If there is one constant in Roger Clarke’s informative A Natural History of Ghosts (it might be better called a social history), it is the ghosts themselves. While the living interpretation of what a ghost is or should be is forever changing, the ghost at the centre of it all remains the same. It seems that the apparitions of antiquity were cut from the very same cloth (or winding sheet) as more recent spooks. The ancient Greeks, it seems, where the first to introduce the idea of a ghost as a shrouded apparition mournfully rattling its chains, a couple of millennia before similar spectres could be found wandering through the works of Dickens and Wilde.
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