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A ghost is a spirit, energy, spiritual personality or an apparition of the dead person. Some people have very strong attachments or feelings about certain things or issues. Others have very unusual, harrowing and emotional experiences at the time of their death.  Their souls cannot forget their strong attachments or experiences. They, therefore, continue to carry the painful memories of their past life even after they leave the body. (In most cases the soul of a person forgets all about the past life.)

These special souls continue to hover around those places where they lived and try to settle their accounts with  people  with whom interacted in the past life. They try to influence their lives and cause them to behave in strange manner. Sometimes, they make them sick with unusual and incurable diseases.

This is, however, not to suggest that all ghosts act with retributive or evil intentions. Some keep hovering around their loved ones because they cannot forget them and try to help them as well.

In some cases people who die suddenly, tragically, traumatically or violently often get too shocked, disoriented. They can’t believe-- can’t come to terms with the fact-- that they are dead. They kind of get stuck at the cusp of life and death.
They, therefore, continue to live in or hover around the premises that they inhabited, loved and worked in when they were alive. They cannot give up their ownership of the place they lived in.

Sometimes, the ghosts do not haunt a house or the premises for its own sake. They do so because it was forcibly built at the site that was actually their property. They continue to haunt the places since they are so emotionally involved with them that they cannot forget them.

In other cases, they hang around the people they were deeply in love with when they were alive. The spirits of some dead mothers continue to visit their children. Or, the ghosts of some lovers visit their loved ones. 
On the negative side, ghosts also continue to haunt people they hated so much in their life. They, therefore, want to take revenge for acts that they deemed were committed unjustifiably against them.

Ghosts appear in the same body that they had when they were alive. So, the people who see them can often identify them unless the ghosts had been living there before the person was born. Ghosts are known to stick to their habitats for centuries. The Tower of London is one such place which continues to be habited by the ghosts of princes and princesses who were executed here in cold blood.

Ghosts are known never to rest in peace and they continue to repeat their acts, whether of love or hatred until they are freed by some kind-hearted people such as psychics who take pity on them. It is also true that the ghosts themselves also wish to be released from the kind of bondage they feel they are in even if it is bond of love since they feel restless all the time.