In this week’s issue of Weekly News, we have the history of Halloween, some spooky stories, and some ways to make your Halloween an eco friendly one! First, the history of it all: Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. This was more of a tradition of importance rather than a fun celebration. Then, in the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints; soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, festive gatherings, wearing costumes and eating treats. By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide Halloween parties as the featured entertainment. Despite the best efforts of many schools and communities, vandalism began to plague some celebrations in many communities during this time, however, later on this slowly ceased and Halloween became what it is today.
Next up, here are some scary stories to tell to your friends at midnight on Halloween.
The village was an ordinary one, cheerful and sunny and a place where all the neighbours knew each other, chatted and spread gossip. But among this gossip were rumours, rumours of the house in the corner. The house was ancient, tall and foreboding. When the sun went down, ghastly skeletal trees stretched their gnarled fingers, shadows scuttled menacingly behind the wrought iron gate. And every year at Halloween, a child was snatched from their bed and taken inside the house. After that, they were never seen again. And out of all those who thought they were brave enough, it was you that decided to truly investigate. You crept into the house, silent and stealthy, scared to death but making no sound. Trembling uncontrollably, you watch the shadows dance with the candlelight along the walls, like the good and the bad working together to deceive the unwary. You step forwards and reach for the door knob in front of you. You stop cautiously… and then someone grabs you. (If your friend has been annoying you recently, make them jump by grab their shoulders at this point, when they are looking the other way). The figure silences you and reaches for you with a knife, but you jump out of the way, and sprint the way you came. You bolt out of the door and escape. But despite your safe ending, it is not a happy one, for you alone know who the murderer who lives in the house is, and if you share what you have discovered you will suffer a fate much worse than the children who were kidnapped. For now, you are alive. But you will not be for much longer. Because you know who the murderer was. You know that the murderer was me. (Grab your friend again for extra drama.)
This is a story definitely not suitable for younger kids, but for older ones (from age 10 up).
A recently married couple were on a long road trip through the heart of the United States. One night it was raining hard and the headlights of their car flashed across a bearded man on the side of the road hitchhiking. Not usually one for picking up hitchhikers, the husband stopped and pulled over to offer the guy a lift because the weather was so bad. The man thanked the husband and climbed in the back of the car. He seemed agitated and edgy, barely speaking a word for the whole journey. Eventually the couple dropped him off where he asked, at a crossroads. The rain was still coming down in sheets. The couple drove on for a good while and, to pass the time, the husband turned on the radio. The couple heard a news report about an escaped lunatic, considered very dangerous, who should not be approached under any circumstances. The description matched the hitchhiker and the couple looked at each other, clearly shocked, but happy nothing bad had occurred. Just then the car gave out, and no amount of keying the ignition would make it start again. The husband tells his wife to stay in the car while he sets off through the rain to try and get help. The woman locks the doors and wants to listen to the radio, but the car battery seems dead. Eventually she doses off. A while later, she wakes up seeing flashing police lights through the water coming down the windshield and a voice through a loud speaker, “Lady, open the door, get out of the car and run towards us as fast as you can. Do it NOW!” The woman is confused, but she gets out of the car with her hands above her head. “Run and don’t look back!” orders the police officer. But the woman is curious and turns. In the flashing blue lights of the police car and illuminated by flashes of lightning she sees the top of the car where the hitchhiker with a machete is hacking at the dismembered corpse of her husband. Blood is streaming down the sides of the car. She screams and faints as a flurry of gunshots ring out.
Finally, here are three ways to make your Halloween eco friendly!
First, don’t waste your carving pumpkin. Make a pumpkin dish when you are finished with your pumpkin, or use the seeds to feed a variety of birds (make sure it is suitable for the type of bird first).
Second, don’t always buy a new costume. Make one out of materials you already own, or borrow one from a friend (with their permission of course).
Finally, if you are handing out sweets, try not to buy some with too much plastic packaging. You could buy large packs with no individual wrapping, or even make mini Halloween themed biscuits or cakes to give out.
That was all for this edition of Weekly News! Enjoy your Halloween!