Folklore Thursday: Ghostly Plantlore

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Folklore Thursday is a wonderful weekly opportunity to immerse yourself in stories on Twitter. Each week has a different theme and, with Halloween approaching, this week’s theme is ghosts.

Certain plants have long been associated with ghosts. Agrimony can help ward off evil spirits, as can basil (the latter being rather easier to source, if only useful for warding off minor spirits – and adding to pasta dishes)

Sprinkle angelica around your home to keep ghosts away (with the added bonus that it can be used to decorate a cake too: perhaps ideal for a Halloween centrepiece as eating angelica can also keep evil at bay). Cacao is another ghost deterrant: an excellent excuse for eating chocolate (or adding it to a cake along with the angelica).

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If you’re scared of ghosts, you may also want a black hellebore (christmas rose) as it apparently keeps hungry ghosts away, while caraway wards off lustful ghosts (and seeds could also be added to cake).

A garland of brambles, ivy and Rowan can apparently ward off evil spirits. Clove is also a ghost deterrant so you may want to mull some wine for safety.


However, you may not need all these plants, herbs and spices. Damp proofing may serve you just as well, if the researcher who suspects ghost sightings are a reaction to mould is proved right. Is it ectoplasm – or just slime mould?

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