from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A thick candle formerly used at a lich wake, or the customary watching with a corpse on the night before its interment. (b) A luminous appearance, resembling the flame of a candle, sometimes seen in churchyards and other damp places, superstitiously regarded as portending death.


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  • See also vivoleum.

    March 5, 2010

  • Corpse candle refers to the ghostly lights sometimes seen at night or twilight — often over bogs. It looks like a flickering candle, and is sometimes said to recede if approached. Much folklore surrounds the legend, but science has offered several potential explanations.

    Also called will-o'-the-wisp

    February 23, 2008