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Ghost (Привидение)






A ghost is said to be the apparition [видение; привидение, призрак] of a dead person. They are usually seen to be similar in appearance to that person, and are often encountered in places he or she frequented [часто посещать, бывать], or in association with the person's former belongings. The word "ghost" may also refer to the spirit or soul of a deceased person, or any spirit or demon. Ghosts are often associated with hauntings [жить, обитать; являться (о привидении)], which is, according to the Parapsychological Association, "the more or less regular occurrence of paranormal phenomena associated with a particular locality (especially a building) and usually attributed to the activities of a discarnate [безтелесный] entity; the phenomena may include apparitions, poltergeist disturbances [волнения, беспорядки], sounds of footsteps and voices, and various odors [запах (обычно неприятный)]."


Ghosts are a controversial [спорный, сомнительный] anomalous phenomenon. According to a poll conducted in 2005 by the Gallup Organization, about 32% of Americans believe in the existence of ghosts. The term ghost has been replaced by apparition in parapsychology, because the word ghost is deemed [думать; полагать, считать] insufficiently precise.


Historical background The belief in ghosts as souls of the departed is closely related to the ancient concept of animism [анимизм (одушевление явлений природы; вера в существование душ и духов)], which attributed souls to everything in nature, including human beings, animals, plants, rocks, etc. As the nineteenth-century anthropologist James Frazer explained in his classic work, The Golden Bough [сук], souls were seen as the creature within that animated body:


"If a man lives and moves, it can only be because he has a little man or animal inside, who moves him. The animal inside the animal, the man inside the man, is the soul. And as the activity of an animal or man is explained by the presence of the soul, so the repose [отдых] of sleep or death is explained by its absence; sleep or trance being the temporary, death being the permanent absence of the soul... "


Although the human soul was sometimes symbolically or literally depicted in ancient cultures as a bird or other animal, it was widely held that the soul was an exact reproduction of the body in every feature, even down to clothing the person wore. This is depicted in artwork from various ancient cultures, including such works as the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which shows deceased people in the afterlife appearing much as they did before death, including the style of dress.


Another widespread belief concerning ghosts is that they were composed of a misty, airy, or subtle [тонкий; едва уловимый] material. Anthropologists speculate that this may also stem from early beliefs that ghosts were the person within the person, most noticeable in ancient cultures as a person's breath, which upon exhaling in colder climates appears visibly as a white mist. This belief may have also fostered [благоприятствовать] the metaphorical meaning of "breath" in certain languages, such as the Latin spiritus and the Greek pneuma, which by analogy became extended to mean the soul. In the Bible, God is depicted as animating Adam with a breath.


Although the evidence for ghosts is largely anecdotal, the belief in ghosts throughout history has remained widespread and persistent.


In many historical accounts [сообщение], ghosts were thought to be deceased people looking for vengeance [месть], or imprisoned on earth for bad things they did during life. Most cultures have ghost stories in their mythologies. Many stories from the Middle Ages and the Romantic era rely on the macabre [жуткий] and the fantastic, and ghosts are a major theme in literature from those eras.


Ghost stories date back to ancient times, and can be found in many different cultures.


Many Eastern religious traditions also subscribe to [присоединяться к] the concept of ghosts. The Hebrew Torah and the Bible contain few references to ghosts, associating spiritism with forbidden occult activities. In the New Testament, Jesus has to persuade the Disciples that he is not a ghost following the resurrection. In a similar vein [подобным образом], Jesus' followers at first believe him to be a ghost when they see him walking on water.


Critics of "eyewitness ghost sightings" suggest that limitations of human perception and ordinary physical explanations can account for such sightings; for example, air pressure changes in a home causing doors to slam, or lights from a passing car reflected through a window at night. Pareidolia [парейдолические иллюзии (зрительные иллюзии фантастического содержания)], an innate tendency to recognize patterns in random perceptions, can cause people to believe they have seen ghosts. Reports of ghosts "seen out of the corner of the eye" may be accounted for by the sensitivity of human peripheral vision. According to skeptical investigator Joe Nickell: ...peripheral vision is very sensitive and can easily mislead, especially late at night, when the brain is tired and more likely to misinterpret sights and sounds.


Sound is thought to be another cause of supposed sightings. Frequencies lower than 20 hertz are called infrasound and are normally inaudible, but scientists Richard Lord and Richard Wiseman have concluded that infrasound can cause humans to experience bizarre feelings in a room, such as anxiety, extreme sorrow or even the chills.


Carbon monoxide [угарный газ] poisoning, which can cause changes in perception of the visual and auditory systems, was recognized as a possible explanation for haunted houses as early as 1921.


Another potential explanation of apparitions is that they are hypnagogic [гипнагогический (относящийся к состоянию засыпания, напр. о галлюцинациях)] hallucinations.


The traditional perception of ghosts wearing clothing is considered illogical by some researchers, given the supposed spiritual nature of ghosts, suggesting that the basis of what a ghost is said to look like and consist of is quite dependent on preconceptions made by society. Skeptics also say that, to date, there is no credible scientific evidence that any location is inhabited by spirits of the dead.


Источник: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost




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