30 Sorts of Ghosts From All Across the World

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Additionally referred to as bhuta, bhoot is a sort of ghost initially from Indian tradition, and analogous to conventional Western ghosts. Particularly, the lingering spirit of a useless individual, stored on the earth of the residing thanks to at least one motive or one other. Within the case of the bhoot, the rationale for his or her continued presence varies from area to area, in addition to the story. Widespread causes embody the character of their deaths, lingering regrets, and even the failure of the residing to carry out the standard funerary rites.

A bhoot normally has the looks they had been residing, though they normally possess the power to take animal kind. That stated, no matter their look, a bhoot’s ft at all times face backward, which tends to provide their nature away. In addition they solid no shadows and can keep away from coming into sacred locations in any respect prices. They might additionally generally gown completely in white and converse with nasal voices.


Picture from Sweetwater County Library

A kind of ghost from Northern Europe, doppelgängers supposedly mirror the looks of an individual. Individuals who encounter their doppelgängers are likely to endure from very unhealthy luck, normally ending in loss of life. Whereas generally related to German folklore, doppelgängers really function in cultures worldwide. Irish folklore, for instance, has an identical sort of ghost referred to as a “fetch” as a substitute.

Philippine folklore even has methods with which an individual can solid off the unhealthy luck a doppelgänger brings. These embody instantly taking off your garments, turning them inside out, after which placing them again on. One other method entails instantly going dwelling and taking a shower to scrub off the unhealthy luck. An individual who sees one other individual’s doppelgänger can even solid off unhealthy luck by merely slapping the true individual within the face.

That stated, not all doppelgängers carry unhealthy luck. Historical Egyptians, for instance, believed everybody had a spirit double, a ka which carried on an individual’s recollections and feelings to the afterlife.


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A kind of ghost from Jewish folklore, it usually entails the soul of a useless individual which stays on the earth over previous regrets. Dybbuks attempt to possess the residing to attempt to act on these regrets, which really make them considerably morally ambiguous. Some dybbuks turn out to be outright malevolent, possessing folks to realize revenge for previous slights.

Different dybbuks have benevolent objectives, with some Jewish mystics even permitting themselves to turn out to be possessed by them. These ghosts usually shouldn’t have a selected spiritual ceremony carried out to permit them to cross on. That stated, all dybbuks are likely to cross on as soon as they obtain their objectives, no matter intent. Nevertheless, as their intent could not at all times have constructive outcomes, Jews have their exorcism rituals to eliminate malevolent dybbuks.

Ghost Ship

Also called phantom ships, the sort of ghost usually options an unreal vessel which will or could not have a crew of its personal. They usually seem in unhealthy climate and are normally related to unhealthy luck. Essentially the most notorious instance of the sort of ghost entails the ghost ship generally known as the Flying Dutchman.

In response to the legend, the Flying Dutchman met its destiny whereas crusing previous the Cape of Good Hope throughout a storm. The ship’s crew repeatedly requested the captain to move for the closest port, however he refused. He additionally swore an oath to sail the seas perpetually if he couldn’t beat the storm with out having to take shelter in a port. This, in flip, led to the ship’s curse, with anybody who ever noticed the vessel affected by unhealthy luck.

One story from 1881 even has then-Prince George, later King George V, sighting the Flying Dutchman off of Australia. On the identical evening after the sighting, the ship’s watchman fell from his publish atop the ship’s mast and died on impression with the ship’s deck.


Types of Ghosts, Gjenganger and Man
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A kind of ghost from Scandinavia, it describes the stressed spirit of a useless one that seeks to tug extra folks into the grave with it. The explanations for his or her restlessness differ. Most gjengangere contain the spirits of both the assassin or their victims. Different gjengangere contain individuals who died with deep and lifelong regrets.

Not like different sorts of ghosts, gjengangere seem fully lifelike, with nothing freely giving their supernatural natures. This makes them very harmful, as there’s no technique to inform them other than the residing. Actually, Scandinavian folklore focuses much less on appeasing gjengangere, as a lot on retaining the useless from changing into one. Sometimes, folks buried in keeping with Christian funerary rites don’t come again as gjengangere.

