You will hear many say, "Duppy (ghost) rises on the third day after the burial and returnes to the house to wander around their possessions." They finally will depart on the ninth night. (if they leave at all). Usually family and friends will gather together at the house to welcome their return and send them back to the grave. This is always a cause for celebration, (called, "nine night.")
Some superstitious beliefs include:-
- to get rid of duppy you must burn rosemary and scatter rice around the house
- put 10 coffee beans in the house, (it is believe duppy can't count past 9)
- To ensure the duppy dem do not return everyone in the house must say goodbye to the dead body and the youngest child must be lifted and passed over the coffin, while the name is being said.
- All the buttons must be removed from the clothes from the deceased person and the clothes must be pinned or sewn without knots or the ghost will return. Furthermore all the pockets must be sewn up or the ghost will return and fill it with stone.
- When you leave a wake touch the person who is to leave with you (do not say their name out loud) or the duppy will leave with that person.
- As soon as the body leaves the room the room needs to be swept.
- The grave should be dug up by one man or an odd number of men . After the first grave digger makes the first dig, he should drink some rum
- The grave should be dug east to west and the body put in facing the sun
- The diggers should face the grave backwards and put the dirt in through their legs, so the duppy doesn't follow them home.
- if possible bury a calabash tree at the head of the grave. If not a calabash tree any tree will do.
For more information concerning the beliefs of the dead in Jamaica check the following sites.