October 31, 2012
We all know that Halloween is seeped in superstitions, but do you know how those superstitions came to be? Here are some of those little known facts that brought those superstitions to life.
The Black Cat. The bad reputation dates back to the dark ages, when "Witch Hunting" was commonplace. Elderly, Solitary women were often accused of Witch Craft, and their pets were considered to be their "familiars", otherwise known as demonic animals that had been given to them by the devil to help grow their powers.
Jack-O-Lanterns. Did you know that Jack-O-Lanterns roots actually come from a tragic, sinister fable? Celtic folklore tells the tale of a drunken farmer, whose name was Jack. He tricked the devil, and his trickery resulted in him being turned away from both the gates of Heaven and Hell when he died. Having been turned away by both places, he had no choice but to wander the darkness of Purgatory. Jack made a lantern from a turnip, and a burning lump of coal that the devil had tossed to him. He used the lantern to guide his lost soul, and as such the Celts believed that placing Jack-O-Lanterns outside would help guide lost spirits home when they wander the streets on Halloween. By carving scary faces into them it would also help to scare away evil spirits.
Bats. Bats were also associated as a Witches Familiar. One myth states that if a bat was seen circling a particular house three times, than someone inside that home would soon die. Another Halloween myth states that if a bat flew into your house on Halloween it was a sign that your house was haunted.
Spiders. Spiders hold a few Halloween superstitions. One myth states that if a spider jumps into a candle lit lamp and is consumed by the flame witches are close by. Another myth states that if you spot a spider on Halloween, it means that a spirit of a deceased loved one is watching over you.
The Witch. The witch was actually at one point in time, honored during the Pagen Festival Samhain. Known as the Crone, a Pagen Goddess. She was known as "The Old One" or "Earth Mother"
Cauldrons. The cauldron is now often seen as a bubbling witches brew, but back during the Pagen times, it's believed that after death all souls went into the Old Crone's Cauldron. The Cauldron symbolized the Earth Mother's Womb. It was in the cauldron that the souls awaited reincarnation. The stirring of the cauldron allowed for new souls to enter and old souls to be reborn.
Black and Orange. Black and orange are the signature colors of Halloween. These colors stem directly from the Pagen celebration. Orange symbolizes the colors of the crops, and the turning of the leaves, while the black symbolizes the Death of Summer, and the changing season.
Bobbing for Apples. The apple was viewed as a sacred fruit that could be used for predicting the future. Bobbing for apples was one of the traditional games used for this fortune telling on Halloween night. It was believed that the first person to "pluck" an apple from a water filled bucket without using their hands would be the first to marry.