In West-African languages, voudou or vudu variously means spirit or ghost. The displacement of West African peoples through slavery was also the cause of the transference of ancient African religions to the Americas. These ancient African religions are generally not the sinister and satanic rituals that Hollywood sometimes used to portray. Most of these African religions involve ancestor worship and spiritual contact with ancestors is still prevalent in Africa today. In Haiti, where it is known as ‘Vodou’ it had to be practised in secret because Christianity was forced upon slaves who were taken there. This enforced secrecy helped to fuel the many misconceptions that have sprung up over Vodou. Today in Haiti, Vodou enjoys the status of an official religion, the roots of which go back many thousands of years. See also Jinx, Hoodoo.