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 Mysterious World

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Ian
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PostSubject: Mysterious World   Sat 01 Sep 2007, 12:27 pm

Many of our readers are based in countries outside the United Kingdom. What are the stark differences and similarities between British folklore and legends compared with other parts of the globe?
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Red Don

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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious World   Wed 26 Sep 2007, 6:58 am

How do we compare with Northern France. I must admit I have never heard of a French ghost story, but surely we share some Norman heritage with them. Is it just our Norman castles that are haunted? They also have megalithic structures don't they? What are their legends surrounding these sites like? Sorry I have never been to France and I don't speak French so I don't really know much about MysteriousNormandy.
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LeeWat

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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious World   Wed 10 Oct 2007, 1:01 pm

I really don't like advertising other peoples websites but if you want to see some of Irelands, Frances and Italys megalthic sites look here
http://www.stonepages.com/ but dont look at the rest ok Smile

I recieve a news letter from these chaps and i must admit they do a good job.

Lee.
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Urisk

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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious World   Thu 11 Oct 2007, 3:46 am

Red Don wrote:
How do we compare with Northern France. I must admit I have never heard of a French ghost story, but surely we share some Norman heritage with them. Is it just our Norman castles that are haunted? They also have megalithic structures don't they? What are their legends surrounding these sites like? Sorry I have never been to France and I don't speak French so I don't really know much about MysteriousNormandy.

We share more than just Norman heritage, Red Don Smile The Gauls and the Celts of Britain were rather close, epsecially southern Britain, but the way the tribe kingdoms ebbed and flowed it's hardly surprising that the customs of each tribe were found in quite far flung places.
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Mauro

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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious World   Mon 15 Oct 2007, 3:42 pm

Talking about Celtic heritage there's a very interesting tradition.
After Brittany and the British Islands the areas of Europe which retained the strongest Celtic element are Galicia (Spain) and Lombardy (Italy). Mind you, I am not talking about Gaelic culture but true Celtic heritage. The most visible traditions may have been eradicated by centuries of foreign rule but the Celtic DNA has surely left a mark on these populations (trust me... my mother hails from an Alpine valley in Lombardy and green-eyed, fair-haired folks with light skin make up the bulk of my maternal ancestry).
Anyway both these areas have a very curious and interesting tradition which is called the Santa Compana (the Holy Company).
To put it bluntly, it's a procession of the dead ones. During some particular nights people "with a particular sensibility" could see a column of marchers carrying torches or lit candels. Even those without "the gift" can smell the melted wax and feel a cold breeze.
In some areas the marchers are clad in white capes, in others they sing Christian hymns, in others still they speak an unintelligible language. Most folk traditions agree that the best course of action is to throw oneself on the ground, face down, and stay there until they are well passed.
In Galicia they are led by a living person carrying a wooden cross: this one person is bound to carry out this ritual for the rest of his/her life unless he/she finds someone else (from the same parish) to take over.
In Val Camonica they are believed to be souls being marched to Purgatory but this a very late addition: the Church always had problems fully converting these mountain folks and keeping heresy at bay and still in XVII century the Holy Office found a pagan santuary (supposedly dedicated to Hercules) still secretely used at night by mountain folk near the modern Capo di Ponte. For the Inquisitors it was probably much easier to christianize pagan traditions than try and eradicate them.
This tradition has been explained as a suvival of Celtic traditions: in Galicia the Santa Compana supposedly march towards Cape Finisterre, the ancient Land's End. Most of these folktales agree the souls are marching westward... the Celtic Paradise.
Do you know similar tales from Britain or Ireland?
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Ian
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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious World   Tue 16 Oct 2007, 4:16 pm

That is totally new to me Mauro Very Happy , I have heard the term Holy Company but never really knew what it meant. I am not sure we have anything to compare to that. Ghostly funeral processions are common tales throughout the United Kingdom but descriptions of them tend to make them seem like they are from the Georgian or Victorian era with horse drawn carriages. The site of one is often considered a portent of death. We do, like some other parts of Europe have the tradition of the Wild Hunt which would date back to Celtic roots but it just doesn't seem the same.
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