This was originally published on Medium in October, 2014.
~ A ~
Loner ghost. Haunts outsiders and introverts. Or at least it totally would but it’s kind of busy right now and needs some alone time.
These ghosts can assume both physical and spectral forms. While a few have distinguished themselves within intelligence agencies, most are extremely vain and have been known to haunt salons for decades at a time.
What most ghosts are to solid objects, solid objects are to angeists. They’re pretty much everyday ghosts, but with a lot more destruction.
Space. Ghosts. Space ghosts. Need I say more?
Ghosts that feed off of conflict, auseinandergeists possess the ability to perfectly mimic voices, a talent they use primarily to foster arguments
Extremely claustrophobic ghosts, außengeists have been known historically to haunt forests, but have lately taken up residence in city parks.
~ B ~
Particularly agoraphobic ghosts, binnengeists have proven resilient to exorcism. If your house is haunted by a binnengeist, you might as well just move.
Occasionally, a person will pass into the spectral phase without dying. Aside from technically being alive, biogeists are wholly unremarkable and annoyingly self-involved.
~ D ~
The most unsettling fact about dröhnegeists is that their distinguishing characteristic — an eternal, unbroken scream — begins not after death, but leads to it. Research has not yet uncovered what terror inspires this response, but the sight of its effect comes close.
~ E ~
“WoooOOOooo… I am the ghost that walks alone!” Einzelgeists have to be reminded daily that, in fact, most ghosts haunt alone.
Confined for centuries to manifest as ball lightning in thunder storms, elektrogeists now haunt the power grid, facilitating the work of other ghosts by triggering blackouts.
Centaurs, dragons, sorcerers, and other beings of immense power, having shed their physical form, join the ranks of the erzgeist. Above haunting and the like, the erzgeist orchestrate spectral initiatives spanning continents and centuries.
~ F ~
The formal descriptor for everyday ghosts.
These ghosts have evaded all known forms of elimination, and spectral pattern analysis suggests individual fortgeists dating back thousands of years.
~ G ~
Though ancient writings speak of The Gegengeist as a solitary figure bent on the destruction of all ghosts, modern pneumology speculates rather that gegengeists occur with a rarity comparable to that of antimatter.
~ H ~
A title of authority, rather than a classification of ghosts, “Haupgeist” has been applied to kings of ghosts, ghosts of kings, and (more recently) ghost bureaucrats. N.B. _never_ call an erzgeist a hauptgeist.
The clean-up crew. These ghosts haunt in the aftermath of other ghosts, making sure that people come up with rational explanations for paranormal phenomena. Somewhat snobbish, they particularly dislike poltergeists
By the light of our sun, a ghost casts no shadow. However, concentrated exposure to the light of Rho Coronae Borealis, a twin to our sun found in the northern crown, has been known to produce a spectral shadow, known as a hypogeist. Once cast, hypogeists haunt the shadows of rather more substantial beings.
~ K ~
Like the headless horsemen, but hopelessly romantic, kardiogeists haunt the poetry aisles of bookstores, their hearts held in their outstretched hands. Recent scandals have emerged (much to the delight of other kardiogeists) as an increasing number of these ghosts have been discovered haunting teen romance aisles.
An incredibly common ghost, the küchengeist never haunts alone. In fact, they do very little haunting at all. Instead, they set up shop in the haunts of another, more motivated ghost. Having attached themselves to an item of furniture (often an armchair), they begin to nag the resident ghost, offering unsolicited advice by the bucket load. Though relatively harmless, their main danger lies in the unpredictability with which the resident ghosts react.
We’ve all seen them, the Facebook profile that never got taken down, the Skype indicator that flashed green when it had no business doing so, the mysterious up-vote on a joke that only the two of you ever shared. We pour ourselves into the internet in life, and we leave bits behind in death.
~ M ~
The ghosts of mailmen, meldegeists haunt envelopes and packages, eternally vigilant. The nobler ghosts of this order consider it their duty to protect mailmen against rain, sleet, snow, dark of night and whatnot, but many simply act out revenge upon dogs.
Generic term for the living.
Humans are far from the only living species to pass into the spectral phase. Recent advancements in pneumology have discovered the existence of mykogeists, the ghosts of fungus.
Since the death of Cain, the spirits of the most transgressive figures in human history have been condemned to roam over the earth, watching society heal and move on, out of reach and powerless to reach out. Government research in the early 1970’s labeled these spirits mondgeists after corroborating folklore placing the location of their banishment on the moon.
~ N ~
In the field of evolutionary pneumology, a continuum of spectral development is described, from the first afterglows of life and other prägeists to modern ghosts, with nachgeist as the speculated next stage of paranormal evolution.
IT’S SITTING NEXT TO YOU RIGHT NOW. Well, I mean there’s always a chance.
Curses, undying revenge, binding promises, unsolved problems, and a general lack of fulfillment can all trap the spirit or essence of a living creature within this world after the death of its physical form. Still other circumstances can bring about the opposite fate, sustaining the body in absence of its spirit. Examples of these reanimated corpses, known formally as nichtgeists, include zombies, draugar, osteogeists, and revenants.
Generic term for all sub-rational ghosts, including mykogeists, phytogeists, tierischgeists, and most prägeists. Also used informally as an insult.
~ O ~
Knight’s Law of Codependence states that in the simultaneous deaths of a group of symbiotic lifeforms, their essences may be bound to the physical world as a single ghost. In 1843, Dr. Ambrosius Knight made his first steps towards the codependence hypothesis while studying the death patterns of coral reefs. The ghosts discovered in his research have since been labeled ökogeists, as they are effectively the ghosts of entire ecosystems.