In any other case, Scandinavians tended to pile stones and twigs into funerary monuments referred to as varps in locations the place folks died uncommon deaths. Passersby would then toss twigs on a varp every time they encountered one, which appeased the useless. Failing to take action risked inflicting a gjenganger to go after them afterward.


Also called efreet, afrit, and afreet, the sort of ghost comes from Islamic mythology. In addition they have an ambiguous nature, with some sources generally describing them as demons from hell, whereas others describe them as stressed spirits of the useless. Both method, they’re described as having malicious characters, with our bodies shaped from fireplace and smoke.

That stated, they’re additionally generally described as capable of perform God’s will, normally by avenging previous wrongs. Islamic folklore additionally mentions that the ifrit isn’t essentially evil, and will even flip to a noble goal. One story from Northern Iraq, for instance, has Muhammad ship an imprisoned ifrit to his cousin, Ali. Ali ultimately releases the ifrit, on the situation that the ifrit submits to the desire of God.


Picture from Maayot

Also called the Chinese language model of the vampire, they’ve turn out to be popularized worldwide because of Hong Kong motion pictures for the reason that late twentieth century. Particularly, they seem as reanimated corpses that hop round and assault folks. They might even have greenish pores and skin, from how their useless our bodies have already begun to rot. Not like Western vampires, jiangshi don’t drink blood, and as a substitute drain their sufferer’s qi, or life pressure, by contact.

Historically, jiangshi types when a useless individual’s soul turns into trapped in its physique. As such, exorcizing the jiangshi usually entails merely destroying its physique, normally with fireplace. This, in flip, frees the spirit to maneuver on to the afterlife.


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A kind of ghost from Thailand, the male krahang types a pair with the feminine krasue. The krahang usually seems as a shirtless man flying round at evening on a pair of rice baskets. It does so to search out folks strolling alone, which the krahang then assaults. Within the daytime, although, the krahang passes itself off as simply one other odd individual.

The krahang’s legend roots itself in conventional oral Thai folklore. Nevertheless, students be aware that it has a contemporary identify. The legend has additionally turn out to be repeatedly utilized in Thai media lately. As an illustration, in 2012, after a collection of assaults on girls at evening in rural areas in Northern Thailand, locals blamed a krahang. It wasn’t till later that authorities caught the suspect, a drug addict residing within the space. Equally, in 2017, supposed sightings of a krahang passed off in Northern Thailand. This led a neighborhood elder to carry conventional exorcism rites, which supposedly didn’t drive away the krahang.


The krasue makes up the feminine pairing of the krahan, however has a way more malevolent nature compared. For one factor, the krasue has a way more monstrous look, that of a girl’s head with all her inside organs from the neck down trailing beneath it.

Thai folklore claims that being krasue is a type of punishment after loss of life for ladies who lived sinful lives. They endure from perpetual starvation, which causes the ghost to go in search of cattle or poultry at evening to eat. If it fails to search out both cattle or poultry, the krasue will eat feces as a substitute.

Within the daytime, the krasue passes itself off as simply one other girl, earlier than turning again right into a monster at evening. It does so by tearing its head off and its organs out of its physique, which it then hides away. A krasue should return to its physique earlier than dawn, or it is going to die in agony. Equally, if the physique will get discovered and burned, the krasue will die even earlier than dawn.

Woman in Pink

Also called a Pink Woman, the sort of ghost manifests because the stressed spirit of a scorned girl, and even that of a murdered prostitute. In comparison with different ghosts, most crimson girls are typically pleasant even when they hang-out historic accommodations, theaters, and related locations. They might additionally seem useless, typically displaying off to the residing within the hopes of incomes reward and capturing their consideration. Their look displays this, that of lovely girls in crimson clothes.

That stated, some crimson girls have darker reputations, though they nonetheless are likely to keep away from harming the residing. As an illustration, a crimson girl haunting the First Ontario Live performance Corridor in Ontario, Canada, goes round crying blood. Equally, a crimson girl haunting Leap Citadel in Eire goes round carrying a dagger.

