We Are Family
The idea of family ghosts, or ghosts that attach themselves to people and are “inherited” from generation to generation can perhaps be traced back to a time when families remained in one place for longer periods of time. Were these “inherited” ghosts simply ghosts of a place, a castle for example, where all of the bloodline was destined to live? The Irish Banshee is sometimes equated with a family ghost, as at one time this supernatural songstress was said to belong to the original clans of Ireland (from which all Irish bloodlines are descended). In Germany, we find the White Lady, a warning phantasm associated—like the banshee—with those of ancient lineage. She warns her mortal family of impending death and is not attached to place so much as person, as she will follow from town to town as the descendants move. In Austria, a White Woman appears howling on rooftops to warn families that someone in the house below will die within the month. And in Italy there are numerous examples of “inherited” spirits, especially among prominent families of royal lineage. In Venice, for example, the Donati possess a ghost in the form of a disembodied head that floats into the doorway of a doomed family member. But are these ghosts attached to a family or is it that the ability to see them—the second sight, the Shining, the clairvoyance—is actually what is inherited?. Either way, ghosts are no doubt in our DNA.
What ghosts haunt your family? Is it a clan thing?
—an excerpt from Varla Ventura’s Paranormal Parlor: Ghosts, Seances and Tales of True Hauntings
image credit: Annie Spratt via Unsplash