Why do ghosts wear sheets?
Updated: Oct 26
Halloween or Samhain on the pagan calendar is said to be the time when the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead are at their thinnest.
Sometimes while looking for image references ... and after viewing many similar images my brain often says I wonder why ... and I then once thought I have to keep hunting to find the answer. People may say these days that Curiosity killed the cat BUT the full phrase is but satisfaction brought it back. It absolutely does.
2 questions haunted me while creating the October wallpapers.
1. Why are ghosts associated with sheets?
2. Where would you haunt if you were a ghost?
1. How is it that you can fling a sheet over your head and be considered a ghost? As soon as I asked my self the question part of the answer drifted into my head...and I was reminded of a winding sheet, something I first heard of in a folk song.
Steeleye Span's Little Sir Hugh Steeleye Span produced a very catchy tune and did a very neat job of editing the creepy murder ballad. I had always thought that the woman in the song was the Queen of Elfland (because she was dressed in green) and she was killing young boys for some weird fae tithe. Many years later I read the Child ballad texts to realise that the "original" is horribly antisemitic. ugh.
OK back to winding sheets- turns out that coffins are for the rich. Everyone else did with a sheet or shroud. A corpse would be wound/wrapped up with a sheet. Head over to the Ghost Story blog for a more detailed story.
2. Now I know from ghost lore that the where of haunting is not usually a choice...but if it were a choice, where would you haunt?
My choice is a library for these reasons: I could read at night because of the ghostly effervescent and extract rare books without ever touching a page ...AND while I love those ladders I wouldn't ever have to use one.
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