Why Do Ghosts Wear Clothes at all, at all, at all…?

If you look at the popularizations of ghosts, ghost-like phenomena (whatever that means, Scott), and many other things, you can see that most ghosts seemed to have an enjoyment in wearing clothing.

Horror movie scene with a girl dressed in white in a desolated house; Shutterstock ID 149780201; PO: 1259; Job: ghosts

John Keats had a poem called La Belle Dame Sans Merci, which translates by my reading as “The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy,” A few lines as follows: 

She took me to her Elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lullèd me asleep,
And there I dreamed—Ah! woe betide!—
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.

 I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!’

 I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.

Thanks for scaring the crap out of people, Keats.

I don’t know about you, but this seems a little bit suspicious to me. Even though these kinds of stories and narratives based on the subjective experiences of individuals (which likely happen) can bring about lovely poetry and tall tales, these seem rather thin in evidence and content other than the elaborations of the reports and the legends and mythos that surrounds them.

I have a natural philosophical bent, so this means that I have a certain bias towards the general scientific and natural epistemological perspective on the world. In other words, my perspective is biased towards modern science, updated natural philosophy, with testability, predictability, and peer review.

If you look at some of the photographs interspersed throughout this article, you can see the clothing that is reported to be worn by these ghosts. It just seems weird. It just seems weird that people would come back in the clothing that they were wearing at the time of their death. Some might speculate that this is some form of immortal soul. How is this an immortal soul taking their clothing with them? Why clothing? Why that clothing from that period of time?

Most of the research I have done on supernatural ghost sightings seem to have them clothed in some type of Victorian-era clothing. Where are the ones in just jeans and t-shirts?

download (4)

These so called ghosts in clothes have inspired some eery clothing designs like Dead Castle Project – a Sydney-based label – is well-known for combining a variety of styles in their collections from surf to skate to grunge and its 2012 Spring/Summer collection is no exception. Featuring plenty of black, the models in the graveyards appear disinterested and unperturbed by the fact that they are surrounded by dead bodies inches beneath the surface. This collection by Dead Castle Project is also infused with a slight dose of badass and authority as showcased in the tee-shirt that reads ‘Cool Kids Can’t Die.”


Paranormal investigators seem to have a hard time telling us why ghosts even wear clothing. So, would people that died then begin to wear just that one outfit? That seems sustainable and within the whole concept of buying less and having better. It would also be the first natural fibre never to bio-degrade – really, really degrade completely and utterly. Textiles in the afterlife, who woulda thunk? That’s all for now.

And as with everything written, I could be wrong, incredibly wrong – think for yourself and come to your own conclusions.


Related articles


About the Author

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping and gardening, and runs In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal.

One thought on “Why Do Ghosts Wear Clothes at all, at all, at all…?

  1. Pingback: Ghosts and Other Unprovables, and Fashion too! –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.