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Thread: Halloween - History & Some true ghost stories.

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    Default Halloween - History & Some true ghost stories.

    History of Halloween







    Ancient Origins



    Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

    The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

    To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

    During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

    By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

    The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

    By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.


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    Default Re: History of Halloween

    Modern Traditions



    The American tradition of "trick-or-treating" probably dates back to the early All Souls' Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called "soul cakes" in return for their promise to pray for the family's dead relatives.

    The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as "going a-souling" was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money.

    The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.


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    Default Re: History of Halloween

    Evolution Of A Holiday




    As European immigrants came to America, they brought their varied Halloween customs with them. Because of the rigid Protestant belief systems that characterized early New England, celebration of Halloween in colonial times was extremely limited there.

    It was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies. As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups, as well as the American Indians, meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included "play parties," public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other's fortunes, dance, and sing. Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. By the middle of the nineteenth century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.

    In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing Ireland's potato famine of 1846, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. Taking from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today's "trick-or-treat" tradition. Young women believed that, on Halloween, they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings, or mirrors.

    In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers, than about ghosts, pranks, and witchcraft.

    At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season, and festive costumes. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything "frightening" or "grotesque" out of Halloween celebrations. Because of their efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century.

    By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular, but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties as the featured entertainment. Despite the best efforts of many schools and communities, vandalism began to plague Halloween celebrations in many communities during this time. By the 1950s, town leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young. Due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties baby boom, parties moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home, where they could be more easily accommodated. Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived.

    Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. In theory, families could also prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6.9 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country's second largest commercial holiday.


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    Default Re: History of Halloween

    Common Halloween Superstitions



    When it's the time for Halloween celebration, it is then that the people tend to become more superstitious. There are many superstitions and myths about Halloween and most of the people have a strong belief in them. In the reservoir of common Halloween superstitions, there are distinctive kinds of superstitions: animal superstitions, witch superstitions, bats in house superstitions and many more.

    Presented a few general Halloween superstitions:


    Going in for dumb supper, meaning that nobody will talk while having supper, encourages the spirits to come to the table.

    It is believed that if an unmarried girl keeps a rosemary herb and a silver sixpence under her pillow on Halloween night, it is quite likely that on that very night, she would dream of her future husband.

    It is said that if you hear someone's footsteps behind you on the Halloween night, you should not turn back because it may be a dead following you. And if you commit the mistake of looking back, it is likely that you might join the dead very soon.

    People believe that if on the Halloween night, a girl carrying a lamp in her hand goes to a spring of water, she will see the reflection of her life partner in water.

    People have a superstition that if an unmarried girl carries a broken egg in a glass and takes it to a spring of water, she will be able to catch the glimpse of not just her future husband, by mixing some spring water in the glass, but also she can see the reflection of her future kids.

    There is the old saying that "black cats are bad luck". It was once believed that black cats were the devil, or consumed by evil spirits.

    People used to believe that Satan was a nut-gatherer. Nuts were also used as magic charms on the day of Halloween festival.

    If you put your clothes on inside out as well as outside walk backwards on Halloween night. At midnight you will see a witch in the sky. People used to believe witches were the devil, or that they were consumed by evil.

    There is also an old saying "if the flame on your candle goes out on Halloween celebration; it gives you the meaning that you are with a ghost".

    If you ring a bell on Halloween it will frighten evil spirits away.

    Many people used to consider that owls would dive down to eat the souls of the dying on Halloween. They used to think if you pulled your pockets out, and left them hanging, they'd be safe.

    It has been said if a bat flies into your house on Halloween, it is a sign that ghosts or spirits are very nearer, and maybe they are in your home and let the bat in.

    People used to believe that if bats are out early on Halloween, and they fly around playfully, then good weather is to come.

    If a bat flies around your house three times on Halloween, death is very soon to come

    To ward off evil spirits on Halloween, you can bury all the animal bones in your front yard, or even put a picture of an animal very close to your doorway.

    People used to believe you could walk around your house three times backwards before sunset on Halloween, and that would take care of all evil.

    It could be the spirit of a dead loved one watching you if you watch a spider on Halloween.


