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Weatherly
October 3rd, 2009, 06:38 PM
SO, I've been working on a website project about Halloween for a couple of years now, on and off. I know there are a lot of sites about Halloween/Samhain already, but it's something I'm very passionate about. I love to "inform" people and the number of GOOD sites out there is few.

Anyway, my question is, what are some common falsehoods, urban myths, and misnumers you've heard about Halloween/Samhain?

I'm going to make a True and False page to education people about the facts.

I have had co-workers that actually believe that witches hunt for virgins to sacrifice on Halloween. *le sigh*

EntwinedScylla
October 3rd, 2009, 06:50 PM
That roaving packs of "satanists" (usually described as teenagers wearing all black and listening to death rock), will move from town to town abduting people, pets, and whatever else they can find to sacrifice to "Sam Hain", described in these urben legends as either a god, devil, or deified human cult leader. One retelling even went so far as to name him "Sammiel Hain"... which is mixing all kinds of stuff willynilly.

Another is that there are "covens of vampires" which use the atmosphere of the night to prey upon innocent people. Sometimes they're described as "classical" vampires, but the myth is usually updated to describe vampire lifestylers.

Weatherly
October 3rd, 2009, 06:55 PM
True! I hate that most of the "anti-halloween" sites I find label all witches, wicca, pagans as satanists. :blech: Get your religions straight! lol

I hadn't heard of the vampire one. Thanks! I'll need to add that...

Ben Gruagach
October 3rd, 2009, 07:12 PM
The one myth that gets me (that I've even seen repeated in a Pagan book or two!) is that Samhain was the name of a Celtic god. Of course he's supposed to be a god of the dead too.

Iris
October 3rd, 2009, 08:14 PM
I have loads of these...the file is on my other computer. Will post tomorrow.

One of my favourites is that if a candle flame turns blue, that means a ghost is nearby.

David19
October 3rd, 2009, 09:08 PM
The one myth that gets me (that I've even seen repeated in a Pagan book or two!) is that Samhain was the name of a Celtic god. Of course he's supposed to be a god of the dead too.

Same here, or, that all ancient Pagans celebrated Samhain.

evergreen
October 3rd, 2009, 09:38 PM
I have loads of these...the file is on my other computer. Will post tomorrow.

One of my favourites is that if a candle flame turns blue, that means a ghost is nearby.

I loved that one! I can't tell you how many times in my childhood we tried to contact a ghost and waited for the candle flame to turn blue! :lol:

Iris
October 4th, 2009, 11:10 AM
I don't remember where I got this from but it's been on my hard drive for a few years. Here goes.

Halloween Superstitions

If you hear foot steps behind you on this night, don't look back. It may be the dead following you. Turning back could mean that you will soon join the dead.

Girls who carry a lamp to a spring of water on this night can see their future husband in the reflection.

An old tradition was that girls should go into a field and there scatter the seed of hemp. While they did so they chanted “Hempseed I sow thee Come after me and show me”. Upon suddenly turning round, it was declared that each girl would see a vision of the man who would be her husband.

Bobbing for Apples - Each member of the party is given an apple, from which a small piece has been cut, and into which a fortune written on a slip of paper has been inserted. The apples are thrown into a large tub of water and the company invited to duck their heads and retrieve an apple with their mouths. Upon doing so they draw out the slip of paper and read their fortune.

To find out of your lover is true - select one of the letters which you have received from your sweetheart. Lay it wide open upon a table and then fold it nine times. Pin the folds together, place the letter in your left-hand glove, and slip it under your pillow. If on that night you dream of silver, gems, glass, castles or clear water, your lover is true and his declarations are genuine; if you dream of linen, storms, fire, wood, flowers, or he is saluting you, he is false and has been deceiving you.

The old Celtic custom was to light great bonfires on Halloween, and after these had burned out to make a circle of the ashes of each fire. Within this circle, and near the circumference, each member of the various families that had helped to make a fire would place a pebble. If, on the next day, any stone was out of its place, or had been damaged, it was held to be an indication that the one to whom the stone belonged would die within twelve months.

If a bat flies into a house it is a sign that ghosts are about and maybe the ghost let the bat in
If a bat flies around a house 3 times, it is a death omen.

Peel an apple from top to bottom. If you throw the apple peel over your shoulder, the initial it forms upon landing is the initial of your future mate.

When bobbing for apples, it is believed that the first person to bite an apple would be the first to marry.

If you go to a crossroads at Halloween and listen to the wind, you will learn all the most important things that will befall you during the next twelve months.

A person born on Halloween can see and talk to spirits

To prevent ghosts coming into the house at Halloween, bury animal bones or a picture of an animal near the doorway.

