perhaps no night in the year which the popular imagination has stamped with a more
peculiar character than the evening of the 31st of October, known as All Hallow's Eve, or
Halloween. It is clearly a relic of pagan times, for there is nothing of the
church-observance of the ensuing day of All Saints to have originated such extraordinary
notions as are connected with this celebrated festival, or such remarkable practices as
those by which it is distinguished.
The leading idea respecting Halloween is that it is
the time, above all others, when supernatural influences prevail. It is the night set
apart for a universal walking abroad of spirits, both of the visible and invisible world;
for, as will be afterwards seen, one of the special characteristics attributed to this
mystic evening, is the faculty conferred on the immaterial principle in humanity to detach
itself from its corporeal tenement and wander abroad through the realms of space.
Divination is then believed to attain its highest power, and the gift of calling spirits
'from the vasty deep', becomes available to all who choose to avail themselves of
the privileges of the occasion."
-- from "Chambers' Book of Days", 1864
Halloween is an ancient and complex holiday. It is a remnant of a much older way of
life. It existed long ago before the candy and the costumes, before the horror films and
the TV specials. Old Halloween was a time of true mystery and magick, a time of
celebration and awe. Do the old traditions still survive, is Old Halloween still
alive? That is up to you...