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    Default Re: History of Halloween

    Halloween Symbols



    The most prominent Halloween symbol is the carved pumpkin with a lit candle inside. This is an Irish tradition of carving a lantern which goes back centuries. These lanterns are usually carved from a turnips or potatoes. The pumkin carving was first associated with Halloween in North America, where the pumpkin was available, and much larger and easier to carve. The jack-o'-lantern can be traced back to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack .

    The imagery surrounding Halloween is largely an amalgamation of the Halloween season itself, nearly a century of work from American filmmakers and graphic artists, and a rather commercialized take on the dark and mysterious. Halloween imagery tends to involve death, magic, or mythical monsters. Common Halloween characters include, skeletons, ghost stories, ghosts, ghouls, witches, vampires, bats, owls, crows, vultures, haunted houses, pumpkinmen, black cats, aliens, spiders, goblins, zombies, mummies, skeletons, werewolves and demons.

    Particularly in America, symbolism is inspired by classic horror films, which contain fictional figures like Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, The Wolf Man, and The Mummy. More modern horror antagonists like Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Leatherface, Jason Voorhees, and the Jigsaw Killer have also become associated with the holiday. Homes are often decorated with these symbols around Halloween.

    Black and orange are the traditional colors of Halloween. In modern Halloween images and products, purple, green and red are also prominent. The use of these colors is largely a result of holiday advertising dating back over a century, and tends to be associated with various aspects of Halloween tradition.






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    Default Halloween - Some true ghost stories.

    Some true ghost stories

    UNCLE FRANK


    These events may seem highly untrue but however I have experienced these terrifying events with my own two eyes.

    About ten years ago my daughter and I moved into my brother's house when I divorced my husband. My brother had a horrible temper (this will come in handy later on in the story). My brother died about two years before we moved into his house. He suffered terribly from brain damage after a drunk driver hit the side of his car. A few days later he passed away. However I didn't receive the news till a week later. I told my daughter he moved away because she really looked up to him and they enjoyed each others company a lot.

    A couple of days after we moved into the house I noticed my daughter had been spending an unusual amount of time in her room (My brother's old room).Whenever I would come check on her she would be smiling and looking into a corner of the room. I asked her what she was doing and she just laughed happily and told me that she was talking to Uncle Frank. I just shook my head and thought nothing of it.

    I awoke one night to the sound of my daughter's voice. I walked into her bedroom to see what was going on. I saw her talking to the same exact corner she was staring at the other day. I asked her who she was talking to and she told me it was uncle Frank. I was frightened when I realized she didn't know that he was dead!

    A week had passed and nothing had happened. That Saturday night I was in the kitchen doing the dishes when I heard whimpering coming from my daughter's room. I quickly tried to open the door but it wouldn't budge but there seemed to be an unusual force as if someone was trying to keep me out of the room. The door finally gave way. I rushed over to my daughter and she was covered in bruises. I asked her what had happened to her she said that she made uncle Frank mad.

    The day after that we quickly moved away trying to forget what had happened.

    After moving I told my daughter the truth about my brother. She still hasn't forgiven me for lying to her.


    Story Submitted By: Maddison, OK, USA


    Simple pleasures are life's finest treasures.

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    Default Re: History of Halloween

    THE VOICE




    This happened about a year and a half ago at a family gathering.


    Every year we celebrate Christmas about a week or so early because my Aunts and Uncles go away. That year we were at one of my Uncle's apartment. There was lots of food and talking. But throughout the whole thing, I felt as if I was being watched. It made me a little nervous but I shrugged it off.

    We opened presents and the feeling of being watched hit me again. I shrugged it off again by saying that it was just the adults watching me open my gifts. Eventually the get-together came to a close and one of my cousins was invited to spend the night at the apartment. So he and my brother shared one of the spare bedrooms. I was asked if I was OK with spending the night on the couch. This couch is very comfortable to sleep on, might I add. I told everyone I was fine and they all went up the stairs to bed. This was around 12AM and I couldn't fall asleep. I was half expecting someone to be sitting in the chair to the computer most of the time I was awake. It felt like someone was sitting there, staring at me. Needless to say I got nervous. I began to fidget and tried to get to sleep. I felt tense and was expecting something to pop out and scare me half to death. I counted sheep and sang songs to myself.

