afrit- In arabian mythology, a terrible and dangerous demon, the spirit of a murdered man who seeks to avenge his death. The demon is believed to rise up like smoke from the victims blood that falls to the ground. Its formation can be prevented by driving a new nail into the blood stained ground.
ankou- In the Celtic folklore of Brittany, a death demon that comes to collect the souls of the dead. Tha nakou o0r King of the Dead, is the last person to die in a parish during a year. For the following year, he or she assumes the duty of calling for the dead. Every parish in Brittany has it's own ankous. Personafied as tall, haggard figur whith long white hair or a skeleton with a revolving head capable of seeing everything, everywhere.It drives a spectral cart, accompanied by two ghostly figures on foot, and stops at the house of one who is about to die. There, it either knocks on the door or gives out a moanful wail like an Irish Banshee.
aumakua- In Hawian mythology a family Guardian Spirit god. Tha aumakua are linked to the nature gods and they inhabit everything in nature, similiar to the kami of Shinto. Thay are worshipped and propitiated in order to ansure the protection and well being of the family. They are inherited and have limited jurisdiction within the family. They have laws that must be followed. Transgressions are punushed sometimes for generations.
Offspring of the aumakua can be born into human families. Various legends tell of such people who are endowed with supernatural powers such as the ability to assume shapes of animals, plants and rocks. In this respect they are similar to a totem spirit. They escort souls of the dead safely in the afterlife in a ghostly procession.Know as marchers of the night. According to lore, they take the entire body. I f for any reason the body is not taken, the family prepares the sorpse for burial and its transformation into the aumakua form such as a snake or a shark. It is important to stay on good terms with the aumakua so that the soul does not become abandoned before reaching the land of the dead. Abandoned souls are said to haunt the place where they were left, feeding on spiders and and moths and leading tempted strangers astray, They remain in this limbo until another aumakua takes pity on them and leads them out.
ba- In ancient Egyptian mythology, the vehicle of ascent for after death conciousness. The term ba is often translated as vital force or soul but is a complex concept. According to the Book of the Dead, after death the ba rose up out of the body to regard the corpse. Even though it was drawn toward heaven, it depended for its self conciousness on maintaing a relationship with the body. The body had to remain intact in order for the ba to return to it, Ultimately the ba has to liberate itself from the shadow of the tomb so that it could fully enter the heavenly light. portrayed as having a flacons body with a human head.The Ancient Egyptians believed that a human soul was made up of five element, which is Ren (name), Ba (individual personality), Ka (life force), Sheut (shadow), and Ib (heart).
Ba is one of the important part of the human soul, that makes an individual unique, similar to the notion of ‘personality’ or ‘the person’s individuality’. Egyptian believed that, the ‘Ba’ as an aspect of a soul would live after the body died, and it is sometimes depicted as a human-headed bird flying out of the tomb to join with the ‘Ka’ in the afterlife.
In Egyptian art, the Ba always portrayed as a human-headed bird, usually a human-headed falcon. Ba also often depicted as a winged figure, the Ba-bird, an emblem of the ascension of the soul after death.
bakechochin- In Japanese folklore, a ghost lantern carried by ghost or obake. Bakechochin means haunted lantern. The lantern has eyes and a long tongue protruding from its mouth. It serves as a home for the ghost of people who died with hate still in their hearts and are thus earthbound. If a person mistakenly lights onne of these haunted lanterns the hateful ghost inside will jump out and attack.
banshee - A female Death omen spirit of Ireland and Scotland that attatches itself to families. and manifest itself to herald approaching death.The banshee is most commonly heard singing or crying, In both Ireland and Scotland the banshee is also known as Bean-Nighe or Little Washer-by- the- ford., the latter term comes from the lore that to signal immenent or violent death approaching, she washes the blood stained grave clothes of the deceased in a stream. She is not beautiful but appears evil and mean and deformed.Many of these beliefs were brought to America and settled in the Allegany and Appalacian mountains
barghest- ( or barguest) In English Folklore a spectral hound siad to exist in Cornwall and Northern England. as a death omen, manifests as a bear or large dog. known as Shriker in Lancshire because of the shreiking noise it makes and Trash after the splashing sounds it makes when it walks.
