This year’s Halloween was very trying and frustrating. After last week’s storm that damaged the fence and tombstones and having to repair them, then a hail and wind storm hit shortly before the ToTs were to start that broke one more tombstone and removed paint from the fence columns again, I was ready to throw in the towel and call it quits for the year. Luckily, the wind settled down enough to allow me to set the tombstones back up and put out most of the props. Gourdon Rotsworth made his debut appearance and the two ghosts were set up inside the house to greet the trick-or-treaters. It ended up being fun and I was relieved that it was finally done at the end of the night. 🙂 I have big plans for next year already. 🙂 Enjoy this years haunt pictures.
The festival of “All Hallows Eve” or the more ancient named “Samhain” celebrates the end of the “lighter half” of the year and beginning of the “darker half”, and is sometimes regarded as the “Celtic Briton’s New Year”. Halloween and other pagan festivals were celebrated by the Celtic Briton and Irish Tribes 2,000 years ago and over the centuries the festivals were renamed by the Catholic Church.
The ancient Celtic Britons believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family’s ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.
Sunset on Samhain is the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The old year has passed, the harvest has been gathered, cattle and sheep have been brought in from the fields, and the leaves have fallen from the trees. The earth slowly begins to die around us.
This is a good time for us to look at wrapping up the old and preparing for the new in our lives. Think about the things you did in the last twelve months. Have you left anything unresolved? If so, now is the time to wrap things up. Once you’ve gotten all that unfinished stuff cleared away, and out of your life, then you can begin looking towards the next year.
Another common practice was divination, which often involved the use of food and drink.
The name ‘Halloween’ and many of its present-day traditions derive from the Old English mists of time.
Halloween is not celebrated in all countries and regions of the world, and among those that do the traditions and importance of the celebration vary significantly. When the English first arrived in Colonial America and the many other countries of the Commonwealth they brought with them the “All Hallows Eve” Celebration with the associated traditions ( Like Apple Dipping and Pumpkins ). During the following centuries the English had started to lose the traditions of Halloween ( Except by the Traditional Pagan followers ) until wartime Britain, when many American GI’s based in England re-introduced the Halloween Celebrations to the British.
Halloween in the United States has had a significant impact on how the holiday is observed in other nations. This larger American influence, particularly in iconic and commercial elements, has extended to places such as South America, Europe, to Japan under the auspices of the Japanese Biscuit Association, and other parts of East Asia.
This year’s haunt was a real success. I focused a lot of my time and budget into the lighting and ambiance of the haunt this year. Black lights, fog and chiller, lightning, thunder, candles flickering all added to the creepy, haunted vibe. My “Scaretaker” was a real hit with the kids and adults alike. We had a steady stream of ToTs all evening and at one point there was a huge crowd of parents and kids standing in front of my house admiring all our hard work. I wish I had taken a picture of that, it was quite a sight to behold. 🙂 Here are some miscellaneous pictures from Halloween night.