DIRECT DOWNLOAD - MICROGORIA 56 - Paperbacks From Hell
Find all the podcasts in the HYPNOGORIA family here -
HYPNOGORIA HOME DOMAIN - Full archive, RSS feed and other useful links
HYPNOGORIA on iTunes
HYPNOGORIA on STITCHER
"in Elizabethan England, armor was no longer worn in combat, and the costuming convention at the time was to dress characters in contemporary (Renaissance) clothing. So, by dressing a character in armor, the character was given an out of date look, and recognized as a ghost."However by the late 18th and 19th centuries, or so the this theory goes, audiences would no longer suspend disbelief in the stage ghosts because their armour made too much clanking and creaking. And hence costume designers cast about for a way of creating a costume that would suggest that the ghost was incorporeal and ethereal. The solution they arrived at was to dress the actor in white sheets, which along with low lighting, would create misty figures and shapes on shape.
Have you ever seen an old brass in a church with a figure of a person in a shroud? It is bunched together at the top of the head in a curious way. Something like that was sticking up out of the earth in a spot of the churchyard which John Poole knew very well.Now while we always think of burials and funerals as involving a coffin, this is a relatively new development. In ages past only the rich could afford a tomb or a coffin and most folks therefore were buried wrapped up in sheets, with more well-off folks being able to afford fine linen for their shrouds, but often wool blankets were used if they were poor. In fact in There Was A Man Dwelt by a Churchyard James details the funeral of the old woman who later returns from the grave, and tells us "She was buried in woollen, without a coffin."
A mote it is to trouble the mind’s eye.
In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets
If you ask people today, when they imagine ghosts, they say they come back in sheets. But if you ask people why they were in sheets, most people don’t know. And they come back in sheets because you’re buried in sheets. So you come back in your shroud.