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Spontaneous Psi Phenomena
Record Type: Review   ID: 1316

The Folklore of Ghosts

Davidson, Hilda R. Ellis, & Russell, W.M.S. (Eds.).

 The approach to apparitions taken in this book is that of the folklorist. The concern here is not with the extent to which the manifestations can be taken to be genuine, but to investigate how such stories develop and become embroidered as they are retold. H.R.E. Davidson, in her introduction, states that "in this book an attempt has been made . . . to examine a number of ghost traditions, and to attempt to analyze them, and to see what characteristics emerge when the various studies are put together" (p. viii). The book consists of 11 papers that were part of a conference on the folklore of ghosts held at the University of York in July, 1980. They are divided into three sections, the first consisting of five papers under the heading, "Ghosts in Recent Times." The second, "Ghosts in Perspective," consists of a paper by Claire Russell, and the third section, "Ghosts Through the Ages," contains five papers on ghosts of the past. The paper by Russell points to an intimate connection between the experience of haunts and apparitions and the process of dreaming. She emphasizes the important role played by associations aroused by places and of relationships of the living persons involved. Other papers attest to this observation as well while still others emphasize the role creative imagination plays in descriptions of ghosts and hauntings.
Publisher Information:Cambridge, England: Published for the Folklore Society by D.S. Brewer, 1980. (Distributed in the United States by Biblio Distribution Services, Totowa, NJ.) 271p. Chapter notes
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