All the religions and beliefs about death mentions a particular spirit, deity, demon or angel whose responsibility is to escort souls of the dead to the Afterlife or the underworld (depending on the myths). These creatures are called psychopomps, from the Greek word ψυχοπομπóς (psuchopompos), literally meaning the “guide of souls”. Their role is not … Read more

The Raven

Omen In most parts of the world the raven is considered a prophet and a bad omen. The Arabs call it Abu Zajir which means “Father of Omens.” In Ireland it was once domesticated for use in divination practices and the term “Raven’s Knowledge” meant second sight. In many areas of the ancient world, the … Read more


A draugr is a corporeal undead, from the Norse Mythology. Draugrs were believed to live in the graves of dead vikings, being the body of the dead. The draugr were said to be either hel-blar (“death black”) or, conversely, na-folr (“corpse-pale”).  Views differed on whether the personality and soul of the dead person lingered in … Read more

The Hounds (of the Hunt)

The Hounds are a great pack of spectral hounds with black fur sometimes wolf like and whose eyes and tongues burn with a greenish fire. Generally, however, they are not seen, only heard passing overhead on cloudy or stormy nights. They are usually part of the Wild Hunt together with the huntsmen and their horses … Read more

Wild Hunt

The Wild Hunt or chasse sauvage is a pack of spectres and demons, usually as hunters on horses, sometimes accompanied by hounds which used to crawl in the sky at night to gather the departed souls. A tumultuous racket of pounding hooves, howling dogs and raging winds usually announce them and for those who had … Read more

Herne the Hunter

The hunter may be an unidentified lost soul, a historical or legendary figure or Satan, or Satan himself. In many of these stories, from the Wild Hunt of Odin to the spectral coach, the theme of headlessness is present. Henry the Eighth’s allegedly adulterous second wife Anne Boleyn was said to travel in a coach … Read more

The Huntress

The woman is variously a wood-wife (Germany or Switzerland), a mermaid (W. Jutland), one of the “hulder-folk” (Sweden), or an elf (Denmark). The hunter chasing the woman always appears as a solitary figure. The theme of this supernatural hunt seems to have little connection with the damned lord leading a group of hunters. It is … Read more

Short Stories about Death

Death is a common theme in literature, and many of the finest writers of short fiction have explored the fear, event, and aftermath of death using the short-story form. Below, we select and introduce ten of the very best classic short stories which have death as their theme, ranging from the Gothic and macabre through … Read more