ghost seers In folklore throughout the world, it is thought that persons born at a certain time of day, or on a particular day, possess the clairvoyant power to see ghosts and things that other persons cannot see. In Lancashire, England, children born during twilight are believed to have the ability to know which of their acquaintances will die next. In other parts of England, the magical birthing hour is twelve o’clock at night or the hour after midnight. In parts of Europe, it is the day of birth that predicts the power to see clairvoyantly. In Denmark, children born on a Sunday will be able to see certain things, such as an impending death. In Scotland, people born on Christmas Day or Good Friday are said not only to be able to see spirits but to order them about. Among other peoples, it is believed that only certain persons can see the ghosts, or can see them only at certain times. According to Finnish lore, the ghosts of the dead can be seen only by shamans, and that other men can see them only in their dreams. In the Antilles, some tribes believe that the dead can be seen on the road only when a person travels alone. In some parts of the world, seers take consciousnessaltering substances to enhance their powers and provide information that could be useful to themselves or the community. In the Amazon and North Brazil, seers traditionally are given narcotics to induce visions that might 198 ghost photographs provide information about such matters as who committed a crime. Similarly, Native Americans in California once gave children intoxicants so that they could envision their enemies.
- Leach, Maria, and Jerome Fried, eds. Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1979.