Ghost stories have been with humankind for thousands of years. There are written accounts from the Chinese and Greeks, for example, which comprise some of the earliest written records of hauntings. But do people in our modern, well-educated civilization actually believe in ghosts?
The answer seems to be "yes," or at least it does in the US. More than half of the population considers the existence of ghosts as fact, according to a survey taken in 2003. This belief is in spite of the largely questionable and anecdotal scientific evidence. What's more, the poll revealed that few have seen hide or hair of any spiritual beings, but have instead founded their beliefs on TV and movies.
Many popular programs and movies have taken their inspiration from real life accounts, although quite a few of these have turned out false and clearly embellished before Hollywood even took a whack. Other stories have been very much manipulated by Hollywood, and so hardly resemble the original source. Regardless of how the stories have changed, real-life ghosts seem significantly less impressive than those depicted by Hollywood. Objects don't fly across the room, and people aren't possessed by spirits. At best, some describe an unusually creepy feeling, or strange spots of light appear on film, or something is glimpsed out of the corner of their eye.
But TV and movies are a ubiquitous part of today's world. Their affect on people can oftentimes be subtle and subconscious, and slowly influence beliefs, exactly as ghost stories of old.
How about you? Do you believe in ghosts?
Preview some of the lesson material:
Warm Up: Do you agree or disagree? Why?
- Ghosts are real!
- Some people see and/or talk to ghosts.
- I would want to see a ghost someday.
- More than 50% of people around the world believe in ghosts.
- TV programs and movies about ghosts are fantastic!
Fragments: Remember how the fragments were used, and complete the sentence from today's article.
- There are written accounts from the Chinese and Greeks, for example...
- But do people in our modern...
- What's more, the poll revealed that few have seen hide or hair of any spiritual beings, but...
- At best, some describe an unusually creepy feeling, or...
- Their affect on people can oftentimes be subtle and...
post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!
- Do you know anyone who has seen, or think he/she has seen, a ghost? If yes, please explain.
- What would you do if you saw a ghost?
- Do you believe in the paranormal? Why/not?
- How much do you think TV and movies affect your opinions and beliefs? Please explain.
- What are some of your favorite ghost and/or horror movies from Hollywood? Why do you like them?
Google Search: Type "ghosts" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.