Halloween and Weird and Peculiar

Have you ever wondered why orange and black are traditional Halloween colours? Apparently, orange represents the warmth and colours of autumn and black is for the cold, dark winter ahead.

Does anyone actually eat pumpkins? I’ve heard of them being mashed into a soup but apart from that their only purpose seems to be for Jack O’ Lanterns. Apologies to all the foodies who will now flood me with delicious recipes. 😀

You probably know Halloween or All Hallows’ eve is traditionally celebrated on the 31st October, but were you aware it originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain? During that time, people would light bonfires to ward off ghosts, and wear animal costumes to confuse the spirits.

It was believed to be the night when the divide between the worlds of the living and the dead, and the barrier separating the physical world was able to be breached.

Hallow is actually a verb meaning to make holy or sacred so can be another way of describing saints. All Hallows’ eve or All Saints eve is the night before All Saints’ Day which is celebrated on the 1st November. It was probably a good idea to pay your respects and pacify any ancestors who had crossed over the previous evening, and were thinking their descendants didn’t come up to scratch.

It just occurred to me it might have been better if the days were the other way round so the holy ones weren’t tempted to wander about doing scaring and haunting duties instead of staying where they were. I wonder how well someone living, who had swindled their relatives out of an inheritance, would sleep that night?

As it’s Halloween, it seems appropriate to give a little plug to Weird and Peculiar Tales, the book of short stories I wrote jointly with Paula Harmon. Some of the stories relate to ghosts and things that go bump in the night, but there are other oddments which make the title appropriate.

You can find it here:


I had intended this week to do another character interview, and thought of featuring Gina from Alderslay. The house would fit nicely into the theme but it’s only fair she has a page to herself so it will be published next week instead.

Here in the UK the clocks go back, which means an extra hour in bed but will cause even more confusion with my usual effort to work out what time visitors actually see these posts. Feel free to comment with where in the world you are, and the local time it became available to you.

Enjoy your evening and thanks for dropping by.

© Val Portelli October 2021

See the comments for why I’m in disgrace. Whoops. 😀


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