Revenants are the dead who return from the grave. “Revenant,” a term common in earlier times, once was a common synonym for Ghost. Nearly all civilizations have, at least at some time during history, held the belief in the ability of the dead to return to the world of the living. Humans and animals can be revenants. 

Revenants take various forms, from filmy beings (the modern concept of ghosts) to solid forms that appear to be living, until they abruptly disappear. 

In Irish lore, revenants include living corpses, bodies that revive in order to briefly partake of their own funerals. Vampires also may be considered revenants.

The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits – Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley  – September 1, 2007

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