What is the difference between a ghost and a spirit?
Some people confuse the difference between ghosts and spirits. What are they, and what is the difference?
The common misconception is that ghosts haunt somewhere while spirits dwell in another location. But this is not a fair distinction as many ghosts are associated with their own property or even move on to some other place altogether while spirits roam from place to place. The truth about the difference lies in their origins: Ghosts have an earthly origin, while spirits derive from other worlds such as heaven or hell. This makes them different; one cannot be dead without being a ghost, whereas a spirit can be alive but not human-born (i.e., heavenly). Ghosts generally have a very human form (at least from the waist up) and can be 5′ or taller, while spirits are usually described as being shorter than humans. Ghosts are also identified with locations where they died or were killed, whereas spirits have no physical location. This is because ghosts have an earthly origin, being buried somewhere near where they died; spirits have some other source of life, so they cannot be buried or killed in one place without losing their connection to the spirit realm.
While not all ghosts are spirits, all spirits are ghosts. Spirits are souls who have died but are not ready to move on from the world; they remain earthbound until completing some unfinished business or purpose (i.e., coming through for someone in need) or suffer a traumatic demise (i.e., sudden shock). The state of being a spirit is in between the place where the soul is meant to be (heaven or hell) and the earth. Spirits are not always visible, but they can interact with people who can see them (psychics or mediums). Ghosts are souls that have been tied to a place for any number of reasons (some emotional, some having to do with unfinished business), and cannot leave until their tether to that place has been severed. Most ghosts appear as they did when they died; others manifest themselves in different ways, sometimes as animals that had been close to them in life. Some spirits communicate through psychics; others simply give a nod or wink or something of that sort if it is appropriate.