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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Headless Spirits

There are a host of apparitions who are said to appear headless, many of whom are said to carry their heads. A lot of these were actually known to have died by decapitation or to have had their heads removed after their deaths - Anne Boleyn being one of the more famous of these. Others though appear without their heads for no known reason. Of these, their headless appearances are often reported only sometimes; they are also seen with their heads fully intact.

While reading on this, something struck me as to the extensive research I did many, many, many years ago for a comic book project involving vampires: in many cases, particularly if the victim had died of Consumption or possessed a good color for a long time after death, certain measures were taken to ensure the corpse did not return as a vampire. One of these measures was to decapitate the body and either bury the head separately or burn it. Then, of course, there is also the matter of grave robbers, which continued to be a serious problem well into the 19th-Century.

Now, this may sound like a stretch, but since one of the prominent ideas concerning hauntings is that disturbing one’s grave can upset their spirit, it logically follows that cutting one’s head off would disturb their spirit.

Now, this is just a theory that obviously hasn’t really been put to any sort of testing, but I think it a pretty good one. This says absolutely nothing about headless horsemen, which are often seen as portents of impending doom or death, and are most likely Elemental in nature (and quite possibly Daemonic).

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