As the title suggests, all ghosts are spirits, but not all spirits are ghosts. You may be wondering how this can be, well, I will explain it.
Spirits can come in many different forms. Ghosts can be defined as the spirit of a person or animal, that generally doesn’t know it’s deceased. Ghosts tend to stem from sudden, violent, or unexpected death. They may hang around until they get used to the idea of being deceased or to take care of unfinished business that resulted from their sudden death but not always, in my experience.
But while ghosts are a type of spirit, not all spirits can be a ghost. A spirit can be once human or animal, but it can also be an angel, demon, or other type of entity that never achieved human or animal form.
Non human entities for the purpose of this article will only refer to the spirits that do not have bodies and never had bodies. We have the demonic, which, fortunately, are rare and most generally only encountered when deliberately sought out, and then there are angels and spirits yet to gain a body and be born or have one. (Non human entities can also be animals of course.)
Furthermore, there are different types of hauntings to complicate matters. You may ask yourself if certain types of animals can become ghosts or spirits you may be wondering why you don’t see ghosts of dinosaurs wandering about. There are many theories out there, but I have no explanation for it. For that matter nobody has actually reported seeing a caveman ghost either, but that doesn’t mean that somewhere there’s not one lurking about either. I personally believe that they are only around for a certain period of time before they either dissipate or their energy runs dry, or maybe they just move on to another realm of existence that we cannot begin to understand or explain. By a similar token, nobody yet understands how and why residual haunts happen. Residual haunts are usually ghosts or spirits that are not aware of anything, and cannot and do not react to any presences. They simply repeat actions over and over. The environment will record an event somehow, much the way you’d record data with a pen, paper, or recording device, and the data will replay like an old movie. Certain types of environmental factors however seem to be instrumental in this: limestone, water, and lots of high electromagnetic charged particles in the area may actually have something to do with it, but that’s not been determined. It is one thing paranormal investigators work to try to figure out. Many theories abound about this too, my personal favorite being that it might be some sort of time travel technology or a vision into another dimension. Until we develop the technology to figure this out, we’ll never know why this happens but it does. Residual hauntings are startling, as these are most likely to produce an actual apparition. But they cannot and do not hurt the living because they are not even aware that you’re observing them.
Intelligent haunts are the ones where these spirits will interact. These are the ones who will talk back on EVP, manipulate objects, and let the living know they are around.
So I hope this helps clear up some of the differences for everyone. Happy Halloween!