    When 2AM rolled around, I knew everyone was asleep. No one was talking, not even a whisper. The apartment was really quiet. I could hear the cars rushing by in the city but nothing made a sound in the apartment. At around 3AM I finally gave up on trying to get to sleep and stared at the ceiling. I began to relax myself and closed my eyes. I was getting along great. Suddenly, I heard "Hey!" right beside my ear. It was a male voice and it made me jump. I almost fell off of the couch and I kept my eyes securely shut. I peeked out once and then opened my eyes, shaking. "P-please. I'm t-trying to sleep. I don't want to talk right now." Immediately I felt better. I became sleepy and actually fell asleep a few moments later, after mumbling a small "thank you" of course.

    When I woke up, I told my dad that story. I can't remember if he believed me or not but I insist that it really happened.

    I slept on that couch again this year and nothing happened. Except for the feeling being watched again. But that's all that happened. I think he realized that I wanted to sleep and left me alone.

    I don't know who it was but I hope he talks to me again. This time, I won't freak out.


    Story Submitted By: Jessy, Ontario, Canada


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    Default Re: Halloween - History & Some true ghost stories.

    Ghost And Paranormal
    Haunted Canada: Winnipeg 1
    By Yona Williams
    May 10, 2006, 20:52


    The next time you are in Winnipeg, you may look a little closer at some of the locations you can visit. There is a wealth of paranormal activity just waiting to be rediscovered. In this article, you will encounter haunted locations, such as the Brandon Art Gallery, as well as the Eaton's Department Store.

    At the Brandon Art Gallery, you may encounter unexplainable footsteps, which have been heard by the night employees when they are supposed to be the only ones on the premises. Some have also felt the eeriness of someone or something watching people. The Scientific Observatory can be found at the Delta Marsh in Manitoba, which is located north of the Winnipeg area. A biology research facility is positioned here. In the 30s, a construction worker has been spotted roaming the halls of the main housing. He lost his life while he was laying down the foundation of the building. He has been known to turn lights on, as well as appear in the windows during the winter closing.

    The ghost of a woman, who is unidentified, haunts the Eaton's Department Store in Winnipeg. At 1am, a janitor was moving objects when he was overcome by an odd feeling. The ghost of a woman, who was wearing black clothing, faced him. She was right before his very eyes, standing a couple of feet away from him. She stayed in front of him for what he said was two minutes. As they stared at one another, the janitor was too afraid to move from his position. The ghost started to slowly back away from him, until she disappeared. Looking around, the janitor heard the faint voice of a woman. It seemed that she was calling his name. When he turned to see who was calling his name, no one was around. Fear overtook him and he fled the building. When he returned the next day, the boxes he was supposed to move were scattered all over the place. He could not explain what had happened to him at that time, so he deiced to resign.

    The Euglid House is an old spot with a surrounding link fence that stands pretty tall. A family once lived at this location, but a gruesome tragedy took place. All of the family members were murdered by one of their own or they all decided to kill themselves. The story is quite blurry at this point, but the house is believed to be haunted by the souls of the murdered or lost family members. There is also an apartment that can be found next to this site, which is thought possessed as well.

    At Fort Garry, reports surfaced from two cleaning ladies, who were cleaning out the cubbies in the fur trade house. During their duties, items from the cubbies began to fly out at them without any known explanation. A hotel can be found close to this site, which was called the Fort Garry Hotel. A room on the premises is believed to be haunted, but the sex of the ghost is unknown. Those who have slept in the room have been awakened from their slumber. Some claim that it feels as if someone was getting into the bed with them. When attempting to ignore this ?feeling,? you may begin to feel someone moving beside you. Maids have a story to tell, as well. Some claim to have seen blood flow down the walls of room 202. This is where a woman committed suicide after learning that her husband was a victim of a car accident. Her ghost has been seen crying in the corner of the room.



