Sunday, April 3, 2011
L'Ankou: The Cemetery Gaurdians
Whether he knew it or not, Martinez actually inverted a piece of old French folklore to create his guardian ghost. In Breton, the Celtic Western tip of France, there is a old legend of L'Ankou. L'Ankou was the oldest person buried in the cemetery. He is the first ghost to rise up from the cemetery, and according to French Folklore, is thus condemned to guard over the cemetery and make sure all following souls are carried to the afterlife. He is described as a skeletal figure in black robes with a wide rimmed Breton hat who uses a cart pulled by ghostly goats to carry the dead to the next world. He is so prevalent in folklore that his depiction can be seen in many French Cemeteries carved into stone. He is seen in the side of archways and in fountains. Although, there are many of L'Ankou, they always look the same, skeletal and terrifying. My husband is French and he told me this story which was told to him by his family when he as a boy.