One of my favorite radio personalities posted this on his Facebook wall tonight:
Halloween is one of the worlds most ancient holidays originating in Ireland nearly 3000 years ago. It was believed that on the night of October 31st the veil between the spirit world and the physical world was so thin that the dead could commune with the living. They called it Samhain, pronounced Sow-en.Truth.
The shamans/priests would bring messages from the Other Side and predict the future for the year to come. The villagers would wear animals skins and carve scary faces in gourds to scare away the evil spirits and they would offer gifts to the dead away from their homes to keep them out.
It was a time to remember those who had died the year before; a time to acknowledge the pain of the loss and let it go. In essence it was a time for closure. Mexico's day of the dead is a modern version of this.
As a kid my first stop for trick or treating was at my Grandma's house. She liked to see my costume and be the first to drop candy in my bag, a fun but short tradition. She's on the Other Side now, but I think of those memories every Halloween.
My grandmother actually visited me on Halloween once. She impressed her energy on a woman who stopped by my house late that night with some trick or treaters. Left me speechless but it was good to see her. I think maybe the ancient Irish were on to something about the veil being thin.
I'm taking my little ones trick or treating tonight. And while I'm not planning on a visit I'll definitely keep an eye out just in case. You may wish to do the same. Maybe one of your loved ones will show up to say hello:-)
Happy Halloween folks, enjoy the night! (Steve from "Believe with Steve Godfrey" - see here for source)