La Llorona

Types of Ghosts, La Llorona
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One of the well-known sorts of ghosts on the earth, La Llorona has its roots in Mexican folklore. The story historically goes {that a} girl marries a wealthy man and has two kids with him. At some point, nevertheless, she spots him with one other girl and angrily responds by drowning her kids. She then realizes what she’s executed, and regretfully proceeds to drown herself in her flip. As punishment for killing her kids, although, she’s denied entry to the afterlife, and cursed to wander the Earth vainly in search of her kids.

Whereas the fashionable type of La Llorona types part of Mexico’s post-colonial tradition, students have famous related oral traditions predating the Spanish conquest. Particularly, they level to at least one legend, which claims a ghostly girl wandered the streets of Tenochtitlan simply earlier than the Spanish Conquest. Supposedly, she wept whereas saying “My kids, we’re about to go.”, supposedly foreshadowing the bloody finish of the Aztec Empire. Different students have additionally hypothesized La Llorona as a symbolic type of criticism towards La Malinche, a local girl who helped Cortes conquer Mexico.

Mae Nak

Also called Mae Nak Phra Khanong, in addition to Nang Nak, it’s a feminine sort of ghost from Thailand. The legend behind the ghost supposedly passed off within the late nineteenth century, throughout the reign of King Rama IV.

In response to the legend, a person named Mak as soon as married a girl named Nak and bought her pregnant. Earlier than she might give beginning, Mak joined the military and went off to combat within the Kengtung Wars towards Burma. Nak gave beginning in his absence however died alongside along with her youngster earlier than Mak might return. Nevertheless, on his return, he discovered his spouse and youngster ready for him, with Mak solely later realizing their nature as ghosts. Terrified, he fled to a temple, which Nak couldn’t enter. Nak responded by terrorizing the locals till an exorcist trapped her in a jar and threw it into the ocean, Nevertheless, Nak ultimately escaped after a fisherman unknowingly pulled up the jar from the ocean and opened it.

At this time, a shrine stands in Bangkok in Mae Nak’s reminiscence, within the hopes of appeasing the spirit and ultimately permitting her to maneuver on.


Picture from Encyclopedia Mythologica

A kind of creature from the Philippines, the mananaggal can also be one of the iconic figures in Philippine mythology. Whereas not precisely a ghost, the manananggal has qualities that make it haunting. In the course of the day, it takes the type of a girl, however on the evening, separates her physique from the waist as much as fly utilizing bat-like wings. The manananggal then heads out in the hunt for pregnant girls to eat the fetuses inside their billy. It does so utilizing its lengthy and fanged tongue. The fangs make a small incision into the girl’s stomach, from which the manananggal sucks the fetus out.

The legend additionally claims that whereas the manananggal enjoys immunity from hurt at evening, its discarded decrease physique doesn’t. Killing the manananggal entails putting salt and garlic on its waist. With out the means to return to its human kind, the manananggal is left helpless when the Solar rises.

Nang Takian

One other sort of ghost from Thailand, a Nang Takian haunts ta-khian bushes and serves as its protector. Most individuals don’t have anything to concern from a Nang Takian, however it might be hostile if anybody defiles its tree. Equally, individuals who reside in homes made out of ta-khian wooden can also endure unhealthy luck or different supernatural phenomenon brought on by a vengeful Nang Takian.

That stated, they do make sure exceptions, comparable to within the case of Buddhist monks. Ta-khian wooden generally will get used to construct Buddhist monasteries, which Nang Takian considers a worthy sacrifice. Nevertheless, even Buddhist monks should comply with sure rituals to appease any Nang Takian watching over ta-khian bushes meant to be used of their monasteries.

Nang Tani

Yet one more sort of ghost from Thailand, a Nang Tani has many similarities to a Nang Takian. Actually, the one distinction between them entails the tree they watch over. The Nang Tani guards wild banana bushes. This type of banana tree produces inedible fruit, which helps hold folks away.

That stated, the leaves of untamed banana bushes have makes use of in conventional Thai medication, in addition to for wrapping conventional sweets. This ends in numerous customs to appease a Nang Tani when harvesting the tree’s leaves. These customs normally embody giving items comparable to flowers, incense, and even sweets to the ghost. Different customs additionally contain the wrapping of satin fabric across the bushes.


