Death has always been a fascinating topic for several people. However, whenever the subject of death comes up, the Grim Reaper is never far behind. He is the symbol of death for several people and has been featured countless times in movies and also plays. He is the keep of souls and is portrayed a cloaked force of darkness carrying a scythe.
Some folklores say that the Reaper arrives in a carriage drawn by white horses, while other say that he comes to take the souls on horse and not a carriage.
According to the various myths and legends, it is the Grim Reaper’s responsibility to carry the souls to the land of life after death.
Several religions believe that one spirit is designated the task of transporting the souls of people after they die. And, it is the Reaper who has this task. In Greek mythology, Charon is the entity that has the responsibility of transporting the dead in a ferry across the river that forms the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead. When it comes to the Reaper, some historians draw on the facts from Hades to explain the Reaper, while others claim that this shadowy figure stems from a person’s own beliefs.
If you check folklores and mythology, there are a lot of references to an entity that escorts the dead to the world of the dead. Many of these entities have an appearance similar to the Reaper, but go by different names. For instance, in Germanic folklore, Valkyries, the assistant of Odin, was responsible for transporting the dead. He came on a wild horse carrying a spear. Some historical experts claim that Odin is the figure from whom the Reaper emerged.
Ankou, an entity in long black robe, was the embodiment of death in Breton mythology. Ankou used to come in a cart drawn by 2 horses to carry the souls. There are claims that the story of the Reaper was derived from Ankou.
Different cultures across the world have different myths and folklore to talk about death and how the souls are carried away. But, it is the Grim Reaper who has managed to capture the imagination of people and is now considered to be a representation of death. There is no clear cut answer how this personification came about or originated.