    Hotel Fort Garry

    An accidental death, especially his own, doesn't keep this construction worker from his job, building Winnipeg's Hotel Fort Garry.
    Hotel Fort Garry is a luxurious establishment which was built for the most prestigious travelers. As the day of the grand opening quickly approached, an employee is killed while repairing the elevator. It is believed that his spirit still wanders the hall, still smoking his cigar. After the grand opening, a young couple's honeymoon was interrupted by a jealous father with a murderous rage. The couple were married and died in the same day. The young wife still wanders the rooms, seeking out male guests, searching for her dead husband.


    http://www.unexplainable.net/artman/...ter_3361.shtml
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    Default Re: Halloween - History & Some true ghost stories.



    Hatley Castle

    A military academy is haunted by the family that once lived there.

    Hatley Castle in Victoria was built in 1908 for James Dunsmuir, a former Premier and Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. The house stayed in the Dunsmuir family until 1930, however once it was sold, a family of spirits moved in with the new tenants. The first sightings were of the son, who had died in the great war. He was seen by his sister, walking along the edge of the pond beside the castle. When Hatley Castle was transformed into a military academy, the spirit of Mrs. Dunsmuir began to appear. She has been known to drag young cadets out of their beds, pulling them to the floor in the middle of the night. Could this be her attempt to prevent her son's fate from befalling them?
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    Default Re: Halloween - History & Some true ghost stories.

    The Ghost of Jim Morrison




    It has been over 4 years since Hollywood resident and Rock and Roll Historian Brett Meisner first noticed a strange image in the background of a photo taken of him at the gravesite of former Doors front man Jim Morrison at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France. After having the photograph and original negative analyzed by dozens of paranormal and photographic experts, there is still little explanation as to how or why the ghostly image appeared in the photo. Some believe it is a forgery, while others simply think it is just a ray of sunlight playing an odd trick on the human eye. For Brett Meisner, the photo has become a black cloud of bad luck hanging over his head, and he is now looking for a way to get rid of this infamous and very controversial piece of rock and roll history.
    Brett Meisner barely recalled the 1997 candid graveside photo shoot when an assistant showed him the photo in 2002, pointing out the clearly visible iconic image of Jim Morrison in the background. I have collected a lot of rock memorabilia over the past few decades so I figured he was playing a joke on me, explains Meisner. But once we found the negative and made larger prints, it was quite clear to all of us that we had something odd and unique on our hands.

    Once word of the Morrison ghost photograph spread across the Internet, both skeptics and avid Doors fans came knocking on Meisners door. A British film crew from the show Dead Famous even flew to Los Angeles, bringing along paranormal expert Chris Fleming who called the photo one of the best Ive ever seen. This publicity led to appearances on the Biography channel and several prominent radio programs, but Meisner began to realize the photo was causing more harm than good.

    Ive had strangers come to my home at all hours of the night wanting to talk to me saying they had messages from Jim, explained Meisner. At first it was sort of interesting to see how many people felt a spiritual bond with Jim and the photo, but now the whole vibe seems negative.

    A failed marriage and the loss of a young friend to a drug overdose were just a few of the tragedies that have befallen Brett Meisner since he rediscovered the photograph. Ive lost some high paying clients and nothing but bad luck has plagued me for the past few years. A spiritual adviser and close friend recently told Meisner that they believe the photograph is part of a curse and that he needs to find a respectful way to part with the image and bring closure to both Brett and the spirit of Morrison.

    Part of me wishes that I would have never stepped foot into the graveyard in the first place, admits Meisner. While I also know Im partly to blame for talking about it in the first place. I should have kept it to myself and not let the media have a field day with something so special and private.

    Meisner is currently trying to find a private and reputable organization to donate the photos and negative. So far he has no takers.

    Jim Morrisons gravesite in Pere Lachaise is one of the most popular tourist attractions in a cemetery filled with literary and cultural icons such as Oscar Wilde, Honore de Balzac and Frederic Chopin. Over a thousand people each day visit the gravesite where Morrison was laid to rest in July 1971. Often the crowds are unruly and festive, a fact that is looked down upon by the surviving family members of the nearby graves. In fact, the French government almost moved the body of Morrison in 2001 when the 30 year lease expired, citing his gravesite a nuisance and unwanted attraction. However, pressure from the local artistic community helped keep Jim safe and secure in his final resting place.



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