In the past few years, reading light novels and the like, I have come across many different terms for ghosts, spirits, monsters, etc. in Japanese, and I'm wondering how they relate to each other. What are the differences? Is there some kind of Venn diagram that illustrates this? An article that describes the differences maybe? Your help is appreciated.
I will list all of the words that I've heard that fit into this category, in no particular order. I'm sure there are more, but these are the ones I can recall.
- 化け物（ばけもの）/ お化け（おばけ）
- 怪物（かいぶつ）/ 怪獣（かいじゅう）
- 魑魅魍魎（ちみもうりょう） (I particularly liked this one)
First Update: I've grouped synonyms as suggested in the answers below, and added one more.
The answers below provide quite a bit of information, but also leave quite a bit unanswered. In @Kafka Fuura's response, 「怪異」 is defined as 「化け物」 or 「変化」 -- so is it an umbrella term, or are these all actually synonyms?
Additionally, 「魑魅魍魎」 are described as 怪物, but then are further defines as "various types of 化物". Does that mean that 怪物 are a subset of 化け物?
I guess what I was wondering is how these groups inter-relate with each other. Can anybody tell me what the taxonomy of these groups is, or at the very least provide some sort of reference which does so (even in Japanese)*?
* One possible such reference is the novel 魍魎の匣, suggested by @Kafka Fuura, but I'd prefer something more detailed.
Second Update: Since my last update, I have come across more information which is relevant to this question, specifically, The Kaii-Youkai Denshou Database.
According to their introduction, 妖怪 are supernatural creatures (examples given include kappa and tengu), while 怪異 are essentially unexplained, strange phenomena. They also say earlier in the introduction that the terms もののけ, 化け物, 変化, etc. are words which were used to refer to 妖怪 and 怪異. So is it safe to say that these two are umbrella terms which encompass everything else?