Halloween is celebrated on the 31st October; it is thought to be the night of the year when ghosts, witches and fairies are very active and it is on the day before All Saints day, on the eve of the Celtic festival known as Samhain.
It was Pope Gregory III to pick November 1st for All SaintsÂ’ Day in the 8th century, so that it would overlap with the Samhain, the Celtic celebration of the New Year. This is then followed on the 2nd of November with the Roman Catholic celebration of the Â“DeadÂ”, a day for visiting cemeteries and remembrance of those who passed on, a custom throughout the entire Roman Catholic Church since the 10thcentury.
This time of year clearly marks the end of summer, sunshine and carefree days and the start of cold, dark winter days, intertwined with religion and paganism. It is of no surprise that Halloween is a festival wrapped in myths and folklores with the result that there are many superstitions associated with it.
Here are some of the major superstitions attached with Halloween make a note of them; you might be tempted to try some:
- If you hear footsteps behind you on Halloween night, donÂ’t look back. It may be the dead following you. Turning back could mean that you will soon join the dead.
- Girls who carry a lamp to a spring of water on this night can see their future husband in the reflection.
- Girls who carry a broken egg in a glass to a spring of water during the Halloween day can not only see their future husband by mixing some of the spring water into the glass, but they can also see a glimpse of their future children..
- To find out whether your lover is true select one of the letters which you have received from your sweetheart, especially one which contains a particularly passionate and important declaration; lay it wide open upon a table and then fold it nine times. Pin the folds together, place the letter in your left-hand glove, and slip it under your pillow. If on that night you dream of silver, gems, glass, castles or clear water, your lover is true and his declarations are genuine; if you dream of linen, storms, fire, wood, flowers, or he is
saluting you, he is false and has been deceiving you.
- Mashed potatoes offer a method of divining who will be the first to wed. Into the heap of mashed potatoes a ring, a three penny-
bit, a button, a heart-shaped charm, a shell and a key are inserted. Then all the lights in the room are turned out, and each guest, armed with a spoon or fork, endeavours to find the hidden charms. The one who finds the ring will marry first; the three penny-bit signifies wealth; the button signifies bachelorhood or spinsterhood; the heart signifies passionate love; the shell, long journeys; and the key, great success and power.
- The old Celtic custom was to light great bonfires on Halloween and after these had burned out to make a circle of the ashes of each fire. Within this circle, and near the circumference, each member of the various families that had helped to make a fire would place a pebble. If, on the next day, any stone was out of its place, or had been damaged, it was held to be an indication that the one to
whom the stone belonged would die within twelve months.
- If a bat flies into a house it is a sign that ghosts are about and maybe the ghost let the bat in.
- If bats come out early and fly around playfully, then it is a sign of good weather to come.
- If a bat flies around a house three times, it is a death omen.
- Peel an apple from top to bottom. The person with the longest unbroken peel would be assured the longest life. If you threw the
apple peel over your shoulder, the initial it forms upon landing is the initial of your future mate.
- When bobbing for apples, it is believed that the first person to bite an apple would be the first
- If you go to a crossroads at Halloween and listen to the wind, you will learn all the most important things that will befall you during
the next twelve months.
- A person born on Halloween can see and talk to spirits.
- To prevent ghosts coming into the house at Halloween, bury animal bones or a picture of an animal near the doorway.
- If a girl puts a sprig of rosemary herb and a silver sixpence under her pillow on Halloween night, she will see her future husband
in a dream.
- Some believe if you catch a snail on Halloween night and lock it into a flat dish, in the morning you will see the first letter of your
sweetheart written in the snailÂ’s slime.
- You should walk around your home three times backwards and counterclockwise before sunset on Halloween to ward off evil spirits.
- Knocking on wood keeps bad luck away.
- If you see a spider on Halloween, it could be the spirit of a dead loved one who is watching you.
- f you ring a bell on Halloween, it will scare evil spirits away.
- In North America, itÂ’s bad luck if a black cat crosses your path and good luck if a white cat crosses your path. In Britain and Ireland, itÂ’s the opposite.
- If a candle flame suddenly turns blue, thereÂ’s a ghost nearby.