Tuesday, October 31, 2006


It was believed by the ancient Celts that this night (the start of the dark half of the year), was the time when the veil between this world and the Otherworld was thinnest, and spirits could walk the earth. Candles were lit in the windows to light the way home for deceased loved ones. Some traditions even said that all who die during the year must wait for Samhain (another name for Hallowe'en) to travel from this world to the Otherworld. When we lost our dear Mr. Black last year (we weren't sure, and still aren't, if our poor cat was alive or dead out there in the world), I nonetheless lit a candle for him in the window. We have lost other (people) in the year since who were dear to us, and I will light a candle again, tonight, for them.

You really can feel something different in the air on the night of Hallowe'en...

Of course, it wasn't just friendly spirits who were able to walk the earth at this time, and so various things were done to fool evil spirits into leaving people alone - like leaving out food offerings, or dressing in scary costumes - read more about these ancient traditions and how they evolved into present-day trick or treating here.

Of course, that's where the fun really comes in - trick or treating - handing out candy to the kiddies, and seeing them in their costumes - especially neighbourhood kids that you know, it's always the most fun to see them! Plus, you always buy extra candy, so you have some for yourself! It's hard to say how much is too much to buy, though, because the number of kids you get at the door can vary wildly from year to year (one year we actually ran out because we had double the number of kids we had had the previous year - and the next year, it was right back down to a small number again. It's not an exact science to be sure).

And in between all that, we'll be watching some scary movies! Some of my favorite Hallowe'en/scary movies, in no particular order, follow:

Ringu - The Ring (the original Japanese version, not the American-made one). I found the American one a little confusing, as if it were missing some thread to make it all make sense. The Japanese version was complete, I can't think of a better homage to a Lovecraft style of story, it was incredible!

Session 9. The best North American-made horror movie I've seen in a long time. Very, very creepy, had a fantastic film set (a real life haunted, abandoned insane asylum!), really well done.

The Omen (the original). One of the scariest movies I've ever seen - lots of great tension throughout (and, if you're into that, a pretty high body count). And the original has Gregory Peck in it - c'mon, how much better could it get?

Kairo (Pulse - again, the original Japanese version)- absolutely horrifying imagery! SOOOO creepy! The plot wasn't so hot towards the end, but still I highly recommend it! I haven't screamed out loud at a movie in a VERY long time, but this did it! *shudder*

Hellbound: Hellraiser II - the best of the Hellraiser movies. Great if you like gore with your horror. :)

Here's some more fun links to entertain you:
DIY costumes - getting back to the roots of homemade costumes, instead of buying off-the-rack.

Pumpkin carving templates - more stuff in the sidebar, like a hallowe'en quiz, a narrated slideshow of how to carve a pumpkin, and a fascinating photo gallery of the changing face of Hallowe'en chic in Canada over the years.

Have a fantastic Hallowe'en!! :D