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by Dr Leo Ruickbie

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Hallowe'en / Halloween

What is Hallowe'en (Halloween)? Witchology.com explains the history, traditions and superstitions, from the origins of Hallowe'en in the Celtic Samhain to the traditional spells of Hallowe'en:

Hallowe'en / Halloween

Known as Hallowe'en (UK spelling), Halloween (US spelling), or Samhain, the 31st of October is a traditional Pagan holy day and Witches' Sabbath. Explore the following links to find out more about this magical time of year.
Hallowe'en Contents

Hallowe'en Interview

Kate Whiting talks to a witchcraft expert to find out more about the original pagan festival and how you can recreate a more traditional Halloween.
Hallowe'en Interview

Origins of Hallowe'en

Hallowe'en, All Hallows, or All Hallows' Eve, this is an ancient Pagan holy day, corrupted by Christians. Find out how they did it and why.
Origins of Hallowe'en

What is Samhain?

Samhain is the Celtic New Year. It means "Summer's End". Traditions differ, but it is usually pronounced...
What is Samhain

Hallowe'en Spells

Hallowe'en is undoubtedly the most magical time of the year in many people's minds, but do you know what special, seasonal spells are traditionally cast? This time of year requires a certain sort of magic.
Hallowe'en Spells and Magic

A Wiccan Hallowe'en

"Eko, eko, Azarak... Dread Lord of the Shadows..." How do Wiccans celebrate Hallowe'en? Do they even call it Hallowe'en?
A Wiccan Hallowe'en

Hallowe'en Misinformation

Samhain is not the Celtic God of Death. Hallowe'en is not a festival of evil. These and other common misunderstandings explained, and misinformation refuted.
Hallowe'en Misinformation

Hallowe'en Traditions

What are the origins of "Trick or Treat"? Dressing up, love oracles, pumpkins, Jack-O-Lanterns and footsteps of the dead... Find out more about the old folk traditions of Hallowe'en.
Hallowe'en Traditions

Hallowe'en Near You

Want to go to a Hallowe'en party or a Samhain ritual? The Witchology event guide brings together the spookiest destinations across the world. Find out where the nearest magical Hallowe'en event to you is with one click here.
Hallowe'en Events Guide

Hallowe'en on the Internet

What are the hot search trends this Hallowe'en (Halloween)? Read our report to find out who's typing what into Google for 31 October.
Hallowe'en on the Internet

Hallowe'en Gift Ideas

It's Hallowe'en and I don't have a thing to wear? Need some seasonal gift ideas? You won't find these unique designs in the shops.
Hallowe'en Gifts

Hallowe'en in Your Inbox

Don't have time to read all of this now? Want a copy to read later? Add your email to our mailing list and we'll send you this page and all the Hallowe'en (Halloween) information on the Witchology.com website.

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Free Hallowe'en Downloads

History of Hallowe'en
Find out about the history and meaning of Hallowe'en (Halloween) and Samhain. Based on a Press Association interview with Dr Leo Ruickbie in 2008.
Download pdf (540kb)

Hallowe'en / Halloween Spells
Hallowe'en is traditionally a time of spells and magic. Learn more about these old seasonal charms and modern Wiccan spellcraft for Samhain.
Download gif (352kb)
Download pdf (461kb)
More free downloads

Books for Hallowe'en:

History of Witchcraft BookOpen Source WiccaHistories of the Barbarians
Beowulf

Witchcraft to Go:


The Witches' Pentagram

Click here for more designs

Halloween and Samhain at Witchology Hallowe'en / Halloween / Samhain

Known as Hallowe'en (UK spelling), Halloween (US spelling), or Samhain, the 31st of October is a traditional Pagan holy day and Witches' Sabbath. Explore the following links to find out more about this magical time of year.

Hallowe'en Misinformation

Common misconceptions about Hallowe'en (Halloween)

Samhain is not the Celtic God of Death

Nor is Samhain anyone's God of Death. Samhain means "Summer's End" and was a seasonal festival practised by Celtic peoples. It was a feast in commemoration of the dead, a time for reflection and remembrance of those who have departed. However, uninformed anti-Pagan Christians continue to promote Samhain misinformation.

Hallowe'en is not Satanic

Many cultures celebrated this time as a festival of the dead from ancient Egypt to pre-conquest Mexico. None of them believed in the Christian concept of Satan and subsequently could not have made this a Satanic celebration. In our culture Hallowe'en is associated with ghosts and witches because it is traditionally a time when it was believed that the realms of the living and the dead were able to communicate with each other. This folk tradition originates in our Celtic and Anglo-Saxon heritage that pre-dates Christianity.

Christian Propaganda

In an ingenious perversion of the truth Christians have persuaded themselves that witches held their sabbats around the time of the high Christian festivals in evil mockery of their faith. In actual fact the Christian church strategically planted its arbitrary festivals on Pagan holy days to subvert them. All Saints Day was moved from the 1st of May to the 1st of November in 834 in order to undermine the Pagan celebrations connected with the 31st of October.

Misinformation spread about Hallowe'en (Halloween)

Anti-Paganism

The following quotations from Christian hate sites are given in evidence of the extent of the misinformation directed against Hallowe'en and the concerted denigration of Paganism:

Halloween has no redeeming value. It is one big trick on an ignorant or indifferent society, and another victory for the forces of darkness.
The Heavenly Father gives us a final warning in the law about demonism and witchcraft: "For all that do these things are an abomination unto Yahweh: and because of these abominations Yahweh your Elohim does drive them out from before you. You shall be perfect with Yahweh your Elohim" (Deut. 18:10-13).
Why indulge in practices your Creator hates and condemns? Drop the empty, senseless, heathen observances of man and resolve to begin keeping the true holy days He has commanded in His Word.

Source: 'Let's Pull the Mask from HALLOWEEN', http://www., 1995.

Modern culture is often blamed for promoting Hallowe'en, but they always fall back on that old favourite, the Devil:

[...] Halloween is not harmless. Satan has people in our modern era mimicking the witches and Druids of old. All of this is cursed of God. We live in a time when witchcraft is being revived. Movies are filled with witchcraft and numerous