Even ancient Greeks and Romans enjoyed spooky ghost stories

November 14th, 2007 - 2:36 am ICT by admin  
“Ghost stories have been popular for thousands of years, and there are many reasons why people enjoy them and enjoy being scared by them,” says Professor Debbie Felton, who studies the folklore of the supernatural.

She wrote a book entitled ‘Haunted Greece and Rome: Ghost Stories from Classical Antiquity’ in 1999, whereby she revealed how similar the thrilling stories of ancient Greek and Roman times were to many of the modern ghost stories.

“For example, the Roman author Pliny the Younger, in a letter to a friend of his that has survived the centuries, tells a wonderful little ghost story about a haunted house in Athens,” she says.

“It’s a prototypical haunted house story: the horrific ghost of an old man scares everyone away, the house is deserted and falling into disrepair. Finally a brave man comes along who dares to spend the night in the house. He is not afraid of the ghost, and instead realizes the phantom wants to communicate. He follows the ghost to a spot where it disappears; he digs up the spot, finds bones, buries them with the proper rituals, and the ghost never appears again,” she adds.

Felton is now writing another book titled ‘Things That Went Bump in the Night: Strange Stories from Ancient Greece and Rome’, to be published by University of Texas Press.

She appreciates the scary stories from antiquity a lot.

“I think these Roman stories are great, and most people don’t realize that ghost and werewolf stories like these were being told 2,000 years ago,” she says. (ANI)

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