IT'S ALL MYSTORICAL: Have A Homeric Halloween?

In one of the world's oldest writings, The Odyssey, attributed to Homer in the 8th century BCE, there is an interesting scene of Hades with dark blood and pale specters. Interestingly, the ghosts are described as, ".. spirit, like a dream, flits away, and hovers to and fro" and elsewhere as "pale and wavering"......

In the midst of his struggle to return home, the hero sacrifices rams and summons one particular shade, but others come as well. They are drawn by the sacrificial blood and the life it represents...spectral moths to a flame of mortality. It is very interesting that this - so old a tale - contains some of the same motifs so common to modern beliefs of ghosts. The ability of the death's shade to move in non-human ways, to appear opaque, and to be drawn to those who can see them. Numerous alleged mediums indicate that this is a danger whenever people play with games or relics designed to contact the dead....the door is opened and there are no guarantees as to what may tag along.....

Surely, the vampiric legends also see their roots in this older image as well....the glistening, dark, rich blood that brings the dead like famished, thirsting wanderers of the dark desert of death.

Stories have always helped humans to describe, define, and decode the mysteries of their existence. People have always loved to gather to hear and share tales of romance, daring, and mystery. So it should not be too unusual that some themes and symbols become common motifs (what folklorists call archetypes) shared by culturally and geographically diverse peoples.
So, as the next season of ghosts and goblins appears, give a nod of the pumpkin juice to one interesting,and very literary forebearer, and have a Homeric halloween.

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