cairn A heap of stones used as either a memorial or grave markers. As memorials, cairns mark burial sites and protect both the living and the dead. In southern India, for example, they are believed to protect corpses against desecration and to protect the living from the spirits of the dead, who otherwise would rise out of the grave and wreak evil.

Taken from : The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits – Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley  – September 1, 2007

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