Halloween is October 31st. The Halloween customs that we observe on October 31 had their beginnings long, long ago. They came from the beliefs of the druids - priests of ancient Gaul and Britain. The druids believed that witches, demons, and spirits of the dead roamed the earth on the eve of November 1. Bonfires were lit to drive the bad spirits away. To protect themselves further from the mean tricks of the bad spirits, the druids offered them good things to eat. They also disguised themselves so that the spirits would think the druids belonged to their own evil company. Surely the spirits would not harm members of their own group! Or so the druids thought. And thus we celebrate Halloween by playing trick or treat, dressing up in cortumes, and wearing masks.
Much later the Roman Catholic Church set aside the first day of November to honor all the saints who had no special days of their own. this was known as All Saints, or All Hallows, Day. The night before was called All Hallows Even. The two festivals gradually became one, and All Hallows Even was shortened to Halloween. The children of Britain made their jack-o-lanterns from turnips. The turnip is still used in many places, although pumpkins are more popular.
Originally, Halloween was thought of as a religious holiday celebrated to scare away evil spirits. People would dress up as goblins, witches and ghosts in order to celebrate All Saints Day without any intervention from these spirits. This is where dressing up in costumes on the holiday actually originated from.
According to Dauphin Couty Library System, in 1921, Anoka, Minnesota celebrated the first official city wide observation of Halloween with a pumpkin bowl, a costumed square dance and two parades. After that, it didn't take Halloween long to go nationwide. New York started celebrating in 1923 and LA in 1925. By then, not only had Jack O'Lanterns replaced the hollowed out turnips, but the disguised fairies begging door to door had become trick or treat. Bonfires remained popular, but not for relighting fires and telling the future.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggety beasties And things that go bump in the night Good Lord, deliver us!
A Cornish Prayer
No Will-o'-the-Wisp mislight thee; Nor snake, or slow-worm bite thee: But on, on thy way Nor making a stay, Since ghost there's none to affright thee.
Robert Herrick (1591-1674)
O'er all there hung a shadow and a fear; A sense of mystery the spirit daunted, And said as plain as whisper in the ear, The place is Haunted.
Thomas Hood (1799-1845)
All houses wherein men have lived and died are haunted houses. Through the open doors the harmless phantoms on their errands glide, with feet that make no sound upon the floors.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
Men say that in this midnight hour, The disembodied have power To wander as it liketh them, By wizard oak and fairy stream.
William Motherwell (1797-1835)
The autumn leaves, cornstalks, apples, and nuts which are so much a part of the Halloween season are reminders of the druids autumn festival in honor of the harvest.
Trick for Treat: During Samhain, the Druids believed that the dead would play tricks on mankind and cause panic and destruction. They had to be appeased, so country folk would give them food as they visited their homes.
Bobbing for Apples: When the Celts were absorbed by the Roman Empire, many rituals of Roman origin began. Among them was the worship of Pomona, goddess of the harvest, often portrayed sitting on a basket of fruits and flowers. Apples were the sacred fruit of the goddess, and many games of divination involving them entered the Samhain customs.
Jack-O-Lanterns: Irish children used to carve out potatoes or turnips and light them for their Halloween gatherings. They commemorated Jack, a shifty Irish villain so wicked that neither heaven nor the Devil wanted him. Rejected by both the sacred and profane, he wandered the world endlessly looking for a place to rest, his only warmth a glittering candle in a rotten potato.
This is Halloween!
Goblins on the doorstep, Phantoms in the air, Owls on witches gateposts Giving stare for stare, Cats on flying broomsticks, Bats against the moon, Stirrings round of fate-cakes With a solemn spoon, Whirling apple parings, Figures draped in sheets, Dodging, disappearing, Up and down the streets, Jack-o-lanterns grinning, Shadows on a screen, Shrieks and starts with laughter This is Halloween! By: ~Dorothy Brown Thompson Submitted by my friend, Jeanne!
A Victorian Halloween Dance!
The Victorians ~ our ancestors ~ gave us our Halloween traditions. Today is a modernized world, why don't we try something different! The location would be a barn, carriage house or tent! Hang outdoor lights everywhere and decorate with bales of hay, chrysanthemums and pumpkins. Be careful of candles in the pumpkins. This could become a fire hazzard.
Dress in costumes; go trick-or-treating and then attend your parties which are plentiful of cidar and doughnuts. Offer hayrides and come back for taffy pulls. You can bob for apples, play games, host treasure hunts, a fortune teller, tell ghost stories and dance to a fiddler.
In Victorian days fortune telling and games to predict the future and who you would marry, were a big part of the festivities. According to customs, the veil between the past and future was lifted on All Hallows Eve. An unmarried person peeled an apple in one unbroken piece and tossed it over the left shoulder. It would fall into the initial of his or her true love. Or, you'd be blindfolded and if you could blow out a candle in one puff, you'd be married within a year. Two or three puffs meant a couple of years. Any more give up completely that year! If a girl looked into a mirror at midnight, she would see her future husband. This superstition became the basis for a popular mirror dance at Halloween parties.