Types of Ghosts, Traditional Onryou Art
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It is a sort of ghost from Japan that could be a spirit of a girl who died with excessive hate. They keep on the earth of the residing, to avenge previous wrongs. Nevertheless, they achieve this with excessive violence. Sadako Yamamura from The Ring franchise is likely one of the most iconic examples of the sort of ghost in fashionable media. Particularly, she has the onryou’s indiscriminate tendency to assault and kill anybody her curse falls on.

Nevertheless, even Sadako’s energy pales compared to these of uncommon male onryou, normally born of royal blood. One is Prince Sawara from the eighth or ninth centuries A.D., who bore a grudge towards Emperor Kanmu. His grudge resulted in a collection of pure disasters, comparable to droughts, earthquakes, and typhoons. It solely ended when Emperor Kanmu posthumously shared the title of Emperor along with his brother.

Even then, Emperor Kanmu took the extra precaution of shifting the capital from Nagaoka to Kyoto. He did this in case his appeasement of Prince Sawara proved inadequate and resulted in additional pure disasters.


A kind of ghost from Malaysia, it bears many similarities to ghosts from neighboring cultures. These embody the krasue from Thailand, with the penanggalan really having the identical look. The penanggalan additionally is analogous with the manananggal from the Philippines, The penanggalan additionally hunts pregnant girls to feed on their unborn kids.

That stated, the penanggalan does have distinct traits of its personal. Not like its Thai or Philippine counterparts, the penanggalan doesn’t separate itself from its physique at evening. As a substitute, it merely transforms from its human physique to its ghostly kind. The penanggalan’s ghostly standing can also be ambiguous, at the least in a Western context, as they aren’t wholly religious beings. This outcomes from how penanggalan supposedly originated from witches gaining the power to remodel whereas submerged in vinegar.

Phi Am

A kind of ghost from Thailand, a Phi Am has a popularity for sitting on folks’s chests whereas they’re asleep. This permits them to concurrently paralyze their victims and provides them nightmares. The paralysis, particularly, retains them from jolting awake or attracting the eye of somebody who may assist them.

This led the time period to turn out to be adopted by the Thai medical neighborhood as a synonym for sleeping paralysis. Very like the ghost it shares its identify with, sleeping paralysis usually entails nightmares so scary the physique can not transfer from sheer terror. This could really show deadly, because the sufferer finds themselves unable to breathe.

Phi Phong

Also called Phi Phao, it’s a sort of ghost from Thailand, significantly in its northern provinces. Like many Thai ghosts, a Phi Phongcano cross itself off as an odd individual throughout the day, earlier than turning into its true ghostly self at evening. A Phi Phong spends the evening trying to find numerous sorts of meals, comparable to frogs and fish. It could additionally eat useless our bodies, feces, and even discarded placentas.

This sort of ghost usually avoids folks however will avenge itself towards people who trouble it. This usually entails the Phi Phong throwing banana stalks towards their home, which causes them to endure from unhealthy luck. That stated, a Phi Phong has a shocking weak point: an individual recognizing and calling it a ghost whereas in human kind. Nevertheless, a Phi Phong can even flip different folks into extra of its type by merely spitting on them.

Phi Pop

Generally referred to as merely Pop, this can be a sort of feminine ghost with a cannibalistic popularity in Thailand. In response to legend, the sort of ghost got here to be when a prince in historic instances used magic to switch his soul to an animal. A servant copied the prince to steal his physique, just for the prince to warn his spouse of their servant’s betrayal. The princess then destroyed the servant’s physique, whereas the prince tricked the servant into leaving his physique. Left bodiless, the servant’s spirit fled, turning right into a cannibalistic monster that consumes intestines to outlive. Finally, it discovered a brand new host in a witch’s physique, with Phi Pop leaving each evening to feed.

This sort of ghost caught media consideration in 2007 when over 1,000 folks in Northern Thailand had two girls exorcized as supposed hosts to Phi Pop. In 2012, 10 of these folks abruptly died in what their neighbors described as retribution from the ghost.

Phi Tai Hong

One other sort of ghost from Thailand, a Phi Tai Hong refers back to the stressed and vengeful spirit of an individual who died a violent loss of life. This leads them to violently lash out towards any of the residing they encounter, looking for to ease their very own struggling with the struggling and loss of life of others. With this perception, folks in Thailand keep away from locations the place somebody died violently for at the least per week after their loss of life. This supposedly offers the souls of the useless time to settle down and presumably transfer on.

