The Origin of the Sheet Ghost
A person wearing a white sheet to represent a ghost has its roots in poverty. Until relatively recently in Britain, a coffin was a luxury that the lower classes couldn't afford. So, instead of wooden boxes, the poor were buried wrapped in a white sheet. A person wearing a white sheet became synonymous with death, and mischievous pranksters had only to cut eye holes in a sheet to evoke the image of a revenant freshly risen from the grave.