The soul when continuing at the expiration of a life is called zhong-yin
shen (or zhong-yin as abbreviated) in Chinese transliteration, intermittent
existence (or intermittent as abbreviated) between death and
reincarnation in Buddhism, thus named the intelligent spirit or soul
that departs from the body on death. The said intermittent lingers in
space for a while before returning to this life via entering the womb.
The procedure normally takes 7 days times 7. If capable of returning
to this life in the destiny of heavens or that of the hells, the procedure,
too, takes 7 days times 7 but in accordance with units of time in both
destinies. And, if capable of returning to this life in the human destiny,
the procedure takes 7 days times 7 in accordance with units of time
on planet earth.
Interpretations of whether there are ghosts or not are varied. Life is
all about transmigration in and out of the six destinies, as the sutras
state, one of which is the destiny of ghosts. The intermittent existence
assumed after death is, however, a transitional medium often taken
for a ghost, which is a misconception.