The crowd-movement cinematically embodying popular religion prompts questions regarding its source, direction and relationship to existing religious structures and their approved leaders. The crowd magnetized by a seemingly miracle-working image is not following officially codified directives. The ghost story furnishes a particularly useful test case because of its privileging by Romanticism, which deployed it to demonstrate the presence of other worlds than those of which the Enlightenment dreamt, yet without committing the believer to any constraining religious system. Despite early twentieth-century cinema's phantomization of the physiognomies of most of its characters, and despite the possibility of describing a medium that had seances in the dark as suspiciously akin to spiritualism, ghosts play only a small part in it. Victor Erice's The Spirit of the Beehive plays out a dialectic of isolation and connection, experience and innocence, magic and realism, monstrosity and spirituality.