I've always loved well-done ghosts. However, I've always hated the afterlife-speculation that they engender if used in a story. So I need a way to get ghosts without the fluffy spiritualistic bits. This is not a value judgement on the afterlife, I just don't want to cheapen the concept with easy answers.
If we can get a purely 'materialistic' ghost, some sort of system to preserve and project the memory of a person or important event, that would make me much happier.
What defines an acceptable ghost:
- Must be perceivable, and if possible by multiple people simultaneously.
- Must be immaterial in some sense (i.e you probably should not be able to grab it by the collar) Nonetheless, I would like my ghosts to be able to generate sound.
- Must resemble some formerly living person in some essential aspect (visage, patterns of behavior, speech if possible). I would love it if they were partially sentient/aware and thus interactive and endowed with a deceased person's memories (at least up to a point), so they would (mis-)recognize people and could be persuaded to share their secrets.
- This is not vital, but if they need to be
killedput to rest, I would love for a way to do so.
So, how do you construct a ghost?
EDIT: I was asked if I wanted mere ghosts (not necessarily visible) or full-fledged apparitions (visible). If you feel you have a good answer that would necessarily render ghosts invisible, I'm listening.