bhut or bhuta - In Indian lore an evil ghost of the dead, especially a man who has died by execution, suicide or accident. detected by its nasal twang, fear of burning turmeric and and the fact that it has no shadow
black shucks and black dogs - Phantom black dogs, or grey dog apparitions sometimes known as black shuck and snarly yow. Prominant in British and American folklore. larger than most dogs, some as big as bears. Often with red or yellow or green eyes. to look into their eyes means certain death within the year. Seen inthe woods and countrysides and graveyards, and especially lonely roads at night. they howl when a person is dying or about to die. They also protect the graves of persons who have died tragic deaths.
bogey - A type of evil spirit or hobgoblin, they travel alone and in groups, and love to make mischief. They go by a variety of names such as Boogey -man, Bu-a-boo and Boggarts. Sometimes synonimus with the Devil. usually described as big, black ugly and works at night and likes to scare children.
bucca from Cornish folklore, a sea spirit that lives among fishermen, both helping them and plaguing them, Originally known as a Celtic sea god who declined to the status of a hobgoblin or demon. To stay in good graces with the bucca fishermen often leave a fish from their catch on the shores, they also toss a piece of bread over their left shoulders and spill a bit of beer on the ground.
buruburu The ghost of fear in Japanese folklore, lurks in forests and graveyards in the form of a shaking old man or woman. sometimes one eyed. Attatches itself to the back of its victims causing a chill to run down the spine. The victim often dies of fright. Variations of this spirit are the zokuzokugami and okubyohgami which posses their victims and cause them to be too afraid to go anywhere.
Ch'iang Shih - chinese folklore, a monster made of evil spirits and unburied corps, which comes to life and wreaks death and havoc. According to Chinese tradition, an unburied corpse is a great danger because it invited inhabitation by the evil spirits and is said to be present everywhere all the time.
churel - In India, a ghost of a woman who died in childbirth or ceremonial impurity. Originally a churel was a ghost of low caste, whose corpse was buried face down to prevent the ghost from escaping. They have reversed feet and no mouth. They haunt squalid places. They can take the shape of beautiful young women in order to ensnare unsuspecting men ad hold them captive until they are old. Areas believed to be haunted by churel are given exorcisms.
In other regions of India their idea of the churel wasn’t so attractive… not even a little bit. This form of churel is absolutely horrible looking. She is always naked and has a black tongue, big gross lips, long sagging boobs, huge sharp teeth, messy dirty hair, a potbelly, long unkempt pubic hair, a pig’s face and claw-like hands. Yea, ugly as hell. This kind of churel lurks in cemeteries, hiding in tombs, coming out to attack those that lived nearby
cypress - Evergreen tree native to the United States, Europe and Asia, associated with death, burial and regeneration and the immortal soul. In biblical lore , an angel gave the cypress to Seth to plant under Adams tongue upon his death. The Egyptians used cypress for mummy cases . The Greeks and Romans associated the cypress with underworl dieties. Athenian heros where buried in cypress coffins. Cypress trees are planted along the borders of many cemeteries.
daimon - In ancient Greek lore an intermediary spirit between humans and the gods. They are either good or evil. A good daimon protects and gives good advice, An evil daimon leads one astray and gives bad advice. Also thought to be angels or guardian spirits.
death omen - Death omens can be signs of nature, accidental happenings, the appearance of animals associated with death such as the raven, rooks, owls and crows and howling dogs.
