The Phantom's Night

A Romanian belief says that on St Andrew"s night ghosts walk on the earth. But what are these ghosts? They are souls belonging to the dead that don"t get "to the other wold" or refuse to return "there" after they visit their relatives during the great holidays. The "dead ghosts" become dangerous for the living :they kill their relates, they bring disasters, hailstones and other sufferings. By the places on which they operate they can be "earth ghosts" ,"water ghosts", "cow ghosts", "rain ghosts" ,and "fire ghosts" .They travel on the land and water, shouting and whining, riding broom or barrels. It is said they dance at crossroads until the cocks sing. They fight with "life ghosts"/ghosts-people/ and on the next day you can recognize them by the marks on their faces. Before getting out of the chimney old hags rub their feet with pork fat. They sometimes ring the bells. If the doors are rubbed with garlic ,the "dead ghosts" can"t get inside the house. They ask the ones inside:‰Have you eaten garlic?‰ If they answer the ghost will make them mute, but if they don"t say a word ,the ghosts will move to another house.
/from Romanian Folk Traditions and Customs-3/

Drawing by Edely Dan

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