From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!
As children, we used to recite this little Scottish poem at night, with a little shiver. What did the long-leggedy beasties look like, I wondered to myself. Were they hiding in our bedroom cupboard, or were they creeping around on the roof?
I realize that I grew up with ghosts (or duppies, as Jamaicans would call them). My grandmother used to talk about the supernatural a great deal, and had a perfectly huge repertoire of superstitions and fears. “You shouldn’t wear green,” she would tell us. “It’s the fairies’ color and they will get jealous.” (Fairies are not necessarily nice, at all). Old Nick would…
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