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.
Last week in between bouts of coughing to death and NyQuil induced highs, I tried to tell you all about Consumption, sometimes it’s call the vampire decease. I wrote the post during the few hours I was awake and thought it was scheduled to go out last week. It wasn’t. It’s a good thing because it was so messed up, it didn’t make any sense.
Moral of this story, don’t write while high or dying from consumption. On a side note you’ll all be glad to know I’ve risen again. (wink)
Consumption is what we now call Tuberculosis. In the late 1800’s it was deadly and feared.
Consumption would cause the inflected to become weak, their skin gets pale, and they stop eating. Conditions get worse at night as they cough up blood.
A common belief in Europe and New England was that the deceased would consume the life of their living realitives When various family members would become sick and die, undead activity was blamed.
Some ways to stop attacks were: 1 turn the body over in its grave, and 2 burn organs and decapitate the bodies before re-burial.
The deceased (in the early 1890s) were likely not called vampires by their families. The word Vampire wasn’t common at that time. It was thought that a cure for consumption was to drink a vampire’s blood or a mix of burnt heart (sometimes the liver was included) with water. It didn’t work.