Meteors in ghost lore

Meteors are shooting stars that blaze across the nighttime sky are associated with the spirits of the dead in many cultures. The ancient Romans believed that every person had a star, and when he died, it fell to earth. From this evolved the folklore belief in Europe and America that a meteor is the soul of one who has just died. Similar beliefs are held by tribal societies, such as the Inuit of North America and the Aborigines of Australia; in some places, shooting stars are said to be the souls of murdered men. The Lolos of western China also believe that each person has a star that remains in the sky as long as he is alive. When a person dies, a hole is dug for the star so that it does not fall on someone else. Some Native American tribes believe stars are the souls of the dead and when they fall, it is the soul coming to be reborn (see Reincarnation).


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

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