Norwescon Panels: Worldwide Dead!


A page from the illustrated edition of Kwaidan, by Lafcadio Hearn–my first exposure to “J-horror”, long before the wave of more recent Japanese ghost movies hit the shores of North America.

Thursday, April 2, 2015 –

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm


Not every ghost is an American Civil War soldier or Victorian spinster. The cultures and folklore of unquiet dead from around the world bring a spirit all their own to horror.

Nathan Crowder (M), Pat MacEwen, Jude-Marie Green, Arinn Dembo, Jeremy Zimmerman

I like to do a little preparation before I attend a convention, and give myself a refresher on the topics that my peers and I will be talking about. It’s just more fun if you can bring some cool ideas and resources to the table.

My thoughts on this topic will definitely swirl around a bit. I tend to interpret it as the opportunity to talk about non-British, non-European, and non-white American ghosts…basically, Ghosts of Colour.

This is an exciting topic for me, because I’m actually not very moved by the stereotypical Victorian ghost story. M.R. James never scared me as much I’d hoped he would, and it’s rare that movies in that tradition really get to me–The Woman in Black being a rare exception.

I grew up with multicultural ghosts in the Southwest, and I always found them easier to understand and even to fear. Even the white children of ranchers were taught about La Llorona, the Weeping Woman, when I was growing up…the Native or Hispanic woman who was said to walk the wastes eternally mourning her lost children and the man she had loved–a man who also betrayed her.

In my 20’s I first started getting very interested in Japanese ghost stories and folklore, after reading the translations of Lafcadio Hearn, in particular Kwaidan (which was also made into a fantastic movie by one of my favorite Japanese directors, Masaki Kobayashi).


My question to you: do you have a favorite Ghost of Colour? Or even just a favorite ghost story, legendary haunt or evil spirit from somewhere other than England or North America?

What book, story, movie, folktale or legend would you add to a list of Worldwide Dead?


Like my writing?
Like My Writing? Buy Me a Coffee at

About Arinn

Author, Game Developer, Anthropologist, Feminist, reformed Supervillainess.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *