Friday, October 31, 2008

"I was working in the lab late one night when my eyes beheld an eerie sight"*

I have a firefighter, the Joker, and Uniqua (from the Backyardigans) coming to visit me tonight! In honor of this haunted evening, I have compiled a list a superstitions that go beyond black cats and broken mirrors:

  • To keep evil spirits away on Halloween night you can ring a bell, tie a knot in a handkerchief, or burn a candle in a jack-o-lantern.
  • Beware, though, if the candle suddenly blows out of its own accord or if it turns blue (or if a bat flies into your house) because any of those things mean a ghost is visiting.
  • Oh, and only burn new candles on Halloween...unless you want strange things to happen (to each his own, right?).
  • No need to fear seeing a spider on Halloween night, though, because it's only the spirit of a dead loved one watching over you.
  • Do fear if a bat flies around your house three times, or if you and a group of people just happen to light a bonfire, let it burn out, then make a circle with its ashes, and have each family who helped with the fire put a pebble in the ashes, and one of those pebbles is disturbed by the next morning as both of these occurrences are death omens.
  • Also do not under any circumstances sit beside a Hawthorn tree on Halloween night because a fairy may enchant you or spirit you away.
  • However, if you would like to find out about your future, simply go to a crossroads on Halloween night and listen to the wind (Is that what happens when you put your ear up to seashell?).
  • Other ways to learn about your future include tossing apple peals over your shoulder so they will fall in the shape of you future lover's initials and putting cornmeal on the side of your bed so a ghost can spell out your future sweetheart's name.
  • Or maybe you want to help someone else in love. On Halloween night, bury a ring in the mashed potatoes and whoever gets the ring will find his or her true love (or maybe he or she will just choke to death); or host a chestnut hunt, and the first person to find a burr will be the first to marry; or even have your friends bob for apples because the first one to bite into an apple will be the first to marry.
  • For all you witch hunters (or maybe all you fans of Kris Kross), put your clothes on inside out (or backwards) and walk around backwards on Halloween night so you can meet a witch. To find out if she really is a witch, just tie her up and toss her in the water. If she floats, she's a witch; if she sinks, she wasn't a witch (and you didn't want to know her anyway!).
  • Two final things to beware of on Halloween night are feeling a chill up your spine or hearing footsteps behind you (probably while you're on your way to the crossroads); the former means someone is walking on your future grave, and the latter means the Grim Reaper is following you (don't look the Grim Reaper's eyes and you die!).

I can't wait to see what other ghoulies and ghosties show up for treats...or maybe they'll all just get tricks!

*Bobby "Boris" Pickett