Thai folklore additionally mentions a variant of Phi Tai Hong referred to as Tai Thong Klom. The latter outcomes when a girl and her youngster each die in labor. This variant of the ghost tends to have a extra violent and much more highly effective curse, because of ensuing from a number of deaths. In a shocking twist, nevertheless, one legend of the Thai Thong Klom has the Dutch East India Firm intentionally sacrificing pregnant girls whereas constructing their fortresses within the area. For the reason that girls died for a constructive goal, their spirits lingered not as vengeful ghosts, however as protecting ones as a substitute.


Also called Kuntilanak, this can be a sort of ghost shared by Indonesian, Malaysian, and Singaporean cultures. It outcomes from a girl dying in labor alongside along with her youngster, with the ghost taking after her look. The character of its loss of life drives the ghost mad, with the spirit utilizing its look to lure males to their deaths, usually by consuming their innards.

This sort of ghost additionally shares its identify with town of Pontianak in Indonesia, largely due to them infesting town’s website throughout its founding. Nevertheless, the primary Sultan of Pontianak, Syarif Abdurrahman Alkadrie, fought and banished all of the ghosts.

That stated, some components of town stay supposedly haunted by the ghosts. With that, town has a customized of getting log cannons firing volleys at common intervals. The volleys function a type of salute in honor of the sultan’s reminiscence and as a method of making an attempt to frighten the ghosts away.


Types of Ghosts, Preta Art
Picture from Wikipedia

Translated into English as “hungry ghost”, it’s a type of ghost widespread to all South and East Asian cultures. This outcomes from its roots in Buddhist and Hindu theology, with pretas referring to souls trapped between loss of life and reincarnation in a brand new life. Particularly, this outcomes from the failure of the residing to carry out correct funerary rites for the useless. If the rites don’t get carried out inside a 12 months of the individual’s loss of life, their soul stays a preta for eternity.

That stated, different circumstances exist for an individual’s soul to turn out to be a preta after their loss of life. Often, solely grasping and deceitful folks turn out to be pretas after they die, which really displays their karma. Historically, this drives them to devour both corpses or feces, however fashionable sources have pretas hungering for different issues as properly. Both method, this serves because the origin for his or her identify, which implies hungry ghost.


A kind of ghost widespread to European folklore, revenants typically consult with reanimated corpses. Nevertheless, they differ relying on the folklore of the assorted European international locations. In Scandinavia, for instance, revenants have protecting traits comparable to defending burial grounds from tomb robbers.

In Medieval England, numerous folks tales describe revenants rising from their graves for numerous causes. For instance, one revenant rose to hunt revenge for his spouse’s infidelity, with the haunting solely ending after the locals dug up his physique throughout the day and burned it. In one other story, one other revenant arose out of its unwillingness to depart its spouse behind. The revenant solely rested in peace after a bishop wrote an absolution for his sins, which they positioned within the revenant’s tomb.


One of many oldest sorts of ghosts on the earth goes way back to Biblical instances, with shades first talked about within the Previous Testomony’s Ebook of Samuel. Students have recognized the time period’s origin with widespread beliefs within the Historical Close to East over the fates of the useless. Particularly, it ties with the widespread perception of an underworld the place the useless reside within the underworld beneath a perpetual shadow.

This was later handed on to Historical Greece, the place it turned reinterpreted as seen within the delusion of Orpheus. Within the delusion, Orpheus descends to the underworld in search of his useless spouse. There, he finds the useless decreased to intangible shadows, or literal shades, of their residing selves. This later turned the origin of the widespread Western notion of ghosts having the translucent and intangible appearances of after they nonetheless lived.


Picture from Vampedia

A kind of ghost from Romanian folklore, strigoi makes up one of many supply supplies for the fashionable vampire. Particularly, strigoi consult with reanimated corpses that search to drink the blood of the residing, which they should keep away from completely dying. Nevertheless, as they’ve already died, their our bodies rot no matter their reanimated state. This provides strigoi a monstrous look, that of literal strolling corpses. Nevertheless, they supposedly have shapeshifting talents and will even end up outright invisible to masks their monstrous appearances.

