- Parent Category: Upper-Intermediate News Lessons
- Category: Holiday Lessons
- Written by Chris Cotter
Ghost stories have been with humankind for thousands of years. There are written accounts from the Chinese and Greeks, for example, which make up some of the earliest writings of hauntings. But do people in our modern, well-educated civilization actually believe in ghosts?
In the United States, the answer seems to be "yes." According to a survey taken in 2003, more than half of the population considers ghosts are real. The belief is in spite of the questionable scientific evidence. The poll also revealed that few people have ever seen any spiritual being, and have simply based their beliefs on TV and movies.
Many popular programs and movies have been inspired by real-life ghost stories. However, many have turned out to be false and exaggerated before Hollywood even rewrote the story. Others have been manipulated by Hollywood so much that they don't even look like the original tale. But it doesn't matter so much how Hollywood has changed the ghost stories, because the real-life ones seem much less remarkable. Objects don't fly across the room, and people aren't possessed by spirits. At best, some describe a creepy feeling, or see strange spots of light on film, or see something out of the corner of their eye.
But TV and movies are everywhere in today's world, so they often subtly affect people. They influence society's beliefs, the same as ghost stories did long ago.
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, which...
- According to a survey taken in 2003...
- The poll also revealed that few people have ever seen any spiritual being, and...
- But it doesn't matter so much how Hollywood has changed the ghost stories, because...
- At best, some describe a creepy feeling, or...
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.