The wood so softly singing
In a language strange to hear
And the song it sings will find you
As the twilight draws you near



In his tract called The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies written in 1691, Robert Kirk speaks of those who have the Second Sight which enables them to see the folk who live underground. He says that he has been told by some of these with the Second Sight that "they have seen a Doubleman, or the shape of some man in two places, perfectly resembling one another in all points". He also says that in spite of the two apparently being identical those with the Second Sight can easily tell which is the 'above ground' man and which is the 'subterranean man'. He affirms that "They call this reflex-man a 'Co-Walker', every way like the man as a twin brother and companion, haunting him as his shadow ...."

"This copy, echo, or living picture goes at last to his own herd. It accompanies the person so long and frequently for ends best known to itself, whether to guard him from the secret assaults of some of its own folks, or only as a sportful ape to counterfeit all his actions."

The doppleganger or other self is well known as a psychic phenomenon, but is interestingly here seen as a consequence of 'haunting' by the faerie folk.


Japanese Ship of Souls

They say the sea always roughens during the period of the Festival of the Dead in the seventh month of the old lunar calendar. After the Ships of Souls have been launched no one dares enter it: no boats can be hired : all the fishermen remain at home. For on that day the sea is a highway for the dead, who must pass back over its waters to their mysterious home, and therefore upon that day is it called Hotoke-umi - the Buddha Flood - the Tide of the Returning Ghosts. And ever upon the night of the sixteenth day, whether the sea be calm or tumultuous, all its surface shimmers with faint lights gliding out to the open, the dim fires of the dead; and there is heard a murmuring of voices, like the murmur of a city far off, the indistingshable speech of souls.

Lafcadio Hearn (1891)