DEAD MEN'S DUST
swept to efface the footprints, and a false track is made into a wood or on to a moor so that the ghost may take the wrong road. Sometimes ashes are strewn on the way to hide the footprints. Sometimes the dead is carried rapidly three or four times round the house so as to make him giddy and not know in which direction he is carried. The universal practice of closing the eyes of the dead may be taken to have originated in the desire that he might be prevented from seeing his way.
In places it was, as already said, customary for the dead body to be taken out of the house, not through the door, but by a hole knocked in the wall for the purpose, and backwards. In Corea, blinders made of black silk are put on the dead man's eyes, to prevent him from finding his way home.
Many savage nations entirely abandon a hut or a camp in which a death has occurred for precisely the same reason—of throwing the dead man's spirit into confusion as to its way home.
It was a common practice in England till quite recently for the room in which a death had occurred to be closed for some time, and this is merely a survival of the custom of abandoning the place where a spirit has left the body. The Esquimaux take out their dying relatives to huts constructed of blocks of ice or snow, and leave them there to expire, for ghosts are as stupid as they are trouble-
- This was done at Manaton at every funeral, the only difference being that he was carried round and round the cross. A former rector, Rev. C. Carwithen, destroyed the cross so as to put a stop to this practice.