Back to Home Page or Contents Page or Past and present beliefs or Index


This is a general term that is used to describe a shifting series of imaginary or fantastic images as seen in a dream or fevered imagination. The term appears to have derived from a magic lantern experiment in 1802 presented by a Frenchman M. Philipstal. Variants of the term have been used to describe apparitions of phantoms, such as by Jean Baptiste Eyries in Fantasgoriana or Collection of the Histories of Apparitions, Spectres, Ghosts, etc. (1812).

This is the work from which Lord Byron read aloud to Percy Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft (later Mary Shelley), Claire Clairmont, and J. W. Polidori on the night of June 16, 1816. Springing from Lord Byron's reading was the suggestion that each member of the party should write a ghost story, which culminated in Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein that was first published in 1818. A.G.H.

Source: 9, 1278.

Home    Alchemy    Ancient Beliefs    Buddhism    Christianity    Demonology    Divination    Goddess and witchcraft    Great Mysteries    Hinduism    Islam     Judaism    Magic    Neo-paganism    Other    Paranormal    Past and present Beliefs    People    Places    Religions and sects    Rituals and texts    Shamanism    Stones    Theosophy African Mythology    Asian Mythology    Buddha Mythology    Egyptian Mythology    Greco-Roman Mythology    Greek Mythology    Hindu Mythology    Native American    Persian Mythology    Roman Mythology    South American Mythology