A ghost is considered to be the departed soul of a dead person, which visits its earlier habitat with lifelike features, but in disembodied form. No one has any doubt about the reality of death and most of the people, on account of religious teachings, tribal traditions, or cultural backgrounds believe in the existence of life after death.
Regardless of which school of thought one belongs to, most people are curious about the afterlife. For fact-finding, many people resort to books and movies. The tomb of Khentika Ikhekhi (9-10 Dynasty), bears an inscription, ‘As for all men who shall enter this tomb’¦ I shall seize his neck like a bird’¦I shall cast the fear of myself into him’.
1. Bloody Mary
Bloody Mary is a ghost said to appear in a mirror and attack the eyes of the summoner, if one stands in front of the mirror in pitch dark and says three time, ‘ Bloody Mary, I killed your baby”. It is generally believed that Bloody Mary was a young mother whose baby was stolen from her and she committed suicide out of grief. Bloody Mary is a 2007 movie, written and directed by Richard Valentine. In the movie, a nurse of a psychiatric hospital plays the mirror game with other nurses, releases Bloody Mary and is taken away. She investigates and finds in the end that Bloody Mary was her mother.
2. Vision of Father Katchem
The Amitville Horror (2005 film) starts from the mass murderer Father Katchem. He was a preacher of a weird and mysterious cult. He tortured and killed several Native Americans in the basement of the house; 412 Ocean Avenue. George and his wife Katy Lutz along with her three children from previous marriage move to Ocean House. Soon after they started living there they observed unusual and supernatural events. Weird appearances and writing ‘Cathe’m, Kille’m’ appeared on the walls.. In November 1974, Ronald DeFeo shot dead six members of his family at his home. He shot his parents twice and the children once. He said that a voice urged him to kill them and he told the detectives, ‘Once, I started, I just couldn’t stop. It went so fast’.
3. Captain Daniel; the Ghost and Mrs. Muir
A young widow, Mrs. Muir along with her daughter Anna and maid Martha ,move to a newly rented house, which she later on finds is haunted by its former owner, Daniel Gregg. On Mrs. Muir’s request, the ghost agrees to keep himself known only to her, because Anna is too young for ghostly knowledge. When Mrs. Muir is short of income, the ghost dictates his memoirs under the name ‘Blood and Swash’ which she publishes. Being a best seller, it earns her enough to sustain living in the rental house. She falls in love with the ghost, who advises her to find a living man. Her affiliation with a publisher is a failure. At the time of her death, the ghost appears and hand in hand, they walk out of the gate and disappear into the mist.
4. Sam; The Ghost
Sam Wheat and Molly Jensen are a loving couple, who move to a New York Apartment. During his work, Sam discovers some discrepancies. When he tries to investigate, he is shot dead by Willy Lopez. Sam’s ghost comes out of the dead body and approaching closer to Molly, realizes he is now an imperceptible ghost. Sam comes to know that Carl is behind money laundering and he threatens Sam to kill Molly in case his account closed by Sam and Oda Mae is not returned to him. Sam goes to see Molly and Oda Mae to know of their welfare and then Molly realizes suddenly that she can hear and see Sam. A divine light fills the room and Sam thanks Oda Mae for help. He says farewell to Molly, and vanishes into the hereafter.
5. Slimer; Ghostbusters
Found in the Sedgwick Hotel, Slimer was a legendary ghost, filmed in Ghost buster. Slimer was made of ectoplasm. Ectoplasm is an outer wall of cell contents and is considered to be visible. Rigid and gelled materials emanate from the ghosts during communication with the dead. Slimer was interested only in eating and sliming digested materials out of his body. Since no harm was done by Slimer, the hotel staff kept his presence a closely guarded secret. However after the arrival of Gozer the destructor, Slimer became hyperactive. Finally Slimer’s presence ( along with many other ghosts) was made known to the Ghostbusters in order to get rid of them.
6. Beast; The Poltergiest
Steven and Diane live along with their children, in a suburb of Califonia known as Cuesta Verde. An apparition one day emerges from the TV Screen, and vanishes into the wall causing an intense earthquake in the house. Weird events follow afterward- like the spontaneous breaking of utensils and glasses, as well as deliberate changea of the furniture position. Appearing harmless in the beginning, their severity intensifies progressively until one day the branches of a backyard tree traps the kids. All except the youngest Robbie are rescued from the tree. Robbie is grabbed and taken out of the house. Parapsychologists arrive at the site to investigate the presence of the poltergeist; the ghost responsible for the physical disturbances.
7. The Blair Witch Project
Heather Donahue, Michael McWilliams and Joshua Leonard are film students who go on a tour to make a documentary about the legendary Blair Witch. The set out for Burkittsville, Maryland (which was formerly known as Blair). Along the way, they interview the locals and come to know that a recluse named Rustin Parr kidnapped, tortured and killed seven children in 1940. He asked the first child to face towards the wall and listen to his companion shrieking while being killed. After killing that child, he killed the second in similar way. Rustin Parr went on, killing all the kids one by one, subjecting them to the same unbearable torture. The team then went into the forest, in spite of being warned that the forest was haunted. They lost their way and faced the same fate as one of them photographed a film crew member facing towards the wall and listening to the cries.
Nelson seeks help from his four fellow medical students to know what lies after death .Nelson dies (shows flat line on medical equipment) for one minute ,before being resuscitated.Nelson experiences the other world and sees Bill Mahoney, a boy he bullied during his childhood. The friends experience different visions, and at the end Nelson apologizes for suggesting the plan.
Helen Lyle is conducting a research on urban legends and interviewing the first year students. During the interviews, she comes to know of a local legend called Candy Man. The Candy Man was a son of a slave who became an artist and fell in love with a white woman who became pregnant. He was chased through the plantation. After he was caught his drawing hand was cut off and replaced with a hook, and his body was smeared with honey. The Bees stung and killed him.
According to lore, whoever chants his name five times in front of a mirror can summon him, often at the cost of his or her life. During the research, Helen visits a site of recent murder and comes to know that a boy had been publicly tortured and castrated. Exploring a restroom, Helen is attacked by a gang member, carrying a hook and a Candy Man Autograph. She survives and reports it to the police.
10. Beetle Juice
Barbra and Adam Maitland set out for their New England County Home. While driving, Barbra turns around suddenly to save a dog from being hit. Consequently, she crashes into a covered bridge, and they both fall into the river flowing below. They trace back to their home, traveling through an otherworldly desert full of worms and find their home occupied by new strange residents. They are told to live in that home for 125 years and to scare away the new residents which they can not do because their daughter Lydia can see the ghost couple and befriends them.
It is quite natural that people want to know the reality of the life after death. The famous ghosts portrayed in American films represents an intense societal interest in life after death. Many ghost films stress the importance of familial love and warn against invocations of the supernatural.