The terms we use for what is considered supernatural are woefully inadequate. Beyond such terms as ghost, specter, poltergeist, angel, devil, or spirit, might there not be something more our purposeful blindness has prevented us from understanding?We accept the fact that there may be other worlds out in space, but might there not be other worlds here? Other worlds, in other dimensions, coexistent with this? If there are other worlds parallel to ours, are all the doors closed? Or does one, here or there, stand ajar?
Like a great fool, I went ashore with them, and they gave me some cursed stuff they called gin, - such blasphemy I never heard! At first when they told me they had set up a great distillery of gin, I thought them very useful, clever, good men; for you know, captain, any nation might be converted by hollands; -but this was the unchristianest beastliest liquor I ever tasted, and it made me - as I feel now. Yet the foolish, idiot-people of the island think it very good, because it makes them mad-drunk, and they believe Heaven sent it; but it made me believe the devil had got amongst them.
Many African societies divide humans into three categories: those still alive on the earth, the sasha, and the zamani. The recently departed whose time on earth overlapped with people still here are the sasha, the living-dead. They are not wholly dead, for they still live in the memories of the living, who can call them to mind, create their likeness in art, and bring them to life in anecdote. When the last person to know an ancestor dies, that ancestor leaves the sasha for the zamani, the dead. As generalised ancestors, the zamani are not forgotten but revered. Many can be recalled by name. But they are not the living-dead. There is a difference.
As Mr. R. U. Sayee has well said: 'It should be clear a priori that fairy lore must have developed as a result of modifications and accretions received in different countries and at many periods, though we must not overlook the part played by tradition in providing a mould that to some extent determines the nature of later additions.' It must also be self-evident that a great deal of confusion has been caused by the assumption that some spirit-types were fairies which in a more definite sense are certainly not of elfin provenance. In some epochs, indeed, Faerie appears to have been regarded as a species of limbo to which all 'pagan' spirits - to say nothing of defeated gods, monsters, and demons - could be banished, along with the personnel of Olympus and the rout of witchcraft. Such types, however, are usually fairly easy of detection.