There’s a Ghost in the House

Today is the eve of All Saints’ Day or Halloween as it’s better known. It has its origins in the Celtic festival of Samhain, a time when the Celts believed that the boundaries between this world and the spirit world broke down. People dressed up in costumes and wore masks in order to fend off harmful spirits. These masked individuals received gifts from homeowners who wished to appease the gods so that the next harvest would be a good one. This pagan festival was one of many that would eventually be co-opted by the Christian hierarchy and later by commercial enterprises. It’s also the season when the horror genre is at its most popular at the cinema, the DVD rental store and on TV. I haven’t noticed a corresponding increase in the number of horror-themed entries in the music charts at this time of year, although one of two songs have been released about things that go bump in the night. Your Ghost was released a single from Kristin Hersh‘s debut solo album from 1994, Hips and Makers. The former Throwing Muse was joined by Michael Stipe on the track, which was covered last year by Greg Laswell. Walking With a Ghost was originally released on So Jealous (2004), the fourth album by identical twins, Tegan & Sara. The White Stripes covered the song and made it the title track of the EP that they released the following year. Karen Elson (pictured) is also a twin and is married to Jack White. The Ghost Who Walks is the lead single and title track from her 2010 album, which was produced by her husband. The title comes from a nickname she had at school “for being tall, pale and a little bit haunted“. At least she won’t have to dress up this Halloween!

Your Ghost (Kristin Hersh cover) – Greg Laswell

Walking With A Ghost (Tegan & Sara cover) – The White Stripes

The Ghost Who Walks – Karen Elson