The Color of Ghosts: White Lady and Grey Lady Meanings
One of the classic forms of ghost within paranormal research and fiction is the white ghost. There are thousands of documented cases describing these apparitions.
The most familiar form is the ‘white lady’, frequently seen in a long dress or cloak. They are often reported in rural areas or lonely roads. Commonly appearing to only one person, the story surrounding the ghost is often that of heartbreak or trauma. People who have encountered a white lady ghost often remark on the feeling that the spirit had something important to say.
The color white may in fact be due to a paranormal phenomena called ecto-mist. These strange fog-like shapes have been caught on video and photographs and are often seen as white whispy smoke. The hazy shape may also lead people to believe that the form is female, when it is possible that the spirit is male. Although not as numerous as ‘white ladies’, there are in fact accounts of ‘white men’ ghosts from many parts of the world. In addition, if the ‘ghost’ is simply an imprint/playback of a person rather than a spirit, over the centuries these recorded pictures of the person will start to fade, turn more grey and then disappear altogether.
Alternatively, ‘white’ ghosts are occasionally attached to families and announce the death of a family member by wailing. But in some cases they are also protectors. The most familiar of these supernatural beings are Scotland’s bean-nighe and Ireland’s banshee .
Grey ghosts are among the most numerous of spirit and residual energy manifestations. When carrying out research there seems to be an equal amount of ‘grey ladies’ and ‘grey men’ or some other form of grey phantom.
As mentioned previously, the UK is one country where apparitions of green ghosts are common. Within folklore, especially of Scotland and Ireland, there are a number of traditional supernatural entities dressed in green. For example elves, leprechauns, faeries and banshees. The banshees were traditionally called, in Scotland the Bean Nighe, and in Ireland the Bean Sidhe. In addition there are much darker legends of Green Lady figures who are demonic in nature. Under their long gown is hidden a hairy body and cloven feet.
But putting folklore traditions aside, there are also many reports of green ghosts that are human in form.
Blue ghosts have been reported for as long as any other apparition. They are perhaps not as common as white or grey ghosts, but their stories are no less unnerving.
Perhaps our minds also have a part to play on both how a spirit will manifest and the way we will witness it. For a long time there has been a theory that suggests that spirit works through the mind via the sub-conscious. If this is the case, then spirit entities will use our own thoughts, images and beliefs to manifest. This could be the reason why so many negative spirits are seen as being black with red eyes for example, since this tends to be a popular image for evil. Indeed if it is the case that spirit is working through the mind, then any manifestations could tell us just as much about ourselves as it does about the spirit.
But could the color of a ghost or entity also be a natural signal? In nature we have a beautiful and stunning lizard called the chameleon. Depending upon its moods – whether distressed, angry, peaceful – it has the ability to show these emotions through color. Could it be that spirits and ghosts have this same capability? Are they trying to communicate their needs through color rather than words?