In honor of Halloween, we have compiled a few spooky facts about the different ways coins and money have been used in the world of the macabre.
- In ancient Greece it was believed that the souls of the dead were ferried to the afterlife across the River Styx. In order the ensure their loved ones could pay the ferry fee, coins were placed inside their mouths before burial.
- Ghost Money is a Chinese tradition that dates back thousands of years. This practice is where people take “money” – often handmade with rice paper – and burn it, sending it to the souls of their lost loved ones.
- As far back as the Middle Ages, people feared their loved ones coming back from the dead. To make sure that they entered their afterlife with enough money to cover any expenses, coins were placed in the coffin, either tied to ribbons, in bags or placed in the deceased’s hands. This practice was to make sure that they were able to rest in peace…always.
- Throughout the world coins have often been used to keep the eyelids of the dead closed. Still practiced in some countries today, it is believed that upon looking into the eyes of the dead you are able to see your own death.