10 Ghost Story Tropes and Their Origins

Originally posted by Collider


Belief in ghosts is widespread in folklore and mythology, stretching back thousands of years. Most cultures have legends about the afterlife, including souls lingering on earth after their bodies have perished. In literature, ghosts appear in ancient works like the Oresteia and Homer’s Odyssey.

In the millennia since, ghosts have remained a mainstay in fiction, from the works of Shakespeare to the classic ghost stories of the Victorian era. From the 1920s onward, ghosts appeared in dozens of Hollywood horror movies, often depicted in a sympathetic light. Since the 1970s, movies about ghosts have tended to be horrors or comedies, with the latter frequently subverting the genre’s tropes. It’s a testament to the power of the ghost as an idea that storytellers continue to depict it in books and movies to this day.

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