But did you know that the burial shroud is where we get the idea of the famous ghost in a sheet, ala Scooby-Doo? Shrouded spirits though were also a sign of an impending death. This is a section from a famous letter from evolutionary biologist Dr. George Romanes to Frederic Myers, one of the founders of the Society for Psychical Research:
"Toward the end of March, 1878, in the dead of night, while believing myself to be awake, I thought the door at the head of my bed was opened, and a white figure passed along the side of the bed to the foot, where it faced about and showed me it was covered, head and all, with a shroud.Then with its hands it suddenly parted the shroud over the face, revealing between its two hands the face of my sister, who was ill in another room. I exclaimed her name, whereupon the figure vanished instantly. Next day (and certainly on account of the shock given me by the above experience) I called in Sir W. Jenner, who said my sister had not many days to live. She died in fact very soon afterwards.
I was in good health, without any grief or anxiety. My sister was being attended by our family doctor, who did not expect anything serious; therefor I had no anxiety at all on her account, nor had she herself. I have never, either before or after this, had such an experience."
Shrouds I am pleased to say, are making a comeback. People are ditching the idea of the traditional burial and going to something more intimate. Here is an article about an entrepreneur with a gentle heart bringing shrouds back into use.