• Ghosts, a.k.a. chain spelling, is a spoken game for two or more players. The object is to build up letters without completing a word.
  • The first player thinks of a word of three or more letters, and calls out its first letter. The second player, also thinking of a word beginning with that letter, adds another letter which continues towards but does not complete a word, and so on, until one player is forced to finish a word.
  • Any player who adds a letter can be challenged by the next player to say what the word will be. Any player who loses such a challenge, or completes a word, becomes 'a third of a ghost'. When this player loses again, he or she becomes 'two-thirds of a ghost' and the third time becomes 'a whole ghost' and has to drop out ofthe game. Last player standing is the winner.


(4 player game: Anna, Chas, Kate, Tony)
- Anna thinks of the word jet and says J.
- Chas thinks of jester and says E.
- Kate thinks of jettison but cannot say T because that would make a whole word. So she thinks instead of jelly and says L.
- Tony has to say another L, because he cannot think of any word except for jell or jelly. He thus completes a word and he becomes 'one-third of a ghost'. 
- Chas calls out a new letter and a new round begins.

  • In a variation called superghosts, letters can be added at the beginning of a word as well as at the end.


Source: The Oxford A to Z of Word Games (T.Augarde)