Many people used to believe that owls swooped down to eat the souls of the dying. If they heard an owl hooting, they would become frightened. A common remedy was thought to be that turning your pockets inside out made you safe

You should walk around your home three times backwards and counterclockwise before sunset on Halloween to ward off evil spirits

If you ring a bell on Halloween, it will scare evil spirits away

If a candle flame suddenly turns blue, there's a ghost nearby

Weatherly
October 4th, 2009, 03:01 PM
Thanks, Iris!!! That really helps. :hahugh:

There's a lot of divination myths...interesting. Everyone wanted to know who their husband was going to be!

Terra Mater
October 4th, 2009, 11:37 PM
SO, I've been working on a website project about Halloween for a couple of years now, on and off. I know there are a lot of sites about Halloween/Samhain already, but it's something I'm very passionate about. I love to "inform" people and the number of GOOD sites out there is few.

Anyway, my question is, what are some common falsehoods, urban myths, and misnumers you've heard about Halloween/Samhain?

I'm going to make a True and False page to education people about the facts.

I have had co-workers that actually believe that witches hunt for virgins to sacrifice on Halloween. *le sigh*

Why? Do you really think another site is going to change anything? Or is this just your personal form of mental masturbation?

While there may be a shortage of "good" sites in your opinion, there is no shortage of books on the subject.

Nuadu
October 5th, 2009, 01:39 AM
Why? Do you really think another site is going to change anything? Or is this just your personal form of mental masturbation?

While there may be a shortage of "good" sites in your opinion, there is no shortage of books on the subject.

I dont know about a true or false, if its someones religious belief then should we really say its false? In doing that arent we really putting ourselves in a position of being ones that know better then the others....

That said Ive never read a book or a website that didnt try to legitimise the practices by putting its own spin on it an unbiased and open look at Samhain traditions past and present and a comparason to the neopagan traditions would kick bottom.

LunarSoldier
October 9th, 2009, 05:24 AM
Halloween is a very ancient tradition and builds so many customs and superstitions. Trick or Treat is modern and an American import. It seems very enjoyable and quite a magical experience, I guess. I wish we did that in England back in the 80's when I was growing up although kids do it every year now. Believing in witches flying on broomsticks is more a childhood thing. I'll be surprised if some people (adults) believe this too.

Weatherly
October 9th, 2009, 02:37 PM
Why? Do you really think another site is going to change anything? Or is this just your personal form of mental masturbation?

While there may be a shortage of "good" sites in your opinion, there is no shortage of books on the subject.

Because I want to, really. I enjoy researching, writing, making websites, etc. It'll be more than just a history, though. It's one of my favorite holidays, so I want to make something about it. (Besides my Halloween parties and Samhain rituals.)

I would rather say something, then nothing at all. There are billions of paintings in the world...doesn't mean I shouldn't paint.

It may or may not change anything, but I don't dwell on that. It's just something I enjoy. *shrugs*

Weatherly
October 9th, 2009, 02:40 PM
I dont know about a true or false, if its someones religious belief then should we really say its false? In doing that arent we really putting ourselves in a position of being ones that know better then the others....

That said Ive never read a book or a website that didnt try to legitimise the practices by putting its own spin on it an unbiased and open look at Samhain traditions past and present and a comparason to the neopagan traditions would kick bottom.

True! I'll probably have a page just for common (and uncommon) beliefs and myths about Halloween and Samhain. The true and false will be for bluntly wrong and more specfic things, like "Halloween is Devil Worship."

I'm trying to make something completely as unbias as I am able. It's the scientist in me.

Owd Scrat
October 9th, 2009, 04:01 PM
I don't remember where I got this from but it's been on my hard drive for a few years. Here goes.

Halloween Superstitions

If you hear foot steps behind you on this night, don't look back. It may be the dead following you. Turning back could mean that you will soon join the dead.

Girls who carry a lamp to a spring of water on this night can see their future husband in the reflection.

An old tradition was that girls should go into a field and there scatter the seed of hemp. While they did so they chanted “Hempseed I sow thee Come after me and show me”. Upon suddenly turning round, it was declared that each girl would see a vision of the man who would be her husband.

Bobbing for Apples - Each member of the party is given an apple, from which a small piece has been cut, and into which a fortune written on a slip of paper has been inserted. The apples are thrown into a large tub of water and the company invited to duck their heads and retrieve an apple with their mouths. Upon doing so they draw out the slip of paper and read their fortune.

To find out of your lover is true - select one of the letters which you have received from your sweetheart. Lay it wide open upon a table and then fold it nine times. Pin the folds together, place the letter in your left-hand glove, and slip it under your pillow. If on that night you dream of silver, gems, glass, castles or clear water, your lover is true and his declarations are genuine; if you dream of linen, storms, fire, wood, flowers, or he is saluting you, he is false and has been deceiving you.

