• Written by Plautus
  • A young man called Philolaches is having a great time while his father is overseas on business. Philolaches has also borrowed a lot of money to buy the freedom of the slave-girl he loves.
  • One day he is having a house party with many friends, when his slave Tranio interrupts the merry-making to announce that Philolaches’ father has returned unexpectedly and will arrive from the harbour at any minute.
  • Amid the general panic, Tranio has an idea.
  • He hustles Philolaches and his friends into the house and locks the door.
  • The father now arrives.
  • Tranio greets him respectfully but pretends that it is dangerous to enter the house because it is haunted.
  • Unfortunately, at this moment a money-lender turns up to claim the money that Philolaches borrowed.
  • Tranio thinks quickly and pretends that the money was borrowed to buy the house next door.
  • Even when Philolaches’ father meets the real owner of the house, Tranio manages to hide the truth for some time, but he is found out at last and jumps onto the top of an altar to escape punishment.
  • All ends happily, however, when one of Philolaches’ friends offers to repay the debt, thus allowing the father to forgive his son. Even Tranio is forgiven.
  • Inspired Stephen Sondheim, Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart musical “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”.


Must be a rule in the ghost handbook—if in danger of evaporating, make sure you’re in the middle of a dire pronouncement.

― Kelley Armstrong


 You get what anybody gets – you get a lifetime.

― Neil Gaiman



  • Pliny the Younger wrote one of the first “haunted house” stories ever recorded around 50 AD.
  • In the story, Pliny describes a house in which the apparition of an old man, emaciated, bearded, and burdened with heavy chains plagues the inhabitants therein.
  • Those who bought or rented the house became so frightened that they evacuated the property.
  • Finally, a philosopher, who was identified as Athendorus, takes up residence there.
  • Familiar with tales of the ghost, Athendorus decides to immerse himself in his writing, in the hopes of distracting himself when the ghost appears.
  • However, the sound of the rattling chains and moaning becomes so dreadfully loud and terrifying that Athendorus follows the ghost to a spot outside the house, whereupon the figure disappears.
  • Athendorus marks the spot with grass and leaves and in the morning orders the spot to be dug up.
  • The excavation produced the corpse of a man wrapped in heavy chains.
  • Athendorus promptly ordered a proper burial for the man, and his ghost was never seen in the house again.


Nature is a Haunted House – but Art – a House that tries to be haunted.

— Emily Dickinson


Behind every man now alive stand 30 ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living.

― Arthur C. Clarke


There are a few of the open-air spirits; the more domestic of their tribe gather within-doors, plentiful as swallows under southern eaves.

― William Butler Yeats


Houses are not haunted. We are haunted, and regardless of the architecture with which we surround ourselves, our ghosts stay with us until we ourselves are ghosts.

― Dean Koontz



  • 930 BC: The Ghost of Samuel
  • 1 Samuel 28:3-25
  • Israel’s King Saul finds his nation on the verge of war with the Philistines.
  • Saul is terrified and seeks God for guidance.
  • However, God does not respond to Saul in visions, through the words of prophets or by any other means.
  • Saul, therefore, seeks the help of a medium to conjure the spirit of Samuel the prophet, who had been dead and buried years before.
  • Saul indeed finds his medium, the so-called “witch” of Endor, who subsequently succeeds in calling forth the spirit of Samuel.
  • Samuel then informs Saul that God has torn the kingdom out of his hands, due to his disobedience, thus delivering the kingdom of Israel to David.





  • Islam – around 6 AD
  • Archeological evidence found in Northwestern Arabia seems to indicate the worship of jinn, or at least their tributary status, hundreds of years before Islam: an Aramaic inscription from Beth Fasi’el near Palmyra pays tribute to the “ginnaye”, the “good and rewarding gods”
  • there is evidence that the word jinn is derived from Aramaic, where it was used by Christians to designate pagan gods reduced to the status of demons, and was introduced into Arabic folklore only late in the pre-Islamic era – with that meaning: demon.
  • Numerous mentions of jinn in the Quran and testimony of both pre-Islamic and Islamic literature indicate that the belief in spirits was prominent in pre-Islamic Bedouin religion.
  • In Islamic theology jinn are said to be creatures with free will, made from smokeless fire by God as humans were made of clay, among other things.
  • When jinns are called “fire spirits” it´s does not refer to their current nature, rather to their origin.
  • Jinn are mentioned 29 times in the Quran: Surah72 (named Sūrat al-Jinn) is named after the jinn, and has a passage about them.
  • Another surah (Sūrat al-Nās) mentions jinn in the last verse.
  • The Quran also mentions that Muhammad was sent as a prophet to both “humanity and the jinn”, and that prophets and messengers were sent to both communities.
  • Like human beings, the jinn can be good, evil, or neutrally benevolent and hence have free will.
  • Therefore, jinn will also be judged on the Day of Judgment.


‘Be careful with this one’ said Dina, bending down to greet the cat. ‘All cats are half jinn, but I think she’s three quarters.’
― G. Willow Wilson



  • Germany – 856 A.D.
  • The first poltergeist – a ghost that causes physical disturbances such as loud noises or objects falling or being thrown around – was reported at a farmhouse in Germany.
  • The poltergeist tormented the family living there by throwing stones and starting fires, among other things.
  • Poltergeist translates from German to English – “noisy ghost.”


Love, thieves, and fear, make ghosts.

― German Proverb



  • A banshee is a female spiritin Irish mythology who heralds the death of a family member, usually by shrieking or keening.
  • The banshee is often described in Gaelic lore as wearing red or green, usually with long, disheveled hair (usually described as red or orange, and yellow in medieval times described to shimmer like wild fire).
  • She can appear in a variety of forms.
  • Perhaps most often she is seen as an ugly, frightful hand, but she can also appear as young and beautiful if she chooses.
  • In some tales, the figure who first appears to be a banshee or other cailleach(hag) is later revealed to be the Irish battle goddess, Morrígan.
  • In Ireland and parts of Scotland, a traditional part of mourning is the keeningwoman who wails a lament.
  • She also predicts death.
  • Legend has it that for great Gaelic families – the lament would be sung by a fairy woman; having foresight, she would sing it when a family member died, even if the person had died far away and news of their death had not yet come.
  • If someone is about to enter a situation where is it unlikely they will come out of alive she will warn people by screaming or wailing. Hence why a banshee is also known as a wailing woman.
  • When several banshees appear at once, it indicates the death of someone great or holy.





  • Toyols are tiny green-skinned goblins with glowing red eyes
  • Toyols are dead fetuses or stillborn babies reanimated by black magic.
  • Masters are said to keep their toyols in jars, feeding them milk and candy and—on special occasions—drops of blood drawn from the toe of the lady of the house.
  • When bidden, toyols will steal money for their masters or commit other acts of petty crime and sabotage.