So I was watching an episode of Doctor Who the other day **side note below** that centered on ghostly spirits haunting a Victorian-era funeral home (of course these “ghosts” ended up just being some malevolent inter-dimensional beings from the other side of the universe… buuut the ghostly gist still stuck with me).
I began to wonder where and how the concept of the ghost story began. So naturally, I googled it.
Apparently one of the earliest accounts comes from an astute Roman author named Pliny the Younger around the first century AD. He describes an Athenian house with an “infamous reputation, as if filled with pestilence.”
The house was haunted by a phantom described as “an old man, pale and emaciated, with a long beard, and hair that appeared driven by the wind. The fetters on his feet and hands rattled as he moved them.”
It gets better (the paranormal investigator in me is squealing). A brave philosopher named Athenodorus bought the place with full knowledge of the haunting. On the first night, the ghost appeared before him, “beckoning with one finger.”
And instead of screaming bloody murder and running out of the place road runner-style, this awesome guy actually followed him. Long story short, one of the first-ever paranormal investigators located the ghost’s remains in a courtyard and freed the spirit of its ancient purgatory.
You can read the full story here. So the big question is: Was Pliny the Younger’s tale fiction or based on a real experience?
**Holy crap what an amazing series! I can’t believe I hadn’t gotten into it until just recently! And a whole episode about aliens, Victorians and ghosts? Yes please!!
****** PS: To all you Twitterers out there, I recently caved in and joined the madness 🙂 Feel free to follow me here if you like!