Romanian folklore additionally offers numerous causes behind how a useless individual can turn out to be a strigoi. These embody residing a sinful life, getting cursed by a witch, getting executed for perjury, or committing suicide. One weird motive even entails getting born because the seventh youngster of the identical intercourse from the identical dad and mom. The strigoi delusion additionally gives the origin of one of the widespread methods to kill a vampire. Particularly, driving a stake by means of the guts.


A kind of vampiric creature from the Philippines that haunts folks, the tiyanak has two origin tales, relying on the historic context. Legends from earlier than the colonial interval declare that the tiyanak are unborn kids whose moms died earlier than they might give beginning. Nevertheless, tales from the colonial interval onward as a substitute declare that the tiyanak is the souls of kids who died earlier than getting baptized.

Whatever the origin, tales of the tiyanak have the ghosts mimic the crying of a kid to lure the unwary into the jungle. The tales additionally at all times describe the tiyanak as typically having child-like options. In addition they have claws and fangs which they use to kill their victims.

That stated, the tales additionally inform of varied methods to cope with the ghosts. One entails the sufferer taking off their garments, pulling them inside-out, and placing them again on. This amuses the tiyanak, which then proceeds to let the sufferer go. Rosaries and different holy objects additionally repel the tiyanak, as does garlic. Baptismal rites additionally supposedly have an effect on the tiyanak, curing them of their stressed states and guiding them to the afterlife.


Types of Ghosts, Vlad Tepes III
Picture from Wikipedia

The primary origin of the fashionable vampire, the sort of creature with a ghostly look has its origins in Slavic tradition. Actually, all Slavic international locations have their very own variations of the vampir, from Serbia within the south to Russia within the north, and from Poland within the west to Ukraine within the east. Just like the Romanian strigoi, vampir are reanimated corpses that search to drink the blood of the residing. They want to take action to keep away from completely dying, however not like the strigoi, the our bodies of vampir don’t rot, permitting them to cross for the residing extra simply.

That stated, their our bodies do mirror their unnatural nature, comparable to pale, sickly pores and skin, and having no heartbeat. They might additionally possess magical powers, reflecting the widespread perception that witches and heretics turn out to be vampir after they die. To stop this from occurring, folks in Slavic international locations historically beheaded the corpses of these convicted or suspected of witchcraft and heresy in life.

This custom later turned shared by neighboring Germany, which served to transmit the vampir custom to Western Europe. There, it turned well-known because the vampire, particularly, by means of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. Paradoxically, whereas recognized for his cruelty and bloodlust, Dracula’s inspiration, Vlad Tepes III of Wallachia, had no historic affiliation with the vampir.


A kind of ghost from Greece, the vrykolakas shares many similarities with the vampir. Individuals who died excommunicated by the Church might turn out to be vrykolakas after they die, as do those that get buried in unconsecrated floor. Sinners, on the whole, might turn out to be vrykolakas, together with individuals who eat meat tainted by a wolf or a werewolf. Werewolves can also turn out to be vrykolakas after getting killed until their our bodies get burned instantly afterward. A vrykolakasphysique doesn’t rot, as a substitute mutating into massive, drum-bodied, red-skinned monsters.

Not like the vampir, the vrykolakas doesn’t drink blood. As a substitute, they tear out and eat the liver, together with different inside organs. They might additionally unfold plagues with them wherever they go, and solely develop stronger the older they get. This makes killing them and destroying their our bodies essential for any neighborhood supposedly haunted by them.

White Woman

Additionally referred to as a Woman in White, the sort of ghost has many similarities with the Woman in Pink. For one factor, they’re well-known worldwide, with many sightings in international locations and cultures all around the globe. For one more factor, additionally they share related origins, that of girls who died violent and premature deaths.

That stated, additionally they have variations. Most clearly, a Woman in White clothes in white. Additionally, not like a Woman in Pink, a Woman in White is often hostile. Actually, a Woman in White will actively attempt to drive their victims into tragedy, normally destroying their lives earlier than they die. Some variations of the White Woman, just like the Russian zayan, even bewitch males with their magnificence earlier than actually dragging them beneath the Earth.

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