Happy Halloween 2020

The dark history behind Halloween

(Source: Business Insider.com)

The word ‘Halloween’ was first popularized in a poem.

Scottish poet Robert Burns helped to popularize the word “Halloween” with his 1785 poem of the same name.

So where does the name itself come from? According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, it’s actually two words smushed together. “Hallow” — or holy person — refers to the saints celebrated on All Saints’ Day, which is November 1. The “een” part of the word is a contraction of “eve” — or evening before.

The day’s morbid traditions go back to ancient times

Historians have linked Halloween to Samhain, the Celtic festival of the summer’s end celebrated in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man.

According to Celtic mythology, the veil between the Otherworld and our world thins during Samhain, making it easier for spirits and the souls of the dead to return.

People would make offerings of food in order to get on the good side of these spirits and departed ancestors, according to the Mirror.

Allhallowtide, which includes All Saints’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, and the subsequent All Souls’ Day, was initially celebrated in the spring, during the early years of the Church.

Pope Gregory IV switched it to the current date in 837, according to Britannica. His reasons were unclear, although influence from Celtic factions of the church and the fact that it makes sense to commemorate death during the fall are possibilities.

Bobbing for apples used to be more than just a splashy party game.

Halloween has come to be most closely associated with the pumpkin, but apples have played an important role in its history.

After all, apples make numerous appearances in Celtic mythology and are often connected to the Otherworld.

Bobbing for apples remains a popular party game.

The reason? Well, the practice used to be considered a form of divination performed around Halloween, according to NPR. That’s right — people would dunk their heads in a vat of water and try to bite into floating fruit in a quest to figure out their future spouse.

Ladies would mark an apple and toss it into the tub. The thinking was they’d be destined to whoever pulled it out of the water.

Jack-o’-lanterns symbolize a fateful deal with the Devil.

Otherwise, you might end up like Irish folk figure Jack O’Lantern.

Modern day, intricately designed pumpkin creations certainly make for impressive decorations. But back in the day, folks in Ireland dubbed their carved, fiery turnips “jack-o’-lanterns” thanks in part to an ominous legend.

One night, a conniving local drunkard named Jack trapped the Prince of Darkness in a tree by hacking a sign of the cross into the bark. In exchange for letting Satan climb down, Jack had him vow to never claim his soul.

Jack proceeded to act like a jerk his whole life. When he died, he sure as heck was not allowed in heaven. So he tried to return to his old pal, the Devil. But Satan upheld his end of the deal, hurling a piece of coal from hell at the dead man for good measure.

Left without anywhere to go, Jack placed the blazing coal in a turnip to use as a lantern. The dead man then set out, doomed to wander until he can find an eternal resting place.

Trick-or-treating has ancient precedent — but the candy part didn’t come about until much later.

Modern day trick-or-treating is a confluence of various traditions.

Ancient Celts dressed up as evil spirits in order to confuse demons, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

In medieval England, “soulers” would go around begging rich folk for “soul cakes” on Halloween. Instead of threatening to play tricks, however, they’d pray for peoples’ souls in return for the cake, according to “The Compleat Teacher’s Almanack.”

Throughout medieval Europe, mummering — dressing in disguises and visiting neighborhoods while dancing, playing music, and doing tricks — was popular on major feast days.

TIME reported Irish and Scottish immigrants brought “souling” to the States in the 1800s. But modern day trick-or-treating didn’t catch on in the US until the 1920s.

The practice was pretty controversial into the 1950s, though. According to the American Journal of Play’s “Gangsters, Pranksters, and the Invention of Trick-or-Treating,” many adults raised “stern objections” to trick-or-treating over the decades, as it was often viewed as a form of extortion.

The “Bloody Mary” ritual has unclear origins (and various practices).

Late folklorist and UC Berkeley professor Alan Dundes wrote an article titled “Bloody Mary in the Mirror: A Ritual Reflection of Pre-Pubescent Anxiety” about the various origins and practices of the “Bloody Mary” ritual, also known as “Mary Worth” and “Mary Whales.”

Many versions of the ritual include the elements of a girl peering into a mirror (often in a bathroom), darkness, blood, chanting, and the appearance of the cursed “Mary.”

Black cats have been associated with the supernatural for hundreds of years.

Black cat costumes are particularly popular on Halloween.

“In the Middle Ages, black cats were often portrayed as the famliars of witches, which is likely to be the origin of the distrust with which they are regarded in America, where early Puritan settlers rejected anything associated with the Devil and witch,” Chloe Rhodes wrote in “Black Cats and Evil Eyes: A Book on Old-fashioned Superstition.”

