or internal reflection in a mirror or camera. • v. 1. [tr.] act as ghostwriter of (a work): his memoirs were smoothly ghosted by a journalist. 2. [intr.] glide smoothly and effortlessly: they ghosted up the river. PHRASES: the ghost in the machine Philos. the mind viewed as distinct from the body (usually used in a derogatory fashion by critics of dualism). give up the ghost die. ∎ (of a machine) stop working. look as if you have seen a ghost look very pale and shocked. not stand a ghost of a chance have no chance at all.DERIVATIVES: ghost·like / -ˌlīk/ adj.
The word is recorded from Old English (in form gāst) in the sense ‘spirit, soul’, and is of Germanic origin; the gh- spelling occurs first in Caxton, and was probably influenced by Flemish gheest.
Ghost Dance an American Indian religious cult of the second half of the 19th century, based on the performance of a ritual dance, lasting sometimes for several days, which, it was believed, would drive away white people, bring the dead back to life, and restore the traditional lands and way of life. Advocated by the Sioux chief Sitting Bull, the cult was central to the uprising that was crushed at the Battle of Wounded Knee.
ghost in the machine the mind viewed as distinct from the body, a term coined in 1949 by the philosopher Gilbert Ryle for a viewpoint which he regarded as completely misleading.
ghost town a deserted town with few or no remaining inhabitants; typically one which was previously at the centre of a gold-mining site where the vein is now exhausted.
the ghost walks money is available and salaries will paid. The phrase has been explained by the story that an actor playing the ghost of Hamlet's father refused to ‘walk again’ until the cast's overdue salaries had been paid.
ghost word a word recorded in a dictionary or other reference work which is not actually used. The term is first recorded in a paper entitled ‘Report upon ‘.Ghost-words’. ’ by the philologist W. W. Skeat (1835–1912), in which he warned against such inclusions.
give up the ghost die; the literal meaning here is ‘give up the soul or spirit’.
See also Holy Ghost at holy.
ghost town, term for any once flourishing American community that has been abandoned, generally for economic reasons. While most of the towns have little or no population, they often contain old buildings, which may serve as tourist attractions. Many, such as Virginia City, Nev., were gold-mining towns hastily built during a boom. When the gold strike ended, the itinerant prospectors left. Ranking with the largest and most interesting Western ghost towns are Silver City, Idaho; Elkhorn, Mont.; Bodie, Calif.; and St. Elmo, Colo. Other ghost towns were former milling centers, railroad connections, or oil-well communities. In Texas several ghost towns were originally settled by European exiles who emigrated to the United States following the 1848 revolutions. Some, such as Burning Bush, Tex., were religious havens. Many deserted areas of towns have been restored to their original appearance; notable examples are Denver, Colo., Mystic, Conn., Williamsburg, Va., and Harpers Ferry, W.Va.
See D. King, Ghost Towns of Texas (1953); F. S. Blanchard, Ghost Towns of New England (1960); L. Florin, Western Ghost Towns (1961); R. Silverberg, Ghost Towns of the American West (1968).
Ghost ★★★ 1990 (PG-13)
Zucker, known for overboard comedies like “Airplane!” and “Ruthless People,” changed tack and directed this undemanding romantic thriller, which was the surprising top grosser of 1990. Murdered investment consultant Sam Wheast (Swayze) attempts (from somewhere near the hereafter) to protect his lover, Molly (Moore), from imminent danger when he learns he was the victim of a hit gone afoul. Goldberg is medium Oda Mae Brown, who suddenly discovers that the powers she's been faking are real. A winning blend of action, special effects (from Industrial Light and Magic) and romance. 127m/C VHS, DVD . Stephen (Steve) Root, Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Goldwyn, Rick Aviles, Vincent Schiavelli, Gail Boggs, Armelia McQueen, Phil Leeds; D: Jerry Zucker; W: Bruce Joel Rubin; C: Adam Greenberg; M: Maurice Jarre. Oscars ‘90: Orig. Screenplay, Support. Actress (Goldberg); British Acad. ‘90: Support. Actress (Goldberg); Golden Globes ‘91: Support. Actress (Goldberg).