Belief in ghosts in European folklore is characterized by the recurring fear of "returning" or revenant deceased which may harm the living. This includes the Scandinavian gjenganger, the Romanian strigoi, the Serbian vampir, the Greek vrykolakas, etc. British folklore is particularly notable for its numerous haunted locations.
Popular folklore has always been dismissed as superstition by the educated elite, but belief in the soul and an afterlife remained near universal until the emergence of atheism in the 18th century "Age of Enlightenment." In the 19th century, spiritism resurrected "belief in ghosts" as the object of systematic inquiry, and popular opinion in Western culture remains divided.
White ladies were reported to appear in many rural areas, and supposed to have died tragically or suffered trauma in life. White Lady legends are found around the world. Common to many of them is the theme of losing or being betrayed by a husband or fiancé. They are often associated with an individual family line, as a harbinger of death. When one of these ghosts is seen it indicates that someone in the family is going to die, similar to a banshee.