Roman celebrants performed a variety of appeasing acts and rituals to exorcise those dead who were evil or malevolent from their homes. In essence, an early version of Ghost Hunters. The Romans would propitiate the dead with offerings of beans. Beans? Well, given the response of some intestinal tracts to the eating of such legumes, perhaps it is understandable after all - LOL.
The Vestal Virgins would also prepare a sacred salted flour cake called mola salsa (shades of Lembas for those of my f-list) which used the first ears of wheat of the season. Ovid claimed that you should walk backwards throwing black beans over your shoulder. At night - actually, at midnight. The owner of the house (undoubtedly to avoid appearing too ridiculous to his neighbors) would arise at midnight, gather his bowl of beans, and walk backwards around his house throwing beans over his shoulder and murmuring (or declaring if he didn't care what the neighbors thought) "I send these, with these beans I redeem me and mine (haec ego mitto, his redimo meque moesque fabis)" nine times. Not just once, but NINE times. Additionally, his household would clang bronze pots and call out "Ghosts of my fathers and ancestors, be gone!" nine times. Like ghosts couldn't get the entire idea after a single shout, they had to have it pounded into their aetheric brains via nine repetitions. OY!