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This is our Favorite Time of Year!

The season, the night, the unknown mysteries that the darkness holds before your eyes. The costumes, the ability to mask your true self and become another person. A vampire, a witch, a goblin? Which do you prefer, perhaps a ghoul or something of your own design, any of which allows you the freedom to become someone other than yourself, even if only for the night.

The harvest moon hanging high in the sky, the bitter chill of a late autumn evening, sitting with friends exchanging ghost stories…all brings back such memories. Being with a loved one by a warm fire, waiting for the inevitable ring of the doorbell from the next child questioning "Trick or treat?"

Halloween, "all saints eve", it has a lot of history behind it, not to mention the tricks and the TREATS!

The History Of Halloween

"What events lead up to the celebration we currently hold every October 31st, where children delightfully romp from home to home, and receive candy by yelling an all familiar 'Trick or Treat'?

A Catholic church is to thank for the creation of the word Halloween based on 'all hallows eve'. The Catholic church observed November 1st as a day to honor the saints.

But previously, in approximately the 5th century B.C., this day (Oct. 31) was referred to as "Samhain", a Celtic New Year. It was believed that on this day, spirits who had died in the previous year, would rise to seek out a new body to inhabit. This was rumored to be their only opportunity for an afterlife.

Now you can well imagine how happy the Celtics would have been to have their bodies invaded by spirits, so they would put out all fires to make the houses feel cold and undesirable, and dress in grim costumes and and wander about the neighborhood hoping to frighten off the would be spiritual invaders.

Rumors both confirmed and denied talk of the Celtics burning a person at the stake thought to be already posessed.

Halloween hit the Americas in the 1800's from the Irish who were fleeing the country's famine. They were at that time, the instigators of the 'Halloween pranks' by tipping over outhouses. This practice still happens even today (except when you move the outhouse and then have to use rescue workers to retrieve the would be pranksters :)

The Halloween Pumpkin or Jack-O-Lantern most likely originated from the Irish as well. A story is told of a man named Jack who was a drunk and a prankster. He convinced Satan to climb a tree and then carved a cross into the tree itself, trapping Satan from his return to earth. In a deal he made, Satan was instructed never to tempt him again for Jack's promise to remove the cross.

After Jack passed away, he was promptly denied access into Heaven because of his evil doings, and was kicked out of Hell because he had tricked Satan. As a consolation, he was given a single ember of light to find his way through the dark.

The Irish used a turnip was hollowed out and an ember placed inside, henceforth 'Jack's Lantern' was formed.

However, in the Americas, pumpkins were more common than turnips, so the current Jack-O-Lantern of today became the symbol of our modern day Halloween Celebration.

So contrary to popular belief, Halloween is not truly a night of demons, but a celebration of a new year.

But in the glisten of every childs eye, you can see the wonderment and imagination of a night dark and dreary, where spirits rise to celebrate their special night.

Halloween is and always has been a special night for me. I have what has been determined as an incredibly overactive imagination, and on this night, I can sit back and let my thoughts run wild as the beasts of the night, the lost souls may rise again and rejoice with me.

And in the darkness, a pair of eyes glisten in the new moonlight, and the eve of Halloween begins.."

Kevin Greggain of The NightGallery

"Listen to them, the children of the night, what music they make..." Brahm Stoker, Dracula

"Did you know Harry Hudini Died on Halloween day in 1926? It's also, a national 'Magical Day'"

© LittleSecretss & FlaggPole 1998