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Haunting Myths


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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Is it fair to say that there are some myths about the origins of ghosts and how they appear?  Such as ghosts glow in the dark.  They only come out at night.  They won't appear if you don't believe.  I was wondering whether we can come up with a list of them and discuss whether they are really myths or whether there is evidence to support them.

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Red Don
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What about Poltergiests are

What about Poltergiests are associated with young or pre teen children?  Is this a myth or a fact?

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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There is also the

There is also the myth...well I hope it is, that ghosts are made from ectoplasm.  Come to think of it I did come across some investigators discussing how best to preserve any ectoplasm they might come across and I think the general consensus was tupperware and a fridge.

Mauro
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An idea which is becoming

An idea which is becoming fashionable nowadays is that ghosts are made of "energy" left over from their past lives. Please do not ask which type of "energy" is, how it's conseved and which natural laws it obeys since people talking about this get invariably confused after a few minutes and I am not the most patient listener.
Another myth which comes to my mind right now is the belief (picked up and much developed by T.C. Lethbridge) that hauntings always happen near some water, be it the sea, a lake, a stream, a well or an acquifer. 
And what about the belief that dabbling with the occult will attract all kind of supernatural "visitors", usually malevolent?
Finally (I cannot remember any more right now) how about hauntings set in motions by a new family moving in a previously un-haunted home?

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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I haven't heard about the

I haven't heard about the ghosts by water one before Mauro :)  Hard to disprove unless we get ghosts in a desert I suppose :)

I suppose there are loads of myths attached to Oui Ja boards to.

What about when places are getting renovated, the activity provokes haunting type phenomena?  Myth or is there some truth to it? 

Mauro
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I have no idea when the

I have no idea when the ghost-water relationship came to light. Lethbridge made it popular back in the '40s and '50s and it stuck ever since.
Renovation works are a classic trigger event, probably because they are (well, if you believe in ghosts being disincarnate spirits) believed to interrupt the deserved rest of the dead.
Another triggering event which may be a variant of the renovation works is disturbance of the grave, sarcophagus, churchyard etc. Old Jimmy from London is a typical case.
Yet another event is some particular event: in some legends Herne appears in Windsor Park when a member of the Royal family is about to die and the US (I think Texas) the ghost of mounted conquistador in battle armor appears each time the US are about to wage war.
Finally some ghosts may be "tickled" into action by performing some kind of ritual. In Digby there's the tomb of one Robert Cooke: if you run around it twelve times in anticlockwise fashion "ghostly noise" will issue from the tomb...

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


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BaronIveagh
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I read Mauro's post and

I read Mauro's post and think of the Green Woman of Dunstaffnage (which is both at a set time and by water), which brings me to another myth about ghosts that I've run into.

Seeing Ghosts is bad luck / bodes misfortune.   This one is the biggest pain to deal with in some communities when trying to work a case.  Witnesses will clam up like Al Capone is in town, as people who were named as present at a sighting will refuse to speak about it (neither confirming nor denying someone else's story) as speaking of it might bring it back.

The other problem myth is 'all ghosts are demons trying to confuse us" which can be a endemic belief in highly religious communities and tends to also silence witnesses.  I remember one occasion I was accused of being in league with the devil for investigating such things.

Summum Nec Metuam Diem Nec Optima

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Agricola
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 Another myth, previously

 Another myth, previously mentioned in another threat is that green ladies are green, blue ladies are blue, etc.

A slight aside is the popular belief that ley lines are 'energy paths'. Alfred Watkins had initially observed that certain monuments lined up. The energy path idea is relatively recent.



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