What do you call someone who believes in ghosts and ghost stories?

  • 4
    I'm not sure there is any specific word for this. Jul 6 '14 at 12:08
  • 15
    Superstitious covers a multitude of sins. Belief in ghosts is lumped in there with the rest of them. Jul 6 '14 at 12:43
  • 6
    Credulous? Jul 6 '14 at 12:53
  • @CaptainCodeman Aye, but would they notice? :(
    – tchrist
    Jul 6 '14 at 21:20
  • 1
    – Matt
    Sep 3 '14 at 9:22

There is a word eidolism which means a belief in ghosts; see this Google search.

Though it doesn't appear in most dictionaries, and may be one of those words that largely exists only as a definition on esoteric word lists, it does appear in some odd books.

But I couldn’t find any actual usage of the corresponding word you’d expect to refer to a believer in ghosts: eidolist.

  • While eidolon (from Greek εἴδωλον for image, spectre, phantom) is not a particularly common word, it is more common by far than the related term aquastor from Paracelsus. The OED gives derived forms eidolic and eidoloclast. There is some tenuous relationship to idolatry and iconoclast here.
    – tchrist
    Jul 6 '14 at 21:18

If you are an adult and take that subject seriously, you may be called a "spiritualist". If you simply believe they exist and fear their possible appearance, you are "superstitious", even though this word is not specific for ghosts and can be used for several other beliefs which are not based on reason or knowledge.

  • Or "supernaturalist"? Jul 7 '14 at 3:05

I think they are also simply called: Ghost-believers:

Of the 1,000 adults interviewed Dec. 17-18, the HuffPost/YouGov poll revealed 45 percent believe in ghosts, or that the spirits of dead people can come back in certain places and situations. When asked if they believe there's a life after death, 64 percent responded Yes. While 59 percent of adults don't believe they've ever actually seen a ghost, 43 percent also don't think that ghosts or spirits can harm or interact with living


Do you believe in ghosts? I do. If you do, please join this group. Are you an non-believer of ghosts and people keep fighting with you saying there are ghosts out there, then I suggest you to join this group also!

  • 2
    I would hyphenate ghost-believer if I were you. The OED does cite ghost-fearing, ghost-lore, ghost-lover, ghost-monger, ghost-raiser, ghost-seer, ghost-seeing in its entry for ghost — amongst quite a few others.
    – tchrist
    Jul 6 '14 at 21:25
  • 2
    @tchrist you're missing ghost-buster ;) Jul 7 '14 at 5:28

per Wiktionary.com:

apparitionist (pl. apparitionists)

A believer in apparitions.

Related words & phrases

  • I'd be careful with that - if I saw that word used without some strong context, my first guess would be that it meant "a person with power over ghosts", not merely one who believed in their existence.
    – neminem
    Jan 8 '15 at 21:36

Animism (thus animist) covers this sense also.

  1. The belief in the existence of individual spirits that inhabit natural objects and phenomena.
  2. The belief in the existence of spiritual beings that are separable or separate from bodies.

Wikipedia mentions that:

The belief in manifestations of the spirits of the dead is widespread, dating back to animism or ancestor worship in pre-literate cultures.

Also a definition from "Dictionary of the Social Sciences" edited by Craig Calhoun:

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Note: Animism covers believing in both souls and ghosts.

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