According to History.com, it was also believed in the Middle Ages that witches transformed into black cats to conceal themselves.


After this interesting and fascinating information about ‘All Hallow’s Eve’ I wish you and your loved ones:

Picture courtesy of http://www.google.com

 

Just in Time for Halloween – Written By Cary Vaughn

The writer of ‘The Reluctant Cat Owner’s Journal,’ Cary Vaughn, has published a blog post I could not deprive you of enjoying. The author is, of course, a cat daddy and also an unbelievably gifted writer. No matter what the situation with the cats is, Cary masters it, writers about it, and makes his devoted fans (like me) laugh. Thanks so much for this wonderful post, Cary. And speedy recovery to the kitty!


 

As I’ve mentioned before, Predator Face has a habit of sneezing phlegm onto our walls and floor since the day of his adoption. In my opinion, this has made housekeeping more laborious than necessary.

As I’ve also mentioned before, Predator Face recently lost the ability to breath through his nose, making him sound like a snotty, mouth-breathing toddler with the flu. Not, stertorous. More slurpy, like breathing through a mouthful of gelatin.

 

At first, his condition was pathetic and sad. But it didn’t take long before the slurpy mouth breathing became a nuisance. For example, I no longer woke in the middle of the night to the adorable rumbling of his purr as he nudged me for attention.

CONTINUE READING HERE

Back To Fall

As soon as it’s November
the pumpkins will be gone
the skeletons are in the attic
free of ghosts is our lawn.

**

For a moment there is silence
in peace, our life can stay
for just one small and little moment
before the next big holiday.

**

Enjoy the break and get your strength
you will need it you will see.
Go for walks enjoy the season
be relaxed, and smile, feel free.

**

But first of all, before the break
We need to work and take a beat
to get us through the pumpkin time
and play the trick or treat!

*****

(Copyright: Aurora Jean Alexander, October 2019)

Happy Halloween 2019

What a wonderful Holiday! I’d like to use this opportunity to thank you for your loyalty, thanks for regularly visiting my blog! You make blogging fun for me!

Since this is a Holiday celebrated mostly outside – please, think of taking your pets in, and by all means, protect your black kitties! There are some weird people out there!

And now, please celebrate – I wish you and your families:

 

 

TSRA – Trailers And Movies – By The Story Reading Ape

On The Story Reading Ape’s Blog I discovered a few trailers and movies. I know, Halloween is over, but believe me, these are AMAZING!! I love each one of them and I couldn’t resist showing one of them to you!


The Magician – a VERY short Halloween Video by Chris Graham…

 

If you want to see more, please go to:

The Witch Hunt – Halloween Video by Chris Graham…

Dracula’s Tale – A Horror Story – Video by Chris Graham…

 

These are only two more of them. I’m sure, you’ll be happy to hear The Story Reading Ape got a YouTube Channel to subscribe! Check it out HERE

 

4th Halloween Poem Contest – 6th And Last Group Of Submitted Poems —

Picture courtesy of: http://preventioncdnndg.org/

Please respect each authors’ and poets’ copyright. The rights remain with the writers. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from each of the poems author’s is strictly prohibited and violates copyright laws in the country you are reading this work in as well as in the country you are trying to re-publish this work in. – Aurora Jean Alexander


All Hallows Eve – By Bobby Fairfield

From beneath the earth a sound appears.
like the sound of finger’s frantic movement,
confined under the ground for countless years
rest the souls of those in endless torment.
On one special day on the midnight chime
their spirits are released from death’s dark hold
they may rise again for one last time
and wreak their vengeance on all they behold.
The putrid bodies stripped of flesh and hair
their bones bleached white by cold, dank soil
as they lie shrouded in wood coffins bare
trailing mildewed ribbons of skin like oil.
For just one night their souls are free
then condemned to rest for eternity


THE CURSE OF NIGHT – By M.A. Cortez

Upstairs while my family slept
I left my room alone
Down the creaky stairs I crept
facing the unknown

Terror hugged my narrow neck
Then from the dark I feared
two red eyes, And from a speck
A vampire appeared

“Midnight hour is my divine
so heed these words I say
Disobey and you’ll be mine
before the light of day

Go now out this cursed night
and find for me a friend
Do it now and do it right
or it will be your end”

Quietly I slipped away
A thirst for blood seduced
Would I live to see the day
mortality reduced?

Moon’s glow lit my lonely path
on this All Hallows Eve
Dare I chance my master’s wrath
or would I find reprieve?

Hungrily I searched the town
but found the world asleep
On my return, he took me down
Down
Down
To my forever sleep.