An example of someone who might feel aghast is a person who returns home to find his house has burned down.
Origin of aghast
- Middle English agast past participle of agasten to frighten a- intensive pref. (from Old English ā-) gasten to frighten (from Old English gǣstan) (from gāst ghost)
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Middle English agast, agasted, past participle of agasten (“to terrify”), from Old English prefix a- (compare with Gothic - (us-), German er-, originally meaning "out") + gæstan (“to terrify, torment”): compare Gothic (usgaisjan, “to terrify”, literally “to fix, to root to the spot with terror”); akin to Latin haerere (“to stick fast, cling”). See gaze, hesitate.