January 25 marks the birthday of Robert Burns (1759-1796), the national poet of Scotland, and is observed worldwide with the Robbie Burns Supper, a night of poetry, song, toasts, haggis, and “Tam o’ Shanter.” The tale of Tam and his devilish interloping is customarily enacted in vaudevillian style during the Supper, bringing the flare and flavor of the ghostly realm to this feast that celebrates all things earthy together with their power to draw folks on to other realms. “Tam o’ Shanter” is horrifying even as it is humorous, but most horrifying and humorous of all is the moral conclusion it

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