How To Say “Ghost” In Korean

Last Updated on August 10, 2022 by 90 Day Korean
Happy ghost

Boo! Want to hear something spooky? Well then, if you join us for today’s lesson on how to say “ghost” in Korean, you just might! Better keep your lights on and not be near bedtime when you study this lesson with us.

Happy ghost

Just kidding. But still, time to learn how to say “ghost” in Korean with us!

“Ghost” in Korean

In Korea, you can expect ghosts to be the same as what you might already know from your home country. They usually don’t have any legs and float in the air as spirits that have remained in the world of the living. You’ll also often hear about them during Halloween.

Now on to the vocabulary! There are two main words for how to say “ghost” in Korean.

The first word for “ghost” in Korean is 귀신 (gwisin).

This is a very popular word to use for saying “ghost” in Korean and is likely the one you will hear first.

Sample sentence:

요즘 우리 집에서 이상한 일들이 많이 생기고 있어서 귀신이 들리고 있는 것 같아. (yojeum uri jibeseo isanghan ildeuri mani saenggigo isseoseo gwisini deulligo inneun geot gata.)

   There are so many strange things happening in our house these days, it’s like it’s haunted by a ghost.

Note that the sentence above is in the informal version. This style of speaking is only used with friends, family, or others that you’re close with.

The other main word for “ghost” in Korean is 유령 (yuryeong).

In many ways, this word means the same as 귀신 (gwisin), both of which can also be used for the meanings “apparition” and “phantom.” However, of the two, 유령 (yuryeong) may be the fancier and more literary, if possible, option, thus why it is not used as much in everyday speech.

Sample sentence:

이게 무슨 미친 말인가? 유령 같은 것이 없잖아. (ige museun michin maringa? yuryeong gateun geosi eopjana.)

   What kind of crazy talk is this? You know there are no such things as ghosts.

Ghost Picture

Another word for “ghost” in Korean

Another similar word is 혼령 (hollyeong). But instead of  “ghost,” it is better to limit its usage to “spirit” or “phantom.” 영혼 (yeonghon) is its synonym, though it is more typically used to express the word “soul.”

Sample sentence:

제 친구가 10년전에 죽었는데 왜 아직도 친구의 혼령이 붙고 있는 것 같아요? (je chinguga 10nyeonjeone jugeonneunde wae ajikdo chinguui hollyeongi butgo inneun geot gatayo?)

   My friend has already been dead for ten years, so why does it still feel like his ghost is haunting me?

If you’d like to expand your vocabulary, head over this way for more useful Korean words.

Want more Korean phrases? Click here for a complete list!

A word of caution about Romanization

While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet and is not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with Hangeul, life in Korea will suddenly seem so much easier, and the country won’t appear so foreign to you. So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today?

We hope this article didn’t scare you, instead it helped with your Korean vocabulary. If you enjoyed this, or you’ve had any personal spooky experience, let us know in the comments below! If you’d like to level up your Korean vocabulary even further, you can check our article on Korean nouns next!

    6 replies to "How To Say “Ghost” In Korean"

    • Avatar for Zhaira Jesuitas Zhaira Jesuitas

      Thank you so much for this article!!
      감사합니다!!

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Sure, it’s our pleasure. We’re glad that it has been valuable to you. ^^

    • Avatar for Edward Edward

      How do you say ‘ghost-writing’? As in, ‘There’s ghost-writing in the journal’?

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi, Edward! You can say “대필” for “ghost-writing”. ^^

    • Avatar for Elizabeth Elizabeth

      How do i say BOO! in korean?

      • Avatar for 90 Day Korean 90 Day Korean

        Hi, Elizabeth! We don’t have an exact word for ‘boo!’ to scare people. We usually make a sound like ‘워!’ when we try to surprise people. ^^

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