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Old 10-05-2005, 07:53 AM
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When did ghosts start rattling chains and moaning?

Has this been an occurence for all times or a creation of the Gothic or Victorian years?

I've always wondered about this every time I see an episode of Scooby Doo.
Old 10-05-2005, 08:03 AM
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Traditional Japanese ghost stories feature spirits moaning.
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Old 10-05-2005, 08:27 AM
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Well, Marley's ghost (in A Christmas Carol) had to drag around a chain of money boxes, but that was a poetic punishment, not just to make spooky noise.
Old 10-05-2005, 08:59 AM
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Perhaps the Marley ghost began the stereotypical chain thing. Anybody know if ghosts had chains before A Christmas Carol?
Old 10-05-2005, 09:12 AM
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Not long ago I read a book of Medieval ghost stories, going from the 700s to the 1400s. It's surprising how far back the ghost story tropes go, including the moaning and groaning, usually associated with a violent death.

The chain rattling goes back even further to ghost stories in Ancient Roman literature. Pliny the Younger wrote a haunted story, circa A.D. 102, with a chain rattling ghost. The ghost's corpse is found in chains. It was believed by the Romans that chains were one of the few ways to keep a ghost from wandering about. A 4th century author asserts,
Quote:
Great, accordingly, are the chains on the ghosts; they tie even the most fleet and elusive apparition tightly to death and bind a soul like the body of a man accused.
Old 10-05-2005, 10:14 AM
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For further reference: Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Sourcebook, by Daniel Ogden.
Old 10-05-2005, 10:20 AM
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Good stuff Walloon, thanks.
Old 10-05-2005, 10:34 AM
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How can a ghost carry chains?

Why does a ghost wear clothes?
How do a dead person's clothes turn into "spirit" clothes?
I would thing ghosts would be nekkid.
Old 10-05-2005, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearflag70
How can a ghost carry chains?

Why does a ghost wear clothes?
How do a dead person's clothes turn into "spirit" clothes?
I would thing ghosts would be nekkid.
"What am I, some sort of blind ghost with clothes ?" - Geordi LaForge.
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