An optional feature is you could charge an attendance fee for your Halloween party and give the proceeds to charity.
By Edgar Allen Poe
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore-- While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. "'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-- only this and nothing more."
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December; And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow;--vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow--sorrow for the lost Lenore-- For the rare and radient maiden whom the angels name Lenore-- Nameless here forevermore.
And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me--filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating, "'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-- Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-- This it is and nothing more."
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, "Sir," said I, "or madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you"--here I opened wide the door;-- Darkness there and nothing more.
Deep into that darknes peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?" This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!" Merely this and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. "Surely," I said, "surely that is something at my window lattice; Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-- Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-- 'Tis the wind and nothing more!"
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore; Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-- perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-- Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, "Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the nightly shore-- Tell me what thy lordly name is on the night's Plutonian shore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning--little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door-- Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as "Nevermore."
But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. Nothing farther then he uttered--not a feather then he fluttered-- Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have flown before-- On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before." Then the bird said, "Nevermore."
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, "Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-- Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore Of 'Never--nevermore.'"
But the Raven still beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door; Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-- What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore Meant in croaking "Nevermore."
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core; This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er, But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er, She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor. "Wretch," I cried, "thy God has lent thee--by these angels he hath sent thee Respite--respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore; Quaff, oh, quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!--prophet still, if bird or devil!-- Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted On this home by horror haunted--tell me truly, I implore-- Is there--is there balm in Gilead?--tell me--tell me, I implore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!--prophet still, if bird or devil!-- By that heaven that bends above us--by that God we both adore-- Tell this soul with sorrow laden, if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore-- Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore." Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting-- "Get thee back into the tempest and the night's Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of the lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken!--quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door! Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor; Shall be lifted--nevermore!
1 bag of Tootsie Pops Tissues Black & Orange Yarn
Drape the tissue over each tootsie pop and tie with pieces of double yarn. Make funny faces with a felt pen. Give out at Halloween!
Submitted by Linda Mayor
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 8 (8 1/2-inch-long) pretzel rods, halved 2 (2-ounce) chocolate candy coating squares, melted 1 (4.25-ounce) tube red or orange decorating frosting
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add brown sugar, beating until blended. Add flour and salt, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla. Shape dough into 16 (1 1/4-inch) balls. Place pretzels rods on ungreased baking sheets. Press a ball of dough onto cut end of each pretzel. Press dough firmly with a fork to resemble broom bristles. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on baking sheets on wire racks 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Place brooms on wax paper. Spoon melted candy coating over pretzel and cookie where they join; let stand until firm. Decorate as desired with colored frosting. Yield: 16 cookies. Prep: 20 min., Bake: 10 to 12 min.
Prepare popcorn according to package instructions. Place in bowl. Add peanuts and set aside. In a 1-cup microwave-safe measuring cup, combine butter, honey and cinnamon. Microwave on high (100 percent) until butter is melted (30 to 60 seconds). Stir to combine.
Drizzle butter mixture over popcorn mixture. Toss to coat, pour into bowl and serve warm. Or divide popcorn among 6 small paper bags; set filled bags in a microwave-safe dish and reheat in the microwave on high until warm (1 to 2 minutes). Just before serving, add plastic-wrapped party favor to each bag, if desired. Makes 5 to 6 cups.
40 - Caramel cubes 5 - Apples 1 - Tablespoon of water 5 - Wooden sticks 1 - Wax paper
Wash and dry the apples thoroughly. Remove stems and Insert the wooden sticks into the stem hole until about half the stick is in the apple. In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt the caramels with the water, stirring constantly until smooth. Now dip the apples into the hot caramel sauce, coating the apple completely. Place on greased, wax paper.
Store your caramel covered apples in the refrigerator. Before serving, remove them from the refrigerator and allow them to stand for about fifteen minutes. We like to serve our caramel covered apples on a large black platter and use extra caramels as a garnish.
Chop 10 cookies; fold chopped cookies and 1/2 cup marshmallows into 1-1/2 cups whipped topping. Set aside. Prepare pudding mix according to package directions using milk. Spoon about half the pudding mixture into 6 (6-oz) parfait glasses. Top with whipped topping mixture. Repeat pudding layer. Refrigerate 2 hours or until well chilled.
Decorate tops with remaining whipped topping. Drizzle with chocolate syrup in circular pattern; cut through with toothpick to create web effect. Serve immediately garnished with Cookie Spiders and remaining marshmallows.
Cookie Spiders: Insert 1-1/2" pieces of black shoestring licorice into cream filling around sides of each Halloween chocolate sandwich cookie for legs using frosting as "glue". Using additional frosting, attach 2 jelly beans to each spider for "eyes". Makes 6 servings.
Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes
24 Halloween chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreo) 1 pkg. yellow cake mix, batter prepared 1 can prepared vanilla frosting Flaked coconut tinted green with food coloring (if desired) Black decorator frosting or gel2 cups milk
Split cookies, leaving filling on 1 side of each cookie. Coarsely chop plain split cookies; set aside. Fold chopped cookie pieces into prepared cake batter; spoon into 24 paper-lined 2-1/2" muffin pan cups. Bake according to package directions or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire racks.
Frost cupcakes with prepared frosting. Immediately sprinkle with green tinted coconut. (Frost and sprinkle a few at a time so frosting does not harden before adding coconut.)
Decorate orange filling on split cookies with black decorator frosting or gel to resemble pumpkin faces. Allow to dry. Stand one pumpkin face on edge into frosting on each cupcake. Makes 24 cupcakes.
Ghoulish Cream Pie
23 Halloween chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreo) (divided) 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted 28 caramels 2 cups milk, divided 1 (4-serving) pkg. vanilla or chocolate pudding & pie filling (cooked variety) 1-1/2 cups prepared whipped topping, tinted orange if desired 1-1/2 cups marshmallows
Finely crush 22 cookies. Mix crushed cookies and butter or margarine in small bowl. Press mixture firmly onto bottom and side of 9" pie plate; set aside. Melt caramels with 1/4 cup milk in heavy saucepan on low heat, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixtures comes to a boil. Pour into prepared crust; cover surface of pie filling with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until completely set and chilled. Before serving, remove plastic wrap, spread pie with whipped topping and garnish with reserved cookie and marshmallows. Makes 8 servings.
Adopted Halloween Blinkies
Click on the Blinkie for credit
Halloween Recommended Reading
Victorian Ghost Stories By Michael Cox, R. A. Gilbert An Oxford Anthology has some of the best constructed and most chilling stories. The characters, the settings, the plots and the dialogue from each of the stories all seem well thought out and written.
Awful Roy And The Great Halloween Iguana By Preston McClear Awful Roy tells all of his friends he's too old for Halloween. How could this be? Everyone knows Halloween is Awful Roy's favorite holiday. Everyone is in for a big surprise, though, because Awful is planning his greatest Halloween costume yet-----The Iguana Man!
Tricks & Treats The Ultimate Halloween Book By Deborah Harding This is a GREAT Halloween book, perhaps one of the best! It has a little bit of everything, including some wonderful and original ideas for Halloween.
Shy Mama's Halloween By Anne Broyles and Leane Morin For Anya, Dasha, Irina, and Dimitrii, newly arrived to this country, Halloween seems a wonderfully strange and exciting holiday. They enlist Mrs. Rumanski and her midnight-blue Singer sewing machine in the apartment upstairs to help with their costumes, and Papa agrees to take them out trick-or-treating.
Clever Costume Creating for Halloween By Suzanne Singleton What you also receive with this book purchase are pages filled with fun to view black and white visuals of the costume ideas. The pages are bordered with corn candy and various halloween graphics which only adds to the fun and festive halloween spirit.
175 Easy-To-Do Halloween Crafts By Sharon Dunn Umnik Detailed, easy-to-follow instructions and full-color photographs present a wide array of Halloween craft projects, including costumes, masks, gifts, pumpkins, and decorations, all of which can be made of ordinary materials found around the house.
Family Fun Tricks & Treats 100 Wickedly Easy Costumes, Crafts, Games and Foods By Deanna Cook There are so many wonderful ideas. A must have! There were a lot of spooky things to do with foods and great little ideas for those little helpers to decorate your home with lots of memories! You have to get this one!
Halloween Costumes As with the other books in the Singer series, this one offers great step-by-step instructions and detailed color photos that are fairly easy to follow and yield very polished results.
101 Spooktacular Party Ideas By Linda Sadler Planning a Halloween party has never been easier! Whether you are having a few neighborhood children over, or are throwing a huge Halloween bash, 101 Spooktacular Party Ideas will help you plan an unforgettable Halloween party.
Haunt Your House for HalloweenDecorating Tricks & Party Treats By Cindy Fuller Create a charming country-style Halloween setting through your whole house, from the front yard and the entryway to the windows, mantelpiece, and table, with a little help from Haunt Your House for Halloween.
The Big Book of Halloween Creative & Creepy Projects for Revellers of All Ages By Laura Dover Doran Here's a great book that celebrates the second most popular holiday of the year. Adults and children will find a book jam-packed with decorating ideas, costumes, Halloween goodies, pumpkin carving and lore, scary ghost stories and superstitions explained.
Alphabet Soup's Halloween Annie's Halloween Page Billy Bear's Happy Halloween Creepy, Scarey, Frugal Ideas for Halloween Halloween Celebrations At The Holiday Spot Halloween Links Halloween Net The Halloween Network Halloween Online Halloween Page By Bdarl Home Of Spooky World Mom, I'm a Witch! More Haunted Corners of the Web My Parents Are Survivors Halloween My Parents Are Survivors Halloween Recipes The Pumpkin Nook The Skull Victorian Halloween Virtual Haunted House