Ghosts, poltergeists, and demons: What’s the difference?

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It’s a vast and paranormal world out there, and life only gets more exciting when you’re open to embracing the unknown. Horror fans are the best at this, and for those who love all things supernatural, maybe it’s time you learned the difference between beings like ghosts, poltergeists, and demons? Aside from being frightening, they are also fascinating, and whether you’re haunted by one or feel empowered by their energy, this blog will allow you to make sense of each respective entities’ capabilities! 

What are the characteristics of a ghost?

While the typical ghost costume will consist of a plain white sheet, fitted with some eye holes and chilling tassels, it’s important to keep in mind that this is only a traditional horror film and TV show portrayal. Ghosts are said to be the spirit of a human or animal who has since passed away, which means that while they’re often illustrated as white, floating entities, most ghosts look like their past living forms. When a living being dies with unfinished business, their spirit tends to linger between worlds, their hauntings usually triggered by a sudden, violent, or traumatic death. Ghosts will make themselves known to the living to give news/say goodbye to their loved ones or in some cases, help to catch their killers. Aside from a sighting, they are also said to be able to speak, change the temperature of a room, and even bring odor with their presence. Nevertheless, while these troubled souls are scary, they are not dangerous or malevolent unless the spirit was an evil person in their earthly life. 

What are some other reasons you may face interactions with a ghost?

  • Some are disturbed by their own violent end and stuck between realms.
  • Some are extremely unwilling to accept death. 
  • Some genuinely do not know they are dead. 
  • Some are quite obsessed with their living property (house, car, or other heirlooms). Ghosts can haunt objects, not just places. 

If you suspect that you’re being haunted by a ghost, be on the lookout for the following signs:

  • Sudden, inexplicable cold chills
  • Foul, unexplained odors
  • Feel as if you’re being watched
  • Hearing strange noises or voices
  • Items being moved throughout your home without explanation

If you’re a fellow kooky lover of all things paranormal, buy some horror collectibles online to inspire a haunting in your crypt! 

What are the characteristics of a poltergeist?

Fans of the horror genre may be familiar with the term poltergeist, especially if they have seen the film of the same name. However, did you know that the word itself translates to “noisy ghost”? Keeping in mind that the majority of ghosts are harmless… some were evil in their past life, which is why this subcategory of ghost exists. While some people define poltergeists as a unique type of ghost or spirit, others believe they are kinetic energy, as ghosts are generally unable to break through to the physical realm to cause disturbances, such as throwing or breaking objects, or punch, bite, hit, and trip the living. 

Needless to say, these entities have some other distinguishing traits: 

  • They are typically not visible.
  • They are extremely angry and violent.
  • They possess the ability to interact with your physical environment. 
  • They feed directly off your emotional state.
  • They can travel and are known to follow energy or a person rather than occupying a particular space. 

What are the characteristics of a demon?

You don’t need to lead a religious life to know about the existence of demons. Fans of the genre can buy horror collectibles online in their image, and they’re totally chilling when put on display. So, for those of you who have recently started your collection, it’s time for you to learn about why everyone loves, and quite possibly fears, demons and possessions! 

Demons are defined as a supernatural being, and while they’re typically associated with evil, their prevalence exists historically throughout various religions, occults, literature, mythology, folklore, and most recently, in popular horror movies and TV series. Widely considered to be insidious or malevolent in nature, demons are often referred to as “fallen angels” or “lower gods” who yield supernatural powers. While they tend to feed off emotional energy around fear and anger, their potential for physical and mental destruction is far greater than that of a poltergeist, as demons can manifest themselves within people to coax living beings to commit evil. 

Persuasive and tempting, demonic possession can happen to anyone who suffers from the following: 

  • Vulnerable
  • Emotionally-troubled
  • Desperate for help
  • Unable to think clearly

While a person must invite the demon before demonic possession can occur, anyone suffering from the above can be easily convinced due to emotional or physical weaknesses making them unable to deny the powerful temptations that are being offered by the demon. 

What type of supernatural being is your favorite to witness in horror films? Drop a comment below to compare with other readers.

2 thoughts on “Ghosts, poltergeists, and demons: What’s the difference?”

  1. Rachel says:

    Great read! Personally, watching Poltergeists in action in movies is somewhat thrilling and exciting, but demons have to take the winning place today (e.g The Conjuring, Annabelle and The Boy part 2)

    1. Nightmare Toys says:

      Thanks for your comment, Rachel. It’s definitely hard to pick a favorite when they’re so many great films!

      – The Nightmare Toys’ Team

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