Do Ghosts Wear Clothes?

Do ghosts wear clothes?

Throughout history, there have been countless sightings of ghosts. From the spirits of ancient Greeks to Civil War soldiers, most of them have one thing in common—they wear clothes. So, yes, ghosts definitely do wear clothes.

This article will explore why they do and introduce you to some of the most famous ghosts and their otherworldly attire.

Why Do Ghosts Wear Human Clothes?

When you think about it, it doesn’t really make that much sense for ghosts to wear clothes. After all, clothes were never living, so why would they reappear along with the astral body of a human?

Yet, it’s actually very rare for paranormal investigators or enthusiasts to spot a ghost in a naked human form. Usually, when a ghost is sighted, it’s wearing clothes. If you’ve ever spotted a spooky image on a ghost camera, it was most likely wearing clothes. But why?

Well, as you might’ve guessed, there are plenty of different theories about this.

One of the most renowned theories comes from Betty DuPont, the director of Paranormal Investigators of New England (PI-NE). She suggests that the living attach emotional energy to the clothes they wear and that this carries over when people die. Here’s what she had to say on the topic:

[Ghosts are] projecting themselves in the way that they last perceived themselves. Even if they burnt in a fire or they died in surgery, they still appear wearing clothing because that’s how they best knew themselves“.

This could explain why ghosts are typically seen wearing clothes from the period in which they lived. For instance, the ghosts of Victorian men are often seen in the tailored suits characteristic of the era.

If we go with DuPont’s theory, the spirit would still perceive itself as wearing the clothes it knew best. Essentially, ghosts wear human clothes because it connects them to their past lives as humans.

Famous Sightings Of Ghosts In Clothes

We stated that ghosts are usually spotted wearing clothes but don’t just take our word for it! Let’s take a close look at some of the most well-known sightings of fully clothed ghosts.

Chillingham Castle

The haunted history of Chillingham Castle sets it apart as one of the spookiest buildings in the UK. It’s said to be home to many different ghosts and (you guessed it) they all wear clothes. In fact, three of the castle’s most famous spirits are closely associated with the clothes they wear:

The Grey Lady

Many of the castle’s guests over the years have reported hearing the silky rustle of a dress in the corridors when nobody else is around. This dress is believed to belong to the ghost of Lady Mary Berkeley who was married to Lord Grey of Wark and Chillingham.

She died in 1719, many years after her husband had abandoned her for her sister, Henrietta. The heartbroken Lady Grey, adorned in her silk dress, still roams the castle to this day.

The Blue Boy

Although he hasn’t been spotted for a century, the Blue Boy is probably Chillingham’s most infamous ghost. He used to appear at midnight in the “Pink Room” of the castle and his appearance was usually accompanied by the noises of a child in pain.

After workmen discovered a young boy’s bones and blue fabric in the walls of the castle, the sightings of the phantom ceased. Pretty spooky, eh?

The Lady in White

This figure is often seen in the pantry of the castle. She’s said to wear a flowing white dress and to beg people for water.

The White Lady is a common form of ghost that has been sighted in places all over the world. In medieval Europe, it was believed that seeing a White Lady meant a member of your family was about to die.

The Red Lady of St James’ Park

This ghost takes the form of a headless lady dressed entirely in red. It’s said that her husband beheaded her and threw her head into the lake in St James’ Park. Since then, there have been several sightings of her ghost appearing and walking towards the lake. Some have speculated that she is searching for her missing head.

Sceptical? We dare you to head to St James’ Park one night with a ghost detector and see what you find!

The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall

The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall is one of the most famous ghosts in the UK as she was supposedly caught on camera by two photographers in 1936. Her name is derived from the brown brocade dress she wears in the photograph.

In the past few years, some paranormal investigators have claimed that the image is the work of fakery—but we’re not so sure. Take a look for yourself and see what you think.

The White Lady of Hellfire Caves

Like the White Lady of Chillingham Castle, a spirit named Suki is said to haunt the caves of West Wycombe Village and has been sighted several times in The George & Dragon pub, wearing a white dress.

The story goes that Suki was a young barmaid who worked at the pub. She annoyed some local boys by falling in love with a gentleman passing through the village. The local boys lured her to a cave where they accidentally killed her and returned her body to the pub.

Hence, there have been numerous sightings of her sitting in her room at the inn, looking forlorn.

Madam Koi Koi

Madam Koi Koi is a ghost who reportedly haunts boarding schools in Nigeria. Those who have seen the ghost report her wearing high heels or a single heel. Over the years, sightings have also been reported in Ghana, South Africa, and Tanzania.

Fashion For The Dead?

Dressing the dead in preparation for the afterlife has been common throughout recorded history. In fact, even the Neanderthals buried their dead with flowers. This ancient custom could be another explanation as to why ghosts wear human clothes.

In more recent times, an industry has developed around designing clothes for the dead or the soon-to-be deceased. The most famous fashion designer for the dead is Pia Interlandi who tailors custom biodegradable burial garments. Her fashion philosophy is “exploring life’s transience” with dissolvable fabrics that are absorbed by the earth after the corpse is buried.

Are you thinking what we’re thinking? There are going to be some pretty fashionable ghosts floating around in a few years time!


Are there any famous naked ghosts?

The short answer is, not many. However, there are some and, interestingly, they mainly seem to be located in the US. One example is the ghost of a naked male inmate who appears in Cell 14D of Alcatraz Prison. Another is the ghost of Alice Mabel Gray, who is said to haunt the shores of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

What clothes do ghosts most commonly wear?

There is no phantom dress code, as such. Ghosts tend to wear the clothes that were common in the time period in which they lived. For instance, the ghost of a Roman senator would most likely sport a toga while an American ghost that lived in the Old West would probably be spotted in a cowboy hat and boots.

Final Thoughts

There are many theories as to why ghosts wear human clothes. The most compelling one (in our opinion) is Betty DuPont’s theory that ghosts perceive themselves as they knew themselves best in their past lives.

If you’d like to catch a glimpse of a ghost in full attire, we’d recommend a visit to one of the eerie locations we mentioned above, such as Chillingham Castle or Raynham Hall. This might convince you once and for all that ghosts do indeed wear clothes!

Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!