American Indian Ghost Stories of the West


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Nor would the Shinnecock—or any other Native people—have treated their sick and dying in such a callous, brutal fashion. But then, the entire Amityville Horror narrative was, it now seems likely, an elaborate hoax: in the Lutzes sued two clairvoyants and several writers working on alternative histories of the house, alleging invasion of privacy. That a sensationalized portrayal of native burial rites was woven into this mishmash of hogwash might not be entirely surprising.

What is surprising, though, is how quickly the trope of a haunted Indian burial ground took root and spread throughout the rest of American culture.

Louis Creed, the protagonist, has moved his family out to rural Maine to take a job as a doctor at the local university. They bury the cat, which returns the next day, alive but changed: mean and smelling of death and foul earth.

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Beginning in , the tribes sued Maine and the federal government over lands to which they were, by federal law, entitled, which amounted to 60 percent of the area of the state. Long inhabited by non-Native Americans in Maine, the land in dispute was home to over , people who would have needed resettlement had the tribes been successful.

No one really knows, Louis. Not anymore.

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Different people laid claim to it at one time or another, but no claim has ever stuck. The narrative of the haunted Indian burial ground hides a certain anxiety about the land on which Americans—specifically white, middle-class Americans—live. Time and time again in these stories, perfectly average, innocent American families are confronted by ghosts who have persevered for centuries, who remain vengeful for the damage done. Facing these ghosts and expelling them, in many of these horror stories, becomes a means of re-fighting the Indian Wars of past centuries.

Americans live on haunted land because we have no other choice. Be wary of the Native burial ground, Freneau warns us, for life still moves there. In the U. In A Natural History of Ghosts , Roger Clarke discusses nine varieties of ghosts identified by Peter Underwood, who has studied ghost stories for decades. It seems that belief in ghosts is even more widespread in much of Asia, where ghosts are characterized as neutral and can be appeased through rituals or angered if provoked as opposed to our scarier depictions of ghosts in the West , according to Justin McDaniel, a professor of religious studies and director of the Penn Ghost Project at the University of Pennsylvania.

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In China, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand, the seventh month of the lunar calendar which falls in August this year ushers in the Hungry Ghost Festival , when it is believed that ghosts of the deceased are temporarily released from the lower realm to visit the living. In Taiwan, some people believe that the presence of wandering ghosts during Ghost Month can cause accidents to the living.


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At least one study has shown that people avoid risky behaviors during this time, including those in bodies of water, reducing the number of deaths by drowning. In places like Japan where secularism is very strong, the belief in ghosts is still high.

Even hyper-modern and liberal Scandinavia has a high percentage of people believing in ghosts. It turns out that a significant amount of people report having personally experienced paranormal activity. In a study published in , In a Reader's Digest poll , 20 percent of respondents 21 percent of women and 16 percent of men reported that they had seen a ghost at some time in their lives.

Cherokee Ghost Stories

A study found that believers in ghosts were more likely than non-believers to report unusual phenomena while touring a site in Britain with a reputation for being haunted. Visitors who were told that there was a recent increase in unusual phenomena occurring at the site also reported a higher number of unusual experiences on the tour.

Native American Ghost Stories

Another study demonstrated that hearing or reading about paranormal narratives, especially when the story came from a credible source, was enough to increase paranormal beliefs among participants. With the abundance of ghost-hunting shows in the U. People assume that if they cannot explain something in natural terms, then it must be something paranormal. According to French, hallucinations are more common among the general population than most people realize, and are sometimes wrongly interpreted as ghosts.

American Indian Ghost Stories of the West American Indian Ghost Stories of the West
American Indian Ghost Stories of the West American Indian Ghost Stories of the West
American Indian Ghost Stories of the West American Indian Ghost Stories of the West
American Indian Ghost Stories of the West American Indian Ghost Stories of the West
American Indian Ghost Stories of the West American Indian Ghost Stories of the West
American Indian Ghost Stories of the West American Indian Ghost Stories of the West
American Indian Ghost Stories of the West American Indian Ghost Stories of the West
American Indian Ghost Stories of the West American Indian Ghost Stories of the West

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