Haunting by Day. Haunting by Night. Are you game for a mysterious Halloween challenge this year?
How to spend Halloween with/for the departed.
Want to be challenged by a more remarkable, memorable Halloween mystery you’ll cherish in your whole lifetime? Halloween isn’t just all fun. Halloween is a journey to a mystery too.
Halloween is not just to get creepy, scary and be frightful. It is not just celebrating in spooky, comic or even fantasy themes with masked guests gulping on bloody alcoholic drinks and not-too-easy-to-gulp gross food creations. Though there are options with you as the host and well depending who you’re inviting to your Halloween party, there is always a great variety of tempting food and drinks on the table, rather than simple treats that will have your guests roaming the rooms secretly looking for someone to bite.
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How it all began…
In countries around the world where Halloween is much celebrated second only to Christmas, the name Halloween is adapted dating back to paganism. In ancient Ireland, the Celtic Festival of the End of Summer otherwise known as Samhain (pronounced "SOW-in") is observed on October 31, as when the setting of the sun begins. The Celtics or (old Irish) celebrated this event as the “last harvest”; as for them, the old year comes to an end. Aside from ancient Ireland, Halloween or Samhain was celebrated too by the ancient British Isles Wales and Scotland. This occasion is to honour the dead when it was widely believed during those times that the departed souls come around to revisit their homes. With this eerie feeling surrounding the dark aura of death, many other then magical and enchanted symbols that closely signify a frightening theme have had and have become associated to Halloween such as the goblins, witches, black cats, ravens, mummies, vampires, magicians and their murderous bunnies, fairies, wood elves, dwarves, demons, ghosts/spirits, even ugly toads and the creepy Irish leprechauns! Of course, not the ‘lucky charm’ leprechauns! The rise of spiritism back in 1848 also had played an attractively intriguing role from its popularity, thus casting a heavy spell to Halloween.
This hub is to give credit to how it all began in the history of Halloween. Put aside the party excitements, house-hopping cold nights, horror thrills and fairy-tooth-sweet treats, and go for a more spiritual activities for the forgotten-unvisited-beloved departed, your ancestors unknown to you. You will need some help to bring up some useful information to prepare you for a Halloween trip. You’d be lucky if your ancestors’ tombstones still stand for you to locate them. You will find it fascinating, challenging and mysterious once you complete your research and arrive at the site.
Tools to avoid.
Chemicals of all sorts including acid
Strong soaps and detergents
Metal instruments including wire bristles
Chicken or Ghosts
Would you dare spend Halloween in the midst of graves? It doesn't matter if it's Haunting by Day or Haunting by Night.
Haunting by Day - A ritual spin recovering an ancient tomb.
Don’t wait for All Saints Day or All Souls Day celebration. Do this right on, on Halloween time.
Check out your ancestral tree. Ask your parents or grandparents about your ancestors (great grandparents, great great grandparents, and so on.) “And so on” might be too difficult to accomplish but it is never an unfortunate thing to include them in your ritual. Take notes of full names, birth and death dates, places and locations of childhood, adulthood and burial grounds. Travel with a journal.
Locate the sites. There are many still “ancient” crypts that are around and standing in small hometowns, even in far remote ones. If you need to travel to get there, plan it ahead of time, it will be worth an adventure and experience in your lifetime.
Travel and Friends. Plan to take one or a few friends with you for an out-of-town Halloween adventure.
Make sure your friends are crazy enthusiastic (almost as crazy as Dr. Frankenstein) about the whole idea. Have a list at least a couple of old families or friends of relatives to the town or place you are going so it will be a rewarding travel experience having them contribute old stories of your dead relative(s). Contact them ahead of time advising them of our visit to their town. Take note of their contact numbers.
Candles and tools. Pack some large candles and photographs of your ancestors (if any). If you are driving for the trip, include some useful tools like a bristle brush, extra used toothbrushes, plastic scraper, chiseled wood stick and white enamel paint (cheaper than bronze or gold); again, this is for old old graves or gravestones. Otherwise, you may easily find these tools in the town’s hardware shop.
