The insubstantial remains of the dead, a phantom without a body or the power of thought. This was the form in which the newly deceased congregated on the infernal shore of the River Styx, awaiting passage in the boat of Charon the ferryman to the kingdom of Hades, ruler of the Underworld. Those who lacked the proper bribe for Charon were condemned to wander the near bank of the river Styx for eternity. [When inside the Underworld the shades are comparable to chaff drifting about in an everlasting way.]
Even those who gained their passage had little to look forward to except a bleak and bloodless existence.