In the world I create for the characters in my novels, Spirits and Ghosts are not the same thing. Spirits retain their memories, personalities, etc., while Ghosts are just a splinter of their former selves.

The division happens just after a person dies and spots the lighted path, to which all are drawn. Most float down the path and disappear into the light, never returning to this realm. Sometimes, however, entities become aware of the path and resist its pull.

When the entire entity leaves the lighted path, an intact spirit results. On the other hand, when only a part of the entity fights the light and breaks off, the part of the individual that remains in this realm becomes a ghost of its former self.

Spirits can travel to any place they went while they were alive and at times, can enter the dreams of the living to share memories from their lifetime. Ghosts, however, are left in this realm without the majority of their memories. Confused and often angry/evil, they tend to haunt the location of their death or the one place to which they are inexplicably drawn.