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In Celtic folklore of Brittany, the Ankou is a death omen that collects the souls of the dead. The Ankou or King of the Dead, is the last person to die in a parish during a year. For the following year, he or she assumes the duty of calling for the dead. Every parish in Brittany has its own Ankou. The Ankou is personified as a tall, haggard figure with long white hair, or as a skeleton with a revolving head able to see everything everywhere. It drives a spectral cart accompanied by two ghostly figures on foot and stops at the house of the one who is about to die. It knocks on the door - making a sound that is sometimes heard by the living - or gives out a mournful wail like the Irish Banshee. Sometimes it's reported to be seen as an apparition entering the house. It takes away the dead, who are then placed in the cart with the help of the two companion ghosts. The Ankou is a powerful figure that dominates Breton folklore.
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