The Hans Christian Andersen Center

Religious motifs : Overview. Search. About religious motifs

The motif Sea ghost is a part of: Ghost


Sea, water, beach, limit, death

Description of this motif:

A "sea ghost" is the ghost of a drowned, that is washed up upon the beach. You may, according to popular belief, meet the ghost at or near the beach. Sea ghosts are described in Just Mathias Thiele's Danmarks Folkesagn (Danish Popular Belief, 1843-60), vol. 2, p. 219f (Rosenkilde og Bagger, Copenhagen 1968). In Thiele it is not evident that the ghosts want to be buried, but in the cited stories they do want to get to a church. In one of the stories it travels on the back of a human, like in Andersen's "Anne Lisbeth". In both of the popular tales a church goblin is an opponent of the ghost.


The tales are sorted by year. The leading numbers refer to the number of occurrences of the motif in the respective texts.

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