Woe to the spirits beyond for I call upon you! Your time has come to once again creep upon this mortal plane and to strike fear into the hearts of all man and womenkind! Send your children out into fading light to appease the gods of old and to beg for tokens of candy to keep them from harm!
Okay, so Halloween is on the way and i’m a little overdramatic. Can you really blame me? After all this is the one time of year you can get away with scaring the living daylights out of people – unless you’re in a rural area and then most likely you’ll be shot just like during any other time of the year. But that’s just common sense. For the most part you can scare the living bejeezus out of everyone – especially kids. You’ll be considered creepy (or might make it on some blog about child predators) any other day of the year, but on Halloween you’re golden! It’s open scare season! So feel free to jump out of a bush to frighten them as they step on your garden or disguise yourself as a scarecrow and sit on the porch to frighten them when they least expect it – That’s my personal favourite. Just make sure to try and grab as much of their spilled candy as they fleet as a trophy to the old gods. But as much as scaring kids can be a hoot, nothing is better than making a grown adult scream in terror. You can have all the Christmas fruitcake and eggnog you want but give me a taste of sweet terror and fear and that is worth my weight in coal that Santa will be giving me in December for my sins of All Hallows Eve.
“But Stormlight how does this relate to relating with people?”
Ye gods man (or milady) will thou not let me have fun at least once per year and allow me to rant like a demon possessed?!? After all this time of year has EVERYTHING to do with relating to people. Because with all the ghouls and ghosts and tykes and tricksters that come to your door on All Hallows Eve you have to be on your best of behaviour; or else be on the receiving end of a trick that might result you in cleaning egg of your windows at 3am. All that because you thought it prudent to not give that last bit of candy you were saving for yourself to those rather large and badly costumed “kids” who knocked on your door at nine. You remember them? The ones that tricked or treated on your steps in those break-y kind of voices that could only be puberty or a bad batch of helium.
Then again it could a case of Halloween role-reversal with you be out there. A 30-something slouching in a badly thrown together ghost costume – you know the bed sheet with the mismatched eyeholes because you had to cut it in the dark in the closet. That closet which you happened to be hiding in because if your wife or fiancé actually caught you putting holes in those guest sheets you “borrowed” you’d be sleeping on a couch for a week. All that so you could score some bonus candy because she wouldn’t let you take your fair share from the kids, or the bowl you were handing out treats with at the door.
Anyways I digress. Samhain is my favourite time of the year. It is indeed my favourite time of the year. And not just because of everything I just said before this (especially the parts about scaring people). As sweet as the candy, costumes and frights the current incarnation of Hallowmas brings to our October’s end; It is the history of the night itself which I truly love the most. A festival for the dead at the time of year where the door to the Otherworld has opened to allow faeries and ghosts a chance to return to our world and communicate with the living. The celebration also marked the end of harvest season and the start of a darker time of the year where the nights would start to grow longer and humanity would be forced to spend more time indoors hiding in the comfort of their fires. Of course the celebration also meant a large feast and almost every historic Samhain story involves copious amounts of alcohol being consumed by the celebrants. And who can really argue with that.
Samhain, at it’s core, was a time where people firmly believed they could communicate to their dead loved ones, or ward off their spirits from roaming the land looking for revenge. Of course that all changed when Christianity took over every pagan holiday on the calendar and replaced them with their own versions, so over the course of time Samhain became All Hallows Eve which in North America became the Halloween we know today. Which I am okay with since even at the core of the revised day of celebration they still worship the kernel of it’s former glory, and that is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the growing darkness. Fear of something coming back from the dead… unless his name is Jesus. Then if he’s not wanting your brains for a snack you might want to consider giving him a pass out of respect for your Christian neighbours. We pagans are nice like that.
So unlock your doors and pray your pumpkin wards and offerings of candy corn and chocolate will keep the demons from your steps.
After all one of them might be a certain blog writer in some bad ghostly disguise and we both know that if he doesn’t get a good treat from you then you’re going to get a bad trick in return – one which will likely involve you having to wake up at three in the morning for a little post-Samhain housecleaning followed by me sleeping on a couch until Christmas for putting eye holes in the guest sheets again.
Happy Halloween Everyone!