When the mountains die they turn into the sun.
When the stars die they turn into darkness.
When dogs die they join the winds."
For millennia, wind has seemed mysterious. You can't see it, but you can feel it and sometimes even hear it. Some cultures attribute supernatural forces or divinity to the wind. One instance of this is that wind carries the spirits of the deceased.
This is Older Than Feudalism. Many cultures throughout the centuries have associated the wind with the supernatural. The word "spirit" is even derived from "breath"/"blow". This is still seen in words like "respiration". Even in the Latin language, and other languages too, there are links between the idea of breathing, wind, and having/being a spirit.
Compare to Stars Are Souls for another natural phenomenon associated with the afterlife and Healing Winds for winds having a health-giving element. See also Chunky Updraft when the source of the wind isn't paranormal.
- At the end of Brightest Day, Shayera Hol, who had been killed and then resurrected as an air elemental, is reduced to wind after the White Ring decides that she had served her purpose.
- WindClan cats in Tell me about your Ancestors believe their ancestors live in the sky and run with them as the moorland's winds.
- Alpha and Omega: In Legend of the Saw Tooth Cave, the ghostly wolf is accompanied by leaves flowing through the wind.
- Klaus implies that Klaus's deceased wife Lydia stayed on with him in the wind that blows around him during pivotal points.
- In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, wind blows around the main characters at several points. This wind is implied to be the spirits of the past Great Kings, including Simba's deceased father Mufasa.
- Make Mine Music: In "The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met'', after Willie is harpooned, the moment of his death is indicated by a gust of wind sweeping up from the sea toward the sky.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas: one of the unseen inhabitants of Halloweentown seems to be one of these, describing itself as "the wind blowing through your hair" during the opening song.
- In Disney's Pocahontas, it's heavily implied that the wind blowing leaves represents Pocahontas's dead mother.
- In the The Prince of Egypt, the final plague, the Angel of Death that has come to take the firstborn of Egypt, is represented as a wind that takes the souls of the children.
- Towards the end of The Wind Rises, Jiro succeeds in perfecting his plane but then feels a gust of wind, a sign that his wife has died.
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: After Donovan's death by Rapid Aging, a gust of wind blows across the dust left behind to reveal Donovan's Nazi pin.
- A Little Princess: While telling her stories Sara talks about there being spirits on the winds.
- The Ten Commandments depicts the final plague of taking the first born sons of the Egyptians as being represented as wind taking the children's souls.
- In the 1994 version of Little Women, as Jo sits by Beth's deathbed, the wind suddenly picks up outside and Jo goes to close the window. Once she closes it, the wind gusts more strongly than ever. Then she turns around to find that Beth has died. The clear implication is that the gust of wind was her spirit leaving.
- Nightworld: Lost Souls: Almost every time something supernatural happens, a strong wind starts blowing, even indoors.
- City of Bones by Martha Wells: Winds are associated specifically with evil souls, since good people are believed to rest in peace beneath the earth after death. One veteran traveler gets nervous at sudden breezes, having seen the frigid remains of ghosts' victims. It's ultimately revealed that the "ghosts" are evil spiritual entities from Another Dimension, not human souls.
- According to dog lore in Doglands, free-spirited dogs never truly die. They just become the wind. It's left ambiguous whether this is true or not, but the ending where Furgul's mentor Brennus dies and later a huge gust of wind helps Furgul at the last minute implies it is.
- Dogs use "scents" as another word for "spirit". When someone dies, their scent changes and their spirit blends with others in the air.
- The Great Howl is a spiritual ceremony that dogs and wolves do on full moons. It creates a peaceful bliss amongst the pack and helps strengthen their bonds. When a particularly powerful Great Howl occurs, it gets windy and dogs can feel the Spirit-Dogs amongst them.
- In the Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode "The Tale of the Phantom Cab", several bushes outside a forest cabin, at the sound of distant disembodied wails, quake in an eerily unexpected wind.
- The Six Million Dollar Man episode "Straight On 'til Morning". A group of aliens crashlands on Earth. When they die, their bodies disappear and a wind blows through the area.
- Blue Öyster Cult's "(Don't Fear) the Reaper" mentions the wind blowing strongly when The Grim Reaper comes for a woman.
Came the last night of sadness
And it was clear she couldn't go on
The door was open and the wind appeared
The candles blew and then disappeared
The curtains flew then he appeared
Saying don't be afraid
Come on baby... And she had no fear
And she ran to him... Then she started to fly
- John Leyton's "Johnny Remember Me" is a Teenage Death Song about a man who hears the voice of his dead beloved in the wind, whenever it howls.
- Sweet Honey in the Rock, "Breaths":
Those who have died have never, never left
The dead are not under the earth
They are in the rustling trees
They are in the groaning woods
They are in the crying grass
They are in the moaning rocks
The dead are not under the earth
- In Islamic teachings, as part of the Apocalypse, there'll be a kind of gentle wind blowing that will take the lives of good Muslims painlessly. They'll be spared from the actual day of destruction.
- In the final story of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Sonic is killed off by the Big Bad. Afterwards, Elise senses his presence in the wind, which makes everyone look for the Chaos Emeralds to revive him.
- At the end of Dust: An Elysian Tail, Dust makes a Heroic Sacrifice and is engulfed in lava. While Elder Grey-Eyes gives a eulogy honoring him and how he saved the Moonblood tribe, Ginger and Fidget notice the wind kick up and carry the Blade of Ahrah off into the distance. They decide to chase after it, because they know that Dust is still out there somewhere.
- Ghost of Tsushima: In a flashback, Jin is told by Yuriko that the wind is his deceased father's spirit guiding him from beyond. The wind is used as a navigation system throughout the game and starts blowing unusually hard during some especially difficult moments for Jin, but it is left ambiguous if his father is really reaching out to help him, or if he's just ascribing undue importance to natural phenomena.
- Pokémon has the move Ominous Wind, a Ghost-Type attack that may potentially raise all of the users' stats at once.
- In the Rugrats episode "Mother's Day", it's revealed that Chuckie's mother wrote a poem just before she died that has the lyric, "When a gentle wind blows, that's my hand on your face."
- In the Hebrew language, ghost and wind are the same word: רוח (rucha). This is why in different translations of The Bible, the same phrase from the Book of Genesis is rendered either as "the spirit of God" or "a wind from God."