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The Culture Of Ghosts In The Six Dynasties Period (C. 220–589 C.E.)

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Chapter Summary

The most common conception regarding the origin of gui-ghosts is that they are the spirits of deceased humans. It is noteworthy that although non-human spirits constitute a special category of beings in the Chinese belief system and folklore, in this chapter the author prefers to include them in the category of gui-ghost, since during the Six Dynasties period. For the non-human ghosts, their affective power is probably prompted by a primordial fear of the unknown that resides deep within the human psyche. The images of ghosts, just as their origins, are multifarious, as they could assume a human shape, in an animal form, or even in the form of non-animate things. Drum beating is certainly one method often used in exorcistic rituals, as well as the killing of animals and spreading of blood over grass and water.

Keywords: chinese belief system; exorcistic rituals; ghosts; six dynasties period



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