The Dead and their Ghostly Baggage of Superstitions

Featured image via the enchanting WhiteWit.Ch.

I haven’t posted an original blog post for a couple of weeks – have been focusing on my fiction, churning out shorts for contests and publications and such, as well as making progress on a lengthier tale. However I’ve been reading up on superstitions, especially superstitious mythology involving the dead, for a new article for Dirge, and while those will remain secret (for now!) I did want to share some other ghoulishly good tidbits I came across.

Firstly, if you ever witness a spectral funeral procession, witness a clock stop ticking time, or see funeral crepe wrapped on the knob of your door that you didn’t put there – beware. This means an imminent death is upon you.

Though, I suppose it’s upon all of us…

If you’re having a bad dream about a certain dead body, perhaps after witnessing a tragic event or maybe you got yourself into a nefarious situation, it is said that touching the dead body you are dwelling on prevents dreaming of it. 

This makes sense, as its myth is rooted in the real. It can be cathartic to actually see and feel one of the dead, especially a loved one, versus imagining them in your head, because our daymares and nightmares are usually worse than the real thing. It’s a very good way to help process grief.

The chips or cuttings of a gallows will cure the ague (malaria) if worn around the neck in a bag, touching the skin. At least one person has to have been executed on the gallows for this to work.

You can tell who murdered someone because if they touch their victim, the victim’s body will bleed from the very touch. 

Someone has walked over the spot of your future grave if you are suddenly taken with the chills. 

Yikes. I experience that one quite frequently.

It is viewed as extremely unlucky to have a dead body aboard a ship. 

Overboard they go.

For more wonderfully entertaining superstitions, I encourage you to get yourself a copy of this charming book: Superstitions: Omens, Charms, Cures from the 16th century.

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