The appearance of an apparition such as a banshee, phantom vehicles such as hearses and black carraiges pulled by black horses.
demon- also called a fallen angel, that has the ability to interfere with human issues such as disease, misfortune, wealth, bad luck and ruined relationships. In Christianity , all demons are evil and serve the Devil for the purpose of tormenting people and damning souls to hell. In some other cultures demons are both good and evil. ( Greeks) Demons can cause unpleasant hauntings that can lead to possesion of people. They are said to be able to have sex with humans and supposedly summoned and controlled by magic. They create unpleasant poltergeist phenomena wearing down the mind, strength and spirituality of the victim in order to possess them. In some cases they are capable of shape shifting into deceitful forms in order to trick. In possession demons will completely take over the persons body, sometimes altering the voice. they cause vomiting and spitting, unnatural twisting of the limbs, supernormal strength, foaming at the mouth, etc.. The must be exorcised or expelled by a variety of methods, prayer, religious rituals, magical rituals and the ever popular Roman Catholic exorcism.
domovik -from Russian folklore, a household spirit that lives with every family behind the stove. traditionally an ancestoral family member sho watches over the family, protect and does chores, but if made unhappy will cause poltergeist activity and noise. When the family moves they take the wood from the stove to the new home where it is lit to welcome the domovik. Other variations are the Chelvnik who lives inthe barn, the bannik who lives in the bathroom and the ovinnik who lives inthe kitchen.
duppy- Jamaican shadow of a dead person. feared as vampires, melevolent spirits who's breath causes death and illness and seizures. Also known as jumbies. Can be conjured by throwing rum coins onto a grave.
dybbuk- Jewish folklore, an evil spirit or doomed soul that possesses a persons body or soul, speaking through the persons mouth and causing torment, anguish. they are found in both the Bible and the Kabbalah.
Significantly, the spirit is always male and the body is nearly always female. Being possessed by a foreign spirit makes a person’s body and soul behave in uncontrollable ways. In Jewish folklore—deriving from kabbalistic theories of the soul and mystical literature—the spirit of a dead sinner often finds refuge in the bodies of weak, fragile women, women who are not able to handle the expectations of society. Those who are possessed are always from the margins of society—maids, orphan girls who have been set up to wed elderly widowers, or young females whose marriages have been arranged against their will. In today’s etiology we would define this possession as acute depression or socially deviant behavior. Previously it was defined as hysteria.
ekimmu- Ancient Assyrian, evil ghost of one denied entrance to the underworld and doomed to wander the earth. ekimmu means " that which was snatched away" One became an ekimmu by dying a tragic death , murder, in battle or drowning. or recieving an improper burial or none at all. they were greatly feared, could attatch themself to anyone whether they knew them or not and were extremely hard to exorcise.Also said to wail like the Irish banshee.
evocation - The summoning of spirits. In ancient Greece, the calling up of souls. The purpose of evocation being to consult the dead for oracle purposes. Thessalian witches were known for their powers of summoning the dead.
fetch- In Irish and English folklore the term fetch means to see ones double. To see it in the morning meant long life and to see it at night meant the fortelling of ones death.
funayuhrei- Funayūrei - Japanese ghost ship that travels silently at night or in thick fog. Appears suddenly without warning. Meeting one on the sea is fatal. Will cause the ship to turn violently in circles and then sink. If the victims are lucky they drown and if they are unlucky they are captured, tortured and eaten by the isohime, a giant fantastical mermaid that likes to catch survivors in sinking ships.
gashdokuro- Japanese folklore , the ghosts of people who have starved to death. Appears as a giant skeleton up to 15 times larger than person, made up of bones of the starved dead. Roams after midnight and announces itself with ringing in the ears. If you do not run , it will bite off your head with it's giant teeth.
ghoul- A demon of Islamic folklore who feeds on the flesh of human beings, especially travelers, children and corpses stolen from graves. Nocturnal creatures who inhabit graveyards, ruins and other lonely places.
goblins- Small hideous creatures who attatch themselves to households. sometimes good, sometimes mischeivous. Either helpoing with chores at night while the family sleeps or keeping them up all night with poltergeist activity and noise. Goblins who become tiresome can be persuaded to leave by placing flaxseeds on the floor , they get tired of cleaning them up and depart.Associated with All Hallow's Eve where they are said to roam the night when the veil is thinnest between the world of the living and the dead.
