It’s that time of year again, the time when each and every one of us gets to shift into (or dress up as) someone or something else.
According to Celtic tradition, Samhain is the night when the veil between the worlds draws thin, when it’s easier to get in touch with the dead because they’re able to be in our midst again. Pumpkins carved into frightening faces and candles in the window are supposed to keep our demons and our dead at bay, and dressing up was a means of disguising yourself from any ghouls out to get you. Samhain became All Hallows Eve, the night before All Souls Day, when the Christian monks arrived in what is now the U.K.
And we still dress up, though whether it’s to deceive the living or the dead is anyone’s guess.
Which brings me to the question of shape shifting – what will you “be” this Halloween?
If you’re not dressing up, what was your favourite Halloween costume ever?
Tell me why and you’ll be eligible to win a copy of FALLEN, as a little spooky Halloween prize.
I’ll start – my favourite costume was one that we threw together when I was about ten. I was at my friend’s family cottage the weekend before Halloween and it turned out their local community centre was having an early Halloween party. I didn’t have a costume, because I hadn’t known to bring one, so we rummaged around the cottage. I became a gypsy fortune teller – the best part of it was that my “crystal ball” was an upside down goldfish bowl. Remember the round glass ones? My friend’s mom came up with that idea, and she tied a flowing scarf around the mouth of the bowl so it wasn’t obvious what it was. We ran around chanting “eenie meenie jelly beanie” for a while, probably long enough to drive the adults nuts. It was fun.