The Terrace at Meric ( Les Lauriers Roses)
oil on canvas ( unfinished), 1867.
Cincinnati Art Museum.
When writing urban fantasy, one need not neglect the existing superstitions of our normal world in favour of an entirely new cosmology.
I think that faint familiarity is part of the charm of the genre -- when the paranormal becomes mundane -- and when human nature proves persistent.
As Lillie observes in Malignity:
Ghosts were almost as profitable for entrepreneurial psychics as zombies - and considerably safer, obviously.
Ancestral ghosts were no longer the providence of old money and old families, but available to social climbers and the nouveau riche. Lots of people decided they wanted a resident ghost. At first.
Ghosts were also imported to supply cache to historic buildings and tourist spots that had previously been bereft of spectral endorsement.
Ghost walks proliferated and became perversely popular for a time. The more outre advertised them as Death Walks.
Ghost raising also avoided the messy ethical problems associated with animation: the blood rites.
Which was another thing I had against animators -- animal sacrifice. If animators needed fresh blood, they or their clients should supply it, not some dumb animal.
I avoided the whole animation thing. I would have nothing to do with them or zombies. It was in my contract.
A fact which made me a sitting duck if someone decided to sic one on me.
I didn't know the rules.
The paranormal may also perform according to type in urban fantasy.
Later, after surveying a desecrated grave -- one where the tombstone unaccountably bears her name -- Lillie encounters a typical death omen.
The sound of hooves and carriages on the avenue alerted me; and I automatically veered to the edge of the gravel drive to wait for the pale cortege to pass.
A fancy affair with silver harness and sable plumes on a horse-drawn hearse. A shadowy driver hunched on the forward box. In the next carriage a male mourner rode in sombre, solitary state. Misty weedy females in the third. The suggestion of fluttering crepe. No wailing though, only the rolling wheels and clop-clop of hooves. A restrained, impersonal apparition.
A gust of cold wind splattered rain drops from the trees above. The moisture collected, ran down, and fell off the wide sleeves of my plastic cape, like tears.
Urban fantasy is so much fun.