This is the belief that ghosts can cause illness and death. Many tribal societies and those that follow and animistic approach believe there is a time period, usually a few days where the soul remains close to its body after death.
These few days are dangerous to the living because the ghost is lonely and seeks the living for company. Children, because their souls are weaker, and haven’t attached to the body as firmly, are at higher risk. Ghost sickness is part of the reasons behind so many death and funeral customs.
These arrowhead shaped pieces of flint were used as weapons against animals and people. They were believed to be fatal to cattle. To save a cow that had been shot with an elf-arrow they had to be touched by the arrow, the arrow then needed to be dipped into water and the cow needed to drink the water afterwards.
Sick animals are still said to be elf-shot if they become ill.
If the person were shot with an elf-arrow, they get sick with a mysterious supernatural illness.
In 1560, a Scottish woman was accused of using of elf-arrows. Catherine Ross, Lady Fowllis, along with her son-in-law Hector Munro, and other nameless witches wanted to kill Ross’ husband and Marjorie Campbell, Lady Balnagown. Lady Fowllis wanted to marry Lord Balnagown. The plot was uncovered before anything happened to the victims. Elf-Arrows superstition is strong in Ireland, England, and parts of Scotland.
Curandero and Curandera
In Meso-American, and Hispanic communities medicine man –curandero and medicine women -curandera are Hispanic healers.
Curandero with sacred tools
They’re very different from brujos and brujas male and female witches.
Curandero healings consist of folk psychiatrists -they offer magical cures for emotional and mental troubles by using herbal folk remedies.
Curandera making a remedio
They will clean the soul and if needed return the soul to its body. This could be through exorcism of spirits that are believed to cause the problem.
Curanderos believe most physical illnesses are symptoms of emotional or mental illness. Mind, body, and spirit are all treated together.
Long ago people often blamed bad luck on ill wishing. If two people argued and later one got sick, had an accident, or some other stroke of bad luck the other person was suspected of ill wishing.
More so, if one said, “You’ll be sorry”. Those three words were taken seriously and anyone who uttered them was immediately suspected of witchcraft.
Sometimes arguments weren’t the cause of suspected ill wishing. If someone had a good deal of good fortune but it suddenly went away, they believed their neighbors had secretly ill wished them.
Ill wishing could be cured by finding a witch or cunning folk. Often the cunning man or women or witch would break or neutralize the ill wishing with a charm. If the ill-wisher wasn’t known divination could be used to reveal their identity.
Duppy originated in Jamaican lore. A vampiric spirit or benevolent spirit created by the shadow of the dead person. They’re feared because their breath can cause illness and if you’re touched, “Duppy boxing” can cause seizures.
In Caribbean lore, Duppies are called Jumbies.
You can conjure a Duppy by throwing Rum coins into a grave. They attack the living and cause poltergeist activities once raised.