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The Beat of Gaia's Heart

Guest Blogger: Pamela K. Kinney and her new book on ghosts

Please welcome my guest blogger today, Pamela K. Kinney. Her new book is on the haunted regions of Virginia, and she has graciously written a blog post today about ghosts -- a topic that has fascinated mankind for millennia. She has also provided us with a glimpse into the past with an excerpt from her book.

Take it away, Pamela! Readers, read on....

Things That Go Bump in the Night, or the Ghosts That Haunt Us

“History has a way of causing hauntings.”
Pamela K. Kinney (Virginia's Haunted Historic Triangle: Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, and Other Haunted Locations)

Today, people are interested in the paranormal. Thanks to TV shows like X-Files, Ghost hunters, and many other paranormal reality shows and shows on true ghost stories, many are trooping out to form paranormal investigating groups to learn more about the specters that haunt our world. Even those who are not participating in “ghost hunting” for real are interested in “life after death.” In the mortal world, with so many worries of economy and day-to-day troubles, maybe some proof, no mater how small, shows us the next world after death will not be so bad. I know for me, it’s a sort of comfort food as for many others. Whoever thought something Halloween scary and goes bump in the night would be something that gives comfort to those alive?

Ghost comes from the Old English gást, which in turn, came from Common Germanic term, gaistaz. The pre-Germanic form was ghoisdo-s, denoting "fury, anger" reflected in Old Norse geisa "to rage." In Germanic paganism, "Germanic Mercury," and the later Odin, was at the same time the conductor of the dead and the "lord of fury" leading the Wild Hunt. The Old English word is used as a synonym of Latin spiritus meaning "breath, blast" from the earliest attestations (9th century). It could also denote any good or evil spirit, like angels and demons. The Anglo-Saxon gospel refers to the demonic possession of Matthew 12:43 as se unclæna gast.  Read More