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by Micha F. Lindemans
The Larvae are Roman spirits of deceased family members. These malignant spirits dwell throughout the house and frighten the inhabitants. People tried to reconcile or avert the Larvae with strange ceremonies which took place on May 9, 11, and 13; this was called the "Feast of the Lemures". The master of the house usually performed these ceremonies, either by offering black beans to the spirits or chasing them away by making a lot of noise. Their counterparts are the Lares, friendly and beneficent house spirits.

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