If there are eerie goings-on in the neighborhood — and Halloween is still two months off — it could be because Japan's traditional "ghost season" maxes out at this time of the year.

While belief in the afterlife and in wandering spirits kept from peaceful rest can be found anywhere in the world, ghosts in Japan take on a unique persona. Gripping tales of phantasms have been made into Hollywood movies, including the hugely popular "The Ring," serving up story lines featuring grudges, curses and spine-chilling plots.

Following are questions and answers about Japan's ghosts and their background: