It is time to get spooky. The approach of Halloween may cause a whole lot of ghouls and witches to come knocking at your door, and it also brings the joy of candy!
This year Americans will spend $2 billion on confection and another $5 billion on decorations and costumes. Yum, but the amount of sugar we consume is frightful! What’s a few thousand calories every now and then?
You might see cute little kids in your neighborhood all dressed up in costumes. That tradition goes back to the medieval times, when poor adults and children went around in costumes during “Hallowmas,” the autumn holiday which included folks begging for food and money in exchange for prayers.
This annual routine was called “souling” and was brought to America by the Irish early in the 20th century.
The idea of walking around asking for candy completely went away during WWII when sugar was rationed, but by 1952 trick-or-treating was hugely popular again. And it has been ever since.
Even with fears — mostly unfounded — about kids getting razor blades stuck in their candy, children going house to house asking complete strangers for candy is one big American tradition.
Doesn’t a bloody mary sound good? Oops, no I mean to talk about the ghost of Bloody Mary. Evidently, on Oct. 31 each year, she will appear if you stare into a mirror in a darkened room by the light of 13 candles and chant “Bloody Mary” 13 times.
Don’t do it! The vengeful spirit might appear at your left shoulder and will either kill you or make you insane. Dear readers, if you try this, let me know what happens.
Have you decorated yet? About 70% of Americans will decorate their homes for Halloween with everything from pumpkins to hanging skeletons from trees. You get the picture — lots of black cats, witches, devils, demons, ghosts and jack-o’-lanterns out there to set the mood.
Our habit of lighting up pumpkins dates back centuries when the thought was that ghouls and ghosts hate light. So, a pumpkin placed at your door, with a candle flickering inside, would keep away any restless spirits flying around that might land at your house.
We love our pumpkins. But they attract javelinas! I thought I would decorate by lining my walkway to the front door with a dozen pumpkins. They were beautiful!
And once dusk came, so did the pack of javelinas! They devoured my festive orbs, leaving the beasts with orange goo all over their little piggy faces and a mess on my sidewalk!
No wonder we like to eat candy on Halloween!
We must comfort ourselves in our fight against the witches, ghosts, vengeful spirits, demons and javelinas that might come to our doorstep! So, get ready!
Carve a pumpkin, light a candle, drink a bloody mary (do not chant for her spirit), enjoy the decorations, avoid demons and start eating candy right now.
The scariest day of all is coming soon. Witching you a very haunted Halloween.