Genies in Bottles?

Ghost in a Jar?Did genie bottles and lamps actually hold ghosts?

In the Middle East, there are many who hold beliefs in jinni. A jinn (or djinn) is an invisible spirit, oftentimes, considered to be the same as a ghost by some. However, many arabic people believe jinni to be non-human spirits created before man. Some jinni are known to be good and others not so good - not too dissimilar to mankind.

Ghosts in Bottles: Genies?The description of jinni sounds very similar to human ghosts, having a wide range personality traits and differing behavior. Interestingly, the word jinni is where the word "genie" is derived. In Arab folklore, genies are a supernatural creature mentioned in the Qur'an and one part of three creations of beings that also include humans and angels. Jinni are thought to be spirits lesser than angels. Like ghosts and spirits, jinni have been seen appearing in both male and female form and wearing clothing such as vests and sashes. Djinn are mentioned in the Koran and are believed by Muslims to live with humans, being capable of changing into human and animal form when seeking to influence people.

Interestingly, jinni, like humans, are thought to live in communities with kings, courts, wedding rituals and different classes based upon appearance - including animal forms.

In modern times, genies are often thought to be magical creatures that are trapped in a bottle and can grant three wishes in exchange for their freedom. The idea of keeping a genie in a bottle might stem from Arabic lore about about jinni being able to be bound to objects. Magicians have been thought to have the ability to trap djinn in lamps or bottles. Legend says that the wisest man, Solomon, had the ability to trap genies in bottles in order to toss them into the sea.

Shamefully, today, there are people who claim to be able to trap human ghosts in bottles during exorcism rituals. It's doubtful this is possible, but many a ghost in a bottle hoaxes do sell on eBay. PT Barnum once said, "There's a sucker born every minute." Ghosts can become attached to objects but not trapped within them.

Jinni or genies, according to legend, come in five different types of beings: Jann, Djinn, Sheytans, Afrits (Efreets), and Marids.

Learn More:
Ghost in a Bottle
Ghosts & Islam