Superstitions

Superstitions: Halloween Edition

Written by Anya Hubbard

Happy Halloween! In this article, we are going to be covering a few different spooky Halloween superstitions that might shock you!

The first superstition is about why the typical Halloween colors are black and orange. The traditional Halloween colors of orange and black stem from pagan celebrations of autumn and the harvest. The orange color symbolizes the colors of the crops and turning leaves, while the color black marks the “death” of summer and the changing season.

The second superstition digs deeper into the Halloween characters. This is the superstition of flying witches and their broomsticks. The witch’s broomstick is another superstition that has its roots in medieval myths. The older women were accused of witchcraft were often introverted and poor so they were not able to afford horses to navigate through the woods. To compromise, they traveled on foot with the help of walking sticks, which were sometimes substituted by brooms. This is how the brooms were brought into the Halloween superstition but you may still be wondering why many thought that witches would fly. English folklore tells that during night-time ceremonies, witches rubbed a “flying” potion on their bodies, closed their eyes and felt as though they were flying. Nowadays we come to understand that these “witches” were using some type of drug that helped them achieve this “flying” state. The hallucinogenic ointment, which caused numbness, rapid heartbeat, and confusion, gave them the illusion that they were soaring through the sky.

The third and last superstition is about why we trick-or-treat in costumes. You may have gone trick-or-treating with friends just this past weekend or maybe you took your younger siblings out around the neighborhood. Either way, it is a staple element to be dressed in a costume, but have you ever questioned why? Well, in olden times, it was believed that during Samhain (Halloween night), the veil between our world and the spirit world was thinnest and that the ghosts of the deceased could mingle with the living. The superstition was that the visiting ghosts could disguise themselves in a costume of a human form, such as a beggar, and knock on your door asking for money or food. If you turned them away empty-handed, you risked receiving the wrath of the spirit and being cursed or haunted. Another costume superstition is based around that of the ghoul. This superstition is that dressing up as a ghoul would fool the evil spirits into thinking that you were one of them so that they would not try to take your soul.

These are all of the crazy and shocking Halloween superstitions for this week. But don’t fret because more intriguing superstitions are coming your way next week. Happy Halloween!

Photo Credit: sergeypykhonin

 

About the author

Anya Hubbard