Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on August 2012

幽霊

yurei
Umbrella term for various ghosts and spirits. Made up of “hazy, faint, dim” and “spirit, soul, ghost”

妖怪

yokai
Collective word for monsters, demons, etc. “Bewitching, mysterious” +
“mystery, wonder”

幽霊屋敷

yurei yashiki
Haunted house

幽霊会社

yurei gaisha
Bogus/paper company

怪談

kaidan
Ghost story. “Mystery, wonder” + “talk, conversation”

霊魂

reikon
Spirit

舟幽霊

funayurei
The kanji (“boat” + “ghost/spirit”) should tell you these poor creeps died at sea, probably drowned, and are set to take you down with them. They’ll come up to your boat and ask for a hishaku (a ladle for scooping out water), then proceed to use said implement to fill your boat up with water until you sink into the depths and join their crew

生き霊

ikiryo
The kanji for “living” and “spirit” convey the idea of a spirit created by a living person (unconsciously or consciously) to act against people for whom they hold intense feelings