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Two women with a spirit The face of a young woman appears over the woman on the right of the photograph. The reverse of the photograph reads: 'Why is the child always pushing to the front?' and 'Do we get messages from the higher spirits?'; perhaps questions the women wanted answering. One of the sitters, at Hope's request, has signed the plate for authentication. Collection of National Media Museum

This 1922 photo is said to show a ghost wedding. The woman is supposedly a nǚ guǐ (女鬼), or ghost woman: a woman who died unmarried has no family and can't become an ancestor, so she returns and haunts. There's a simple solution to the nǚ guǐ hauntings, though: find a man and pay him to marry her. These "profound weddings" (冥婚) are an important function of the Dàoshi, and a kinder form of exorcism.

According to local legend, the staircase at the Greenwood Cemetery in Spokane, Washington, is more than just a little haunted. If you walk up the stairs without any lights on, the story goes, you will see the faces of men, women, and children when you reach the top. Those brave enough to climb the stairs will also hear, they say, the shrieks and cries of the dead and they will feel something akin to rain on their skin.