What Do You Really Know About Ghosts? Take This Quiz And Find Out!
By Eilis Flynn and Jacquie Rogers
Everyone’s got a personal ghost story, whether they’re believers or not. It’s something that can’t be explained, something that no matter how much rationalization goes into it, remains a bit—off, somehow, sending shivers down your spine. And it’s not just a few people here and there, either. Every culture has its own beliefs about ghosts, and those beliefs say a lot about those cultures. Where there is death, there is a ghost myth. Let us take you on a walk around the world to examine those myths. We’ll be looking at ghosts all around the world starting on Monday, July 7, to July 20, in an online workshop for FF&P. Join us and find out what kind of ghost story spooks you!
But first, find out how much you know about ghosts with this quiz!
Q: When did the first ghost movie come out?
A: 1897. Georges Méliès wrote, directed, and starred in the first ghost movie, Le cabinet de Méphistophélès (The Devil’s Laboratory), in 1897. This movie is very short, but the head of the ghost floats around the room—fodder for many movies to come.
Q: What country can we find the ghostly Robin Hood?
B: Argentina. Argentina had a ghost that was the country’s own Robin Hood who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor—Gaucho Gil!
Q: What American town has a story about a ghost mostly standing in her day room because it was the only place she could relax without her stays when she was alive?
A: San Jose, CA
B: Savannah, GA
C: Galveston, TX
(C) Galveston, TX. Ashton Villa Mansion, built by James Brown before the Civil War, has a notable ghost in the form of Bettie, the owner’s daughter, mistress of the house after his death in 1895. Her ghost is still seen today, standing at the top of the stairs or in her dayroom—the only room where she could relax without her stays.
Q: If you saw backward feet on a corpse in India, what should you do?
A: Rejoice, because there’s good luck coming
B: Clean your glasses, because you can’t be seeing right
(C). Run! Even though general Muslim teaching rejects the existence of ghosts, they are considered to be djinn in Pakistani folklore. Backward feet on a corpse or a suspicious-looking person could indicate a ghost in disguise.
Q: Where can you find vampire ghost myths?
A: Paris, France
C: It’s a trick question, right?
(C). Yes, it’s a trick. There are a few places. The adze, vampire-like ghosts of the Ewe people in Ghana in Africa, suck the blood of small children, but stories about vampire ghosts can also be found throughout Asia Pacific.
Q: Where can you find ghost stories that are a nightmare for dieters?
A: China! The hungry ghost is famous in Chinese culture, but it can also be found in Tibetan culture. In the legend of the Chinese hungry ghost, the ghost is continually starving because it has been cursed with a huge empty stomach but a tiny mouth, so it can never consume enough. There’s even a scary festival devoted to satiate them!
Q: Where can we find ghost weddings?
A: Korea! Because a state of unweddedness can be enough to keep ghosts restless in Korean culture, on occasion “soul weddings” are held for the unmarried departed so the spirits may be at peace. I have no idea what you get ghosts for wedding gifts, though.
Q: If I find an interesting and mysterious lantern in Japan, should I light it?
A: NO! The bakechochin is a lantern with spirits trapped within. They are demon spirits, with long tongues and scary crazy eyes, ghosts of those who died with hate in their hearts. Stay away from these lanterns, because if you try to light one, one of these evil spirits may attack you!
Q: Can you have ghost servants?
A: Of course you can! In the Pacific Rim, shamans are often quite powerful; they can exorcise demon ghosts from the living afflicted and enslave those ghosts to boot. The power of those shamans over the local ghosts are similar to that of the Japanese shikigami, which are ghosts that act as servants to families, passed down through generations.
Q: If I use the word “haint” in the Pacific Rim, will I be understood?
A: Yes, you will! “Hantu” is the general local term for ghosts in this region, and there are hantu of all kinds. There’s the hantu raya (translated as “great ghost”), which is a worker ghost. This kind of ghost is forced to stay close to home. Then there’s the hantu air, which are water spirits that live in rivers or large lakes, often ghosts of those who have drowned on those bodies of water. They have been known to take on the appearance of a floating log to drown or eat people. The hantu laut (the sea spirits) are sympathetic to fishermen and sailors and help them in their time of need. Then there’s the hantu galah, which is usually a female and haunts forests and bamboo groves. Finally, there’s the hantu bungkus, which are the corpses for whom the proper rituals have not been conducted. The Southern term “haint” is a common variation in these parts.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ghosts! Curious? If you want to know more—and there’s LOTS more—Jacquie Rogers and I will be presenting a workshop for FF&P about ghosts around the world from July 7 through 20! Come join us!
More about the Authors:
Eilis Flynn spends most of her days as a copy editor. She also writes fantasies and super-hero romances. Her latest book is the historical fantasy WEAR BLACK. She may be found at eilisflynn.com (writing) or emsflynn.com (editing).
Jacquie Rogers is a former software designer, campaign manager, deli clerk, and cow milker, but has always been a bookworm. Her latest books are the MUCH ADO series, filled with humor, romance, and opinionated animals. She may be found at http://www.jacquierogers.com