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Death Coach

Death Coach

There is a widespread superstitious belief that Death goes around in a coach picking up souls. The form of the belief varies, of course, with the locality. In some parts of England and Wales, for example, the death coach passes silently at midnight, without sound of hoof or wheels. Both coach and horse are black, and a black hound runs in front. In some localities the horses and coachman are headless, which doubtless adds to the effectiveness of the apparition. In Ireland, when the coach with headless driver stops at the door of a house, this means someone in the house will die the following day. The Breton peasant hears the approach at midnight of a cart with a creaking axle. It is the Ankou (Death), and when the cart stops before a dwelling someone within must die.

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