The old Celtic custom was to light great bonfires on Halloween, and after these had burned out to make a circle of the ashes of each fire. Within this circle, and near the circumference, each member of the various families that had helped to make a fire would place a pebble. If, on the next day, any stone was out of its place, or had been damaged, it was held to be an indication that the one to whom the stone belonged would die within twelve months.

If a bat flies into a house it is a sign that ghosts are about and maybe the ghost let the bat in
If a bat flies around a house 3 times, it is a death omen.

Peel an apple from top to bottom. If you throw the apple peel over your shoulder, the initial it forms upon landing is the initial of your future mate.

When bobbing for apples, it is believed that the first person to bite an apple would be the first to marry.

If you go to a crossroads at Halloween and listen to the wind, you will learn all the most important things that will befall you during the next twelve months.

A person born on Halloween can see and talk to spirits

To prevent ghosts coming into the house at Halloween, bury animal bones or a picture of an animal near the doorway.

Many people used to believe that owls swooped down to eat the souls of the dying. If they heard an owl hooting, they would become frightened. A common remedy was thought to be that turning your pockets inside out made you safe

You should walk around your home three times backwards and counterclockwise before sunset on Halloween to ward off evil spirits

If you ring a bell on Halloween, it will scare evil spirits away

If a candle flame suddenly turns blue, there's a ghost nearby



The majority of these aren't myths or even legends.....just simple folklore of divination practiced in past years or remants of very old beliefs or religion.

So you're saying all of these are junk and silly beliefs? Don't knock divination until you try it.

One of them offhand is actually a powerful and ancient way of contacting eldritch powers....going to the crossroads (especially at All Hallows) and doing rituals, a red meal or scrying. Crossroads are an ancient place of power.


Most times it pays richly to go more in-depth with what seems some silly tripe from folklore or legend. There can be immense lore and power hidden within a simple folktale, warning or divination practice.

I really do not think you're doing anyone a service by 'de-bunking' these supposed silly and pointless myths and legends.

Obviously setting the record straight about Hallowe'en not being an evil night or that Witches run about cursing others etc etc is a good thing. I would say de-bunking modern myths and misconceptions would be a good thing. But I see no good being done by trashing ages old divination spells or wisdom.

skilly-nilly
October 9th, 2009, 08:21 PM
Many people used to believe that owls swooped down to eat the souls of the dying. If they heard an owl hooting, they would become frightened. A common remedy was thought to be that turning your pockets inside out made you safe


Pulling your pockets out will make you safe, it's a variant on the lore that says you can make yourself invisible to bad-intentioned Feckies by turning your jacket inside-out.

Weatherly
October 9th, 2009, 08:47 PM
The majority of these aren't myths or even legends.....just simple folklore of divination practiced in past years or remants of very old beliefs or religion.

So you're saying all of these are junk and silly beliefs? Don't knock divination until you try it.

One of them offhand is actually a powerful and ancient way of contacting eldritch powers....going to the crossroads (especially at All Hallows) and doing rituals, a red meal or scrying. Crossroads are an ancient place of power.


Most times it pays richly to go more in-depth with what seems some silly tripe from folklore or legend. There can be immense lore and power hidden within a simple folktale, warning or divination practice.

I really do not think you're doing anyone a service by 'de-bunking' these supposed silly and pointless myths and legends.

Obviously setting the record straight about Hallowe'en not being an evil night or that Witches run about cursing others etc etc is a good thing. I would say de-bunking modern myths and misconceptions would be a good thing. But I see no good being done by trashing ages old divination spells or wisdom.

True, true! I'm going to separate the practices from the straight up silliness. I could items like the divination and folklore on a page just for "lore sake". I'm really going to debunk anything unless it's just an attack on Halloween-lovin' folk.

Sorry, that I didn't clarify that!

Nuadu
October 9th, 2009, 08:56 PM
You should walk around your home three times backwards and counterclockwise before sunset on Halloween to ward off evil spirits

Thinking about it, if that had any affect at all it would probably have the reverse affect... in the early myths clockwise is a blessing and I think when Boann walked around the well of segais counter clockwise its waters burst out, destroyed an arm, a leg and an eye eventually drowning her and creating the river Boyne. Today you'd walk counter clockwise around old churches/cairns/dolmens to summon evil spirits... thats probably not the best tip if Irish fairies are around.


To prevent ghosts coming into the house at Halloween, bury animal bones or a picture of an animal near the doorway.
You wouldnt expect to keep spirits/fairies out by any means as far as I know. If your place had spirits coming in the night, normally youd put out food for them, that way theyd know they were getting their due respect and wouldnt wreck the place. Or you might go look to see if a part of your house was blocking a fairy path between two ringforts or something similar and leave windows open on either side of the house so the fairies could pass through undisturbed.

Those would be day to day things on Samhain it would probably be 100 times worse/better depending on your perspective