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21:45 Dec 25, 2005
English to English translations [PRO] Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
English term or phrase:lay (all) one's ghosts
“We shall go for a jaunt around the country in search of that circus, have Goodfellow do his dance again, and this time hypnotise me, perhaps, and lay all my ghosts.”
The guy talking had been seeing ghosts, and the person he’s talking to was some time ago hypnotised by that circus fellow.
Explanation: Anna and Airmail have quite rightly described the literal meaning of 'to lay ghosts' = to finally lay the souls to rest, and hence get rid of them.
But it can also be used figuratively, and may well be so here, or maybe with a double meaning. In this sense, it means "finally settle / resolve / purge in some way troublesome memories / residues from the past", "to put them behind you so you can get on with your life", etc. So the action of the hypnotist might be on 2 different levels...