Like sharks to the scent of blood, osteogeists are drawn to the aura of death. Appearing in the moments before and after death, osteogeists have come to be regarded universally as ill omens or even the embodiment of death itself. Spurred on by their reputation, many osteogeists have developed a sense of theatricality, arming themselves with scythes and draping their skeletal forms in hooded, black robes.
~ P ~
A speculated corollary of Knight’s Law, motivated by the precepts that on a cosmic scale all life is symbiotic and all death is simultaneous, is the existence of a pangeist. That is, that all ghosts are in fact only one ghost.
Prior to the discovery of mykogeists, there was a broad acceptance of phytogeists, particularly the ghosts of trees. N.B. außengeists are not to be confused with phytogeists. In fact, the ghosts of trees are far more likely to haunt furniture stores and carpenters’ shops than forests.
Attention. Without it, none could live, and for it, some die. Those who die for it, believing wholeheartedly that they never received it, drag on this madness through death and in time are dragged by it into a frenzy of contradiction, eternally demanding attention, eternally denying it.
Early paranormal phenomena now categorized as precursors to modern ghosts. The first discernible prägeists were simple lingering presences that lasted for no more than a few days after death.
~ R ~
Amidst all their legendary strength and lumbering power, it is easy to overlook the challenges of being a giant. Even the smallest of giants can only hope to squeeze through a doorway without smashing it to bits, and you’d be hard pressed to find any giant entirely comfortable with itself. For this reason, most giants remain as ghosts after death, relishing the loss of physical form.
~ S ~
I wish I could come up with a good in-law joke for this. You’ll wish you hadn’t made quite so many jokes about your in-laws.
Generic term for uncategorized or unconfirmed paranormal phenomena.
The most common application of Knight’s Law to human life can be observed readily in the death patterns of overly attached couples. From the morbid infatuation of youth to the undying devotion of old age, the suppositions of the law are met with fervor, and the spirits of the deceased prove as inseparable in death as in life.
~ T ~
For millennia, reports of luminous apparitions wreathed in flame have followed the path of destruction left by burnings at the stake. In allusion to the practice of crowning convicted heretics with straw sprinkled with sulfur, these spirits have been given the designation thiogeist.
The characteristics of tiergeists, the ghosts of animals, have been remarkably well-documented in folklore and superstition. Chief among them is a sensitivity to events of statistical improbability. Perhaps the most legendary subtype is the katzegeist, the shadowy remnants of cats now remembered as omens of luck, good or ill.
~ U ~
The origin of every übergeist is the same; an ordinary human, an ordinary hero, struck down by every obstacle in life until finally struck down in death — only to rise again, imbued with supernatural powers! So completely deluded by their own narrative, übergeists are to a one beyond persuasion, and typically find a suitably dramatic lair to haunt whilst they imagine all the heroism they’ll eventually perform once a good opportunity comes along.
Life, when ended incompletely, can linger on past death as an incorporeal spirt or a reanimated corpse (that is, as a nichtgeist). Though all such ghosts are inherently of the dead, they are by that same token forever tied to life. The ungeists, beings of animated matter, eschew this dichotomy altogether. Of greatest renown is the legendary Golem of Prague, said to have possessed the power to summon spirits from beyond. Modern pneumology speculates that an ungeist functions as a sort of negative spirit, and is thusly able to summon spirits in a process akin to magnetism.
The only ghosts more delusional than übergeists are their minions (or more properly, groupies), the untergeists.
Äther, the Urgeist, first of all ghosts, is revered as the first spirit to survive in totality after death. The identity of Äther’s former self is lost to time, but it is understood that as he was altogether insignificant in life, he forsook his name and styled himself Äther in death. To this day, ghosts will claim to have witnessed the Urgeist in the spectral plane, but no credible sighting has been reported since the 13th century.
~ V ~
More than a few philosophers, most notably Plato, have believed in the pre-existence of the human soul. In the field of pneumology, this theory has been advanced as the Vorgeist Conjecture.
The ghosts of real-estate agents, vordergeists identify houses desirable as haunts and assist in the creation of appropriately chilling backstories for new homehaunters.
~ W ~
No truly exciting haunt is complete without risk, and no risk is complete without a crew of disposables! Readymade, interchangeable, faceless spirits fresh off the assembly line — exercise ‘em, exorcise ‘em! Available at your local Walmart.
Corpses, over the ages, have come to be valued rather highly as vessels for any number of demons and otherworldly spirits. A body, no longer burdened by a need to survive, can be recast in the image of its parasitic, paranormal host. It is thus that many vampires command the power of therianthropy, twisting the necrotic host beyond all recognition.
~ Z ~
The universal origin of ghosts lies in a lack of resolution, that is, in some element of self held in tension. Though most modern ghosts are complete spirits, the earliest prägeists were no more than the slightest portion of a soul left unresolved. Even today, such phenomena can be observed in the dröhnegeists, distillations of sheer terror. A counterpoint to Knight’s Law proposes that within a single soul, multiple mutually independent elements of tension can be manifested in death as distinct ghosts. Each of these zergeists is incapable of recognizing its siblings, and the group typically disperses within a day.
In studying the separation of an individual into body and spirit, a few rare cases have been observed in which both survive independently, as a Nichtgeist and a Feld-Wald-und-Wiesen-geist respectively.