Every language has a word for mother, and every culture has ghost stories! I've collected ghost stories all my life, and to celebrate the season of the thin veil between this life and the afterlife, I'd like to share a few of my favorite international haunts!
China's Hungry Ghosts are a mixture of morality tale and horror. People who were greedy during their lifetime are cursed to everlasting hunger in death. They're constantly searching for satisfaction that will never come.
While Japan has the standard complement of ghosts to avenge wrongs, or who died tragically, they also have the unique Ikiryo. If you are stirred up by enough passion, enough fury, you can release the ghost inside of you while you're still alive!
The Romanian strigoi are souls too troubled to stay in their grave. They have all kinds of powers- and they drain the life out of victims by stealing their blood. As you might guess, the strigoi are closely linked with vampire mythology- but their shapeshifting also makes them cousins to werewolves.
Sometimes, the name is as good as the stories about certain ghosts. French Revenants are ghosts that come back to haunt and harass those they knew in life- and revenant comes from the French, "revenir" - to return. They are The Ones Who Return.
Sometimes I wonder if certain ghosts really exist. The Bengali Aleya is a marsh-light ghost that confuses travelers, leaving them to wander lost until they drown. Quite a lot like England's corpse candle, Ireland's will o' the wisp, Newfoundland's Jacky Lantern, Rome's ignis fatuus, Brazil's Boi-tata and Vietnam's Lân tinh.
Even as I shiver, I love the shadowy possibilities. No matter where you roam, there will always be a little haunted hospitality to greet you!