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Ooh! Sounds like paranormal phenomena.
Rupert Giles[src]

Spirit was a disembodied essence or a spectral entity of supernatural nature. The many types of spirits include ghosts, poltergeists, vengeful spirits, apparitions, and manifested spirits.

This concept also referred to a vital or animating force within a living being.[1][2]



It doesn't know exactly what it wants. That's the problem. Many times the spirit is plagued by all manner of worldly troubles. But, being dead, it has no way to make its peace. So it lashes out. Growing ever more confused, ever more angry.
―Rupert Giles[src]

A ghost was the spirit of a deceased being, still walking on Earth for having unresolved issues. A ghost would move to another plane after having their problem solved or being subjected to exorcism.[3]


Main article: Poltergeist

A poltergeist could be a violent ghost, not only able to wreak havoc using telekinesis, reality alteration, and possession. They could either be ghosts of people that had passed[3] or mere apparitions.[4]

Vengeance spirits[]

Spirits of the dead that came to be in order to seek bloody vengeance after years of unrest. They could take corporeal form and be banished only by their own weapons. An example of a vengeance spirit was Hus and the Chumash Warriors.[5]


Apparitions were entities born out of raw emotion and pent-up energy, instead of ghosts of deceased people. They manifested as poltergeists that fed on physical energy and drew it from the living world, until the living participants died. An example included the Lowell House poltergeists, which were in the form of the children's raw emotions, despite these same children being alive as adults.[4]

Manifested spirits[]

Manifested spirits were corporeal beings resembling deceased humans at the point of death, summoned and controlled by a talisman. Destroying the talisman would destroy the spirits.[6]

Physiology and powers[]

From what I've read, having a ghost pass through you is a singular experience. It's cold, amorphous feeling, makes your hair stand on end.
Rupert Giles[src]

A ghost could only be visible to the human eye with ectoplasm. They also absorbed heat and made the area around them a few degrees colder. When Spike was rendered incorporeal following the Battle at the Hellmouth, Winifred Burkle's scans indicated that Spike was technically not a ghost: he lacked ectoplasm, radiated body heat, and had detectable brainwaves, so there seemed to be different kinds of disembodied spirits other than ghosts.[7]

Different cultures displayed different takes on ghosts. An example was the Japanese ghosts had no feet and were drawn to water.[citation needed]

Though incorporeal, ghosts and other such non-corporeal beings were capable of limited interaction with the physical world through intense concentration.[8]

They could turn invisible, phase through solids like objects and people, and use telekinesis. When they were stuck on a loop, they could also influence minds by possessing people into forcing them to repeat an act, which had doomed them in the first place.[3][9] They could also warp reality by summoning and conjuring up monstrous hands, wasps, and snakes.[3]

Known spirits[]


Buffy the Vampire Slayer