A bocan was not the only inhabitant of the spirit-world that Donald Ban encountered during his lifetime. A cousin of his mother was said to have been carried off by the fairies, and one night Donald saw him among them, dancing away with all his might.
-from "Donald's Hymn"
Not merely an assortment of spooky ghost stories suitable for a foggy Halloween night-though it is certainly that as well-this is a history of the ghost story told from the perspectives of mythology and anthropology. Written by one of the late 19th century's foremost experts on folklore and first published in 1897, this is an early scientific study of the occult that features some of the best-documented ghost stories from the history of humanity. The chilling case studies examine:
. the deathbed of Louis XIV
. the restraining hand
. the wraith of the czarina
. Sir George Villiers' ghost
. the slaying of Sergeant Davies
. the dream that knocked at the door
. the lady in black
. the dancing devil
. and many, many more.
Also available from Cosimo Classics: Lang's two-volume Myth, Ritual & Religion.
Scottish journalist and author ANDREW LANG (1844-1912), the son of the sheriff-clerk of rural Selkirkshire, was educated at Edinburgh Academy, the Universities of St. Andrews and Glasgow, and Balliol College, Oxford. A contemporary and friend of Robert Louis Stevenson, he produced a stunning variety and number of volumes, including books of poetry, novels, children's books, histories, and biographies, as well as criticism, essays, scholarly works of anthropology, and translations of classical literature.