Goryo - From Japanese Lore the Goryo are dangerous and vengeful ghosts that have been martyred in life and return for revenge. They can be incredibly powerful: destroying crops or bringing fire, typhoons or earthquakes.
grey ladies- Ghost of women who reportedly died violently for the sake of love. or pined away their life over the loss of love. Sometimes appearing in black, white or blue. Frequently haunting the homes where they lived or died and cemeteries near lovers grave.Often associated with poltergeist activity.
Ignus fatuus- A wide variety of spectral lights. alleged purpose is to herald death or to play tricks on travelers. Ignus fatuss means the foolish fire, because those who follow it are foolish. They appear in blueish flames or yellow globes. also know as candle lights which bob and move mysteriously, usually seen in the countryside at night. When taken as death omens they are known as corpse candles, will' o wisps, dead lights and other names. Frightened travelers know them as jack o lanterns and jenny burnt tails. Lore and legends exist in English, German, Swedish and Native American history and literature.
ikiryoh In Japanese lore, the ikiryoh is a spirit that is born of evil thoughts and feelings harbored by a person. The ikyroh is energized by hatred and becomes powerful enough to leave its source and enter or possess the object of a person's hatred. Once inside it kills the victim by slowly draining the persons energy. the ikiryoh is extremely difficult to exorcise, rites include readings from Buddhist writings.
iron- In Folklore, iron protects against witches, fairies and evil spirits, who are unable to cross it. In India, iron is believed to repel djinn. the demonic children of Lilith and the Devil. In classical times, iron was used to ward off illness and bad luck, which were believed to be caused by evil spirits. , it was especially important in protection of women in childbirth and small sschildren who were more vulnerable to evil than others. Large pieces of cast iron or iron ore were placed at the threshold of dwellings or set in the door frames to prevent undesirables from entering. Amulets, knives buried under the doorsteps, horseshoes and crossed irons all to protect from evil spirits.
While it is thought that iron has little or no effect on ghosts, The Saxons would not put iron rune wands in their cemeteries because they feared it would scare away the spirits of the dead.
kachina- ( In Hopi terms) kachina means " spirit father", "life" or "spirit". Spirit fathers are associated with the dead and bring rain and perform other beneficial functions. In Pueblo Legend the kachina lived in sacred mountains and came down from time to time to visit the people, The people begged the kachina to take the spirits of the dead with them back up the sacred mountains. The kachina grew weary of this task and stopped their visits. So the people began to hold ceremonies where men of the tribes would dress in elaborate costumes and masks and preform kachina dances.
Kan Hotidan- In Native American Lore, Kan Hotidan is a powerful and feared elflike spirit. It lives in tree stumps and cast spells on weary travelers. Kan Hotidan means " Tree Dweller" It was also believed that the elf spirit could bestow magic for successful hunts. Effigies of the elf spirit were kept in a box which symbolized it's tree stump dwelling.
kelpie- Scottish folklore tells tales of a malevolent water spirit that is believed to inhabit lakes and streams. and is considered a death omen if seen. They appear in the shape of a horse and entice weary travelers to mount them, only to plunge into the water and drown their victims. They are considered vicious carnivors and they make sounds like thunder. If a kelpie is seen death by drowning is inevitable and there is no way to stop the event.
kere- In ancient Greece a kere was the spirit of the dead. It was believed that they escaped their pithos ( the jars used to contain thier bodies) and that they devoted themselves to pestering and haunting the living. Rituals and incantations were preformed to exorcise them. In some mythologies they were akin to goddesses of death who escaped for Pandora's box and their main function is to carry off the corpses of the dead. They also bring illness and disease.
lemures - In ancient Rome, spirits of the dead or their sometimes evil ghosts were known as lemures. Romans considered it a curse to die without surviving decendants and those who died in this manner where said to be doomed to become lemures. Other definitions included those who died prematurely and would be trapped on earth as a lemure until their original intended life span was up. This also included victims of murder, violent death, excecutions and drowning. To prevent the return of the lemure, the Romans burned black beans around the tomb as the body was interred.
