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Voices from the beyond

A classic supernatural/mystery trope is the voice from the beyond – meaning the voice (in some form) from beyond this world, either they are dead, or from the past/future, or from another world. The point of this is either central to the narrative or a secondary feature to provide information. The entire concept is a fascinating example of humanity’s yearning for more than what is present in our own world. To reach beyond the veil and access another plane of existence is a wonderfully tempting concept. Depending on the genre this can either be a positive or negative experience. Meaning that sometimes these voices are there to help, while other times they are the harbingers of great dangers. Either way it is an exciting narrative convention.

There are two questions I would pose to those who would undertake this topic: 1) Where has our love of this concept come from? Can it be tracked to the original god myths of the Greeks? Is it merely an aspect of explaining the unknown? Is it part of our yearning to reach out to the dead?; and 2) what are the best (and maybe worst) examples of where this has been done in film? Or perhaps someone might look at this through comics or literature – it is a concept across genres.

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