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We left off establishing that ghosts look as they did in life, meaning they look like themselves and not like a puff of smoke or a shadowy figure gliding along in the distance. And we will assume therefore, that their appearance would mirror their aspect as it was at the end of their life. Which means Great Uncle Ed wouldn’t manifest as he looked at age fourteen when he in fact passed on at age seventy-four. Add to that, say he died fully dressed in an 1884 bankers’ meeting in New York City. No point in assuming then that he’ll appear to observers in 2014 in his night shirt–or in skinny jeans and a tank top (scary stuff in its own right). The logical progression then, when it comes to determining what a ghost looks like, leads to appearance at time of death.

Sure, Ed died of a sudden heart attack. Quickly and almost painlessly passing on. But what about Uncle Wally who died in a shoot-out outside a movie theater in 1934? He may have been a dapper dresser, but his aspect at death would be a great deal nastier than old Uncle Ed’s. Would we see Wally as he died? Bloodied with horror writ plainly on his face? Well, according to some researchers it all depends on what we mean by “ghost”.

We will discuss “what is a ghost” in the next post.

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