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Touching the Dead

The custom of Touching the Dead still lingers in many countries today, including some rural areas in the North of Britain.

One explanation for this custom is that touching protects the person involved from being haunted by the ghost of the deceased.

It was also once believed that a murdered victim’s body would bleed at the touch of his or her murderer. Long after this crude form of ordeal had been abandoned by the courts, it was often resorted to in secret. Refusal to participate in the test often left a person under a permanent cloud of suspicion.

Source: “Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain” 2nd Ed. 1977 The Reader’s Digest Association Limited, London.
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