Excorcisms were preformed on those afflicted by haunting lemures by ceremony of beating drums. Lemures were also celebrated at a three day festival every year known as Lemuria or Lemuralia. This was done in an attempt to appease the spirits of the dead.
manes- also from ancient Rome were considered good spirits of the dead and Di Manes were divine spirits. the term is also associated with the underworld and underworld deities.
necromancy- Is the conjuring or summoning of the dead for prophecy, divination, and magic. It is performed by professional witches, magicians , priests and sorcerers. and has long been considered extremely dangerous. In Ancient Greece necromancers were known as evocators, which literally means " caller of souls". The Bible tells a story of necromancy in the Old Testament Book of I Samuel where King Saul visits the Witch of Endor in order to summon the spirit of Samuel. Samuel was angry at being called forth and he did not give good news . The prophecy of his death and the rise of King David would come to pass just as Samuel prophesied.
Onryo are female ghosts that were abused or neglected by their lovers. They dwell in the physical world after death seeking vengeance. Powerless in life they become strong in death. Strangely enough they rarely harm the lovers who vexed them. From Japanese lore.
preta- Found in Buddist and Hindu lore. In Buddist lore a preta is the spirit of the dead , who occupies a sort of purgatory between lives based on bad karma acummulated during his life.
The preta must remain in this state and work until the karma is balanced. In Hindu belief they are the thumb sized ghost of the dead who remain in the body or near the grave for a year before a special ceremony is held to send the spirit to heaven. Without the ritual the soul could not escape it's preta condition., Preta are also known as the ghosts of cripples and children.
rusalka- In Russian folklore, the rusalka is a female spirit said to have drowned and who haunts the place where she died. Also known as gentle river nymphs in southern Russian. The river nymphs are said to secretly help the fishermen. The are seen bathing in the moonlight on the rivers edge.The original Rusalka is a Russian underwater princess who lives in a palace in the depths of a river or lake. She is always searching for a mortal playmate to share her kingdome with.
As an amphibian she can rome upon land, and she lures children with baskets of goodies and young men with her charms, but she is doomed to remaine alone, for either her partners all drown
toad- In occult lore, the toad is said to be sensitive to the presence of ghosts. It's presence in gardens and near houses is considered to be protective against the supernatural. Folklore implies that toads are the familiar favorite ( demon in the form of animals) of witches. Toads were once captured in England , had their hind legs broken and were placed in a bag and tied around a sick patient's neck, the fate of the frog predicted the fate of the patient. In some areas, toads are considered death omens.
Ubume Japanese Lore- Women that died in childbirth or without making sure their children are provided for in life. The power of their love allows them to stay in the physical world. Usually they come back to help their child in a time of need or leave gifts for children that later turn into dead leaves.
vetela- Is an evil spirit of Indian lore who haunts cemeteries and reanimates corpses. The vetela is demonic in appearance. It has the body of a human but its hands and feet are turned backwards. They live in red stones and like to play tricks on the living.
wells- wells throughout folklore are siad to be passage ways for ghosts and spirits to enter the physical world. If a house or building is built over a well, then it will be haunted. Covering the well is said to confuse the spirits. Water is said to have purifying properties and evil spirits cannot cross running water. Wishing wells and cursing wells came about from folklore related to fairies and spirits supposedly living in the wells.
Zashiki-warashi are Japanese child ghosts who dwell in large well maintained houses. They are mischievous and may play small tricks on the living. However, seeing a zashiki-warashi or having one in your house is considered very lucky and can bring great fortunes.
Research compiled by Angela L MSSPI Research Manager
Encyclopedia of Ghost and Spirits by Rosemary Ellen Guiley 3rd Edition
http://louisagiffard.com/blog.pl?id=9&key=Watercolour barghest specktral hound painting
http://www.vampires.com/men-beware/ churel art and partial definition
Michael Dumas http://www.natureartists.com/artists/artist_artwork.asp?ArtistID=54&ArtworkID=7506