Do you have a fear of Halloween?
Then you suffer from Samhainophobia.
I don't fit in that category! Do you?
Today Halloween is attracting adults in a masquerade type atmosphere, much like Mardi Gras. Their costumed antics mock, challenge, and tease the mysterious, possible malevolent forces of the night. The otherworld becomes our world on this night of enchanted possibilities and transcendence. Are we reaffirming death as a part of life in an exhilarating celebration of magic for an evening? Or like me, just enjoying the air of celebration on a night the veil between the living and dead is purported to be the thinnest. Every year with the help of my hubby, I decorate our house to the hilt on the first day of October and revel in Halloween décor the entire month.
Did you know Jack-O-Lanterns originated in Ireland? People placed lit candles inside hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain (pronounced Sah-ween) holiday. Boy, did we do a role reversal on that aspect of Halloween. Instead of chasing the spirits away, we tend to invite them in.
Most present-day Halloween traditions are traceable to the ancient Celtic day of the dead. Halloween consists of mysterious customs, but each has a history, or at least a story behind it. Take wearing costumes, and roaming from door to door demanding treats. This behavior can be traced to the Celtic period and the first few centuries of the Christian era, when it was thought that the souls of the dead were out and about, along with fairies, witches, and demons. Offerings of food and drink were left out to placate them. As the centuries wore on, people began dressing like these creatures, performing antics in exchange for food and drink. This is where the practice of trick-or-treating began. To this day, vampires, witches, ghosts, and skeletons are among the favorite costumes.
Our Halloween also retains activities from the original harvest holiday of Samhain, such as bobbing for apples and carving vegetables, (pumpkins) as well as the fruits, nuts, and spices for cider associated with the day. Although at my house, hot chocolate is pretty popular, since Halloween almost guarantees the first snow of the year.
"This house may not have a history of magic, but I'd bet it's magical. You're going to put an offer in. Right?"
"As I said before, it may be completely out of my price range."
"I have a feeling the house has been waiting for you." Gwen flung her hand to her mouth, her face flushed, and her gaze swiveled to him. "I don't know what made me say that."
Looking thoughtful, he grinned. "Since the day I stumbled upon Pepper's secret — then discovered that you and I share the gift or curse of gypsy blood, things have been different—" Pausing, he shoved his hand in his jean's pocket and jingled the change in his pocket. "I've been different. It's as if knowing magic exists awakened something in me."
"Join the club. Years ago my best friend Pepper made a believer out of me. In fact, there were times I wished—never mind. Whether it was my outlook or as you said magic awakened. But to be fair, I've always had what I called a sixth sense with animals, attuned to their feelings, almost their thoughts, fears, that kind of thing. Pepper called it my talent. But as we became close, I noticed other abilities… you'll think I'm crazy."
"Try me." He moved closer to her and the front door banged open. Quickly he rushed to the top of the stairs.