Until the nineteenth century, Halloween was celebrated as nothing more than the eve of a major church holiday. All Saint’s Day was also called “All Hallows Evening” as hallows was another word for saints. The day is also the celebration of the Celtic New Year, the end of summer and the beginning of a long season of gloom and darkness. It was believed that this was also the time that ghosts were most likely to cross over from the spirit world. People sought safety by disguising themselves as spooks and ghouls in order to fool spirits into passivity. Much of Halloween tradition has been lost in the United States, where the holiday is considered to be merely a costume holiday involving celebrity likenesses or uniformed workers. However, whatever side of the Atlantic you are on, Halloween is the most amusing and mischievous holiday of the year.
The October Half term breaks provide the perfect opportunity for having Halloween fun with your family. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Creep out your yard! Thrift stores provide lots of raw materials for creating a scary landscape in front of your home. Purchase second-hand rubber masks, pants and long sleeved shirts. Stuff your “bodies” with newspaper and use safety pins or sewing thread to hold the pieces together. Hang your new corpses from a tree for visual impact.
For some truly ghoulish fun, each family member can create a zombie in their own image using their own clothes. Fashion the heads out of white or grey fabric stuffed with newspaper and cover with hats. Tuck the ends of the fabric into the collars of the shirts. Faces can be painted or drawn with markers. Stab the zombies with stakes or old cutlery and generously apply fake blood.