Back in my pa’s island hometown, the family cleans and tidy-up the surroundings of my grandparents and great grandparents’ crypts. Pulling out unwanted weeds and cutting the grass and setting up fresh flowers is what they do. The most important thing is to polish or re-carve cleanly and neatly the tomb markings and old old headstones. The headstones are scraped carefully to retain its letter and number moldings and so not to chip them. After a decent skillful work on them, these are then filled or brushed with white permanent enamel paint.
*Enjoy the work with just the simplest tools to make your trip enjoyable, not a burden. After all, this is an old standing tombstone, a memorial of your ancestor. To a crypt above the ground, the foot end of the coffin is facing outwards inside the crypt where the tombstone is attached or carved or engraved. If you use a wire bristle brush, the poor soul might give you a pat on the shoulder to remind you that it tickles and can’t be at peace.
Light source. Work on a daytime or shady afternoons at the graveyard. “Hanging out by day” might not be too spooky to give your kind tribute than hanging out and haunting by night.
Flowers and a camera. Finish off your day at the grave of your ancestor with fresh flowers, a little prayer and a memorable photograph of your hard work and adventure. Flowers are always appreciated and just hope the soul is not allergic to pollens (just kidding). A camera will come in handy for sure either you are a solo traveller or travelling with friends along. Be proud of what you’ve done and a memorable photograph will serve as a solid proof to your parents that you’ve visited your ancestors’ graves.
Dress up for the occasion. If you are really into it and have friends to come along in your trip, remember to pack your Halloween costumes too. Want to be freaky scary? That is fine as long as you can hold yourself haunting by day or night inside a cemetery. The spirits might find you entertaining!
Haunting by Night – Trick or Treat made easy.
Don’t be too in a hurry to go back home. In the first place, you are here for Halloween.
Go back to the graveyard of your ancestors with a flashlight and a small lamp (be cautious not to set the graveyard grounds on fire) especially with dry grass and dead leaves around. Light up some candles and remember to kill them when you leave. Yes, kill the candles! Take with you a few refreshments- a bottle of wine, a pack of beer and good food. Check for local laws so you don’t get in trouble with your “alcoholic” beverages. Make sure you share the first drink to your ancestors making a toast; your ancestors will surely celebrate with you and they will love you for this kind gesture.
Silence is golden. I know, I know. You’re asking how it will be possible to observe silence if you’re dressing up for the occasion, with a bottle of wine, some food, a camera and some friends in the graveyard? Perhaps it is not easy, but lower it down a bit, please. You don’t want to disturb the many other peaceful dead who could probably hate the celebration of Halloween. I think that they’d rather go out to town on Halloween night than having visitors to their resting place, jammin’ especially, or they’ll chase you out of there and that will be the most frightening fun reality on Halloween night, won’t you agree? “Respect” for the dead is key. And have you ever heard of the phrase “ask permission first”? You can try to do that and to make aware for the quiet residents that you’re havin’ a little Halloween “Haunting by Night” going on in their premises.
“Trick or Treat?” Would you really ask this question in the graveyard? You can instead ask permission again to take photos. Just look around you when you say it, addressing it to the invisible energies in the open. Then, if the entities are pleased, great captures in your photographs are definitely a treat, not tricks.
Have your camera ready. Flash is useful. Who knows if your ancestor is too happy to have welcomed you and will appear in the photograph with you and your pals? And the rest of the souls might show up too to celebrate their holiday (those ghosts that have come back from trick or treating into town).
Start planning for a Halloween ancestral trip this year! Or would you need a psychic medium to contact your dead ancestors for a more memorable, unforgettable, hair-raising adventure haunting by day and haunting by night?
≈♥≈ ©coffeegginmyrice (Marites Mabugat-Simbajon), 10.07.2012