From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
A spectre or specter is a ghostly apparition. It is derived from the Latin spectrum and has been attested in the English language since the early 17th century. By the 19th century, the term was used outside the domain of paranormal phenomena. In 1848 for example, Marx and Engels stated “A spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of Communism.” In 1993 Jacques Derrida referred to the term again when he wrote Spectres of Marx.