After a few times watching Japanese mythological horror films and anime on spiritualism, gods and demons, I came to a conclusion that I will never fully understand them, because they don’t quite follow the same ‘Law of the Spirits’ as other Folk Religions in Mainland East & Southeast Asia.
Anyways, here are my “Laws of Spirits” growing up and living in several different Religions, ranging from Medieval Taoism to Buddhism and Folk Religion from East Asia and Southeast Asia.
Humans can be possessed by ghost & demons. In the old days, when a human committed murder, people said that they were possessed by a spirit monster (Tiger spirits, fox spirits, Hollow Woman, etc.) and that would explain why a human would commit grave crimes and/or cannibalism.
You take on the form of how you died. Especially ghost, either human or animal. However, you can take on a more “demonic” form, depending on how wretched and impure your soul was. You could have long tongues, backward arms or tilted eyes, from the probable cause of your wretched soul being combined and altered by another demon. People who were evil in life, could be condemned to look like the monster they were in the afterlife.
- You can reincarnate. Depending on cultures, some say you can reincarnate into a beast or animal. In my case, you just reincarnate back into your family clan name over and over again.
Too much time with spirits/ghost, can make you sick. A lot of those mediums, taoist priest, shamans, oracles, etc. etc. become who they are, because ghost and spirits are attracted to them, so they become very very sick often. In some cultures, they are shunned, and in others, they are accepted and praised as high as doctors.
- Cover your face when you enter the Spirit World. Ghost, spirits, gods and monsters can follow you back to the Human World and make you sick. So often, people who go into the Spirit World, would cover their faces with cloth or put on mask when they enter the Spirit World, and become “Possessed” by Gods or their Ancestors Spirit, to speak to people for guidance.
You can become a ghost. Not a spirit or spirit monster. When you die, your human soul needs to be guide to the Spirit World to reunite with your ancestors, and eventually reincarnated in the later future. However, if you lived your life that was unhappy or unfulfilled, you can become a ghost and haunt the earth, searching for whatever you were looking before.
- You can become a spirit monster. But like I have said, it usually considered as a Possession. In this case, humans can turn into “Funeral Vampires” (A man was accused of being a Funeral Vampire, because all his wives he had died young, leaving him lonely and bitter, turning him into a Funeral Vampire) or “Tiger Demons” (If you committed murder). Same with zombies, where evil spirits will infest an unburied body (probably a person who died in the forest or w/e), bring them back to life and eat human flesh and raid villages.
Spirits & Gods already exist. They take forms of trees, plants, rocks, mountains, rivers, sun and moon, etc. etc. Even your front door, your fireplace, backdoor and kitchen.
You can never destroy a Ghost/Spirit. The movie, “The Grudge” makes a great example that no matter what you can do, you can never get rid of it. You can remove all the water from a lake, but water will always still be around. You can banish it, but you will need a place for it to go.