Almost every village in England has several ghost stories attached to it, but these are often accounts or rumours of apparitions, with no beginning or end. A satisfactory ghost story ought to be something more than a mere account of an apparition. Ideally, it should have a beginning and an end as well as a middle. We should learn how the ghost came to haunt the place and how it was laid. A good example is “A Lay Ghost-layer”. This has several points of interest—the ghost in animal form, the method of laying and the widely distributed tale-type 930 A (The Murdered Son) which appears in it. Other tales are of special interest as exhibiting the technique of ghost-laying or illustrating some aspect of folk-belief. Anything hidden ...

Get A Dictionary of British Folk-Tales in the English Language Part B now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.