When any of the ghost-seeing-characters of Haunting Danielle encounters a spirit, the spirit typically looks like it did when he or she was alive—maybe a younger or older version. For a spirit with dramatic flair, like Eva Thorndike, mist or other ghostly special effects might be involved.
But of course, there is another type of ghost—the bedsheet ghost–that classic Halloween costume made from a white bedsheet, with two eyes cut out. I suspect the bedsheet ghost may have inspired the cartoonists behind Casper the Ghost.
But who inspired the bedsheet ghost?
According to an article on The Ghost Story, the white bedsheet ghost evolved from the custom of corpses in early Britain being wrapped in white cloth for burial—typically without a coffin. Therefore, one way to scare people into believing you were the departed—dress up in a sheet-like cloth.
An article on TVTropes tells a similar story, but credits the bedsheet adaptation (inspired by burial shrouds) as a way for an actor in the 1800s to be more easily recognized as a ghost when portraying one on stage.
A Daily Beast article, Who Invented the ‘Bedsheet Ghost’ tells a similar story, crediting the theatre for bringing us the bedsheet ghost.
Since burial shrouds aren’t really a thing anymore—at least not in this country—I’d suspect today’s ghosts would look more like Walt and the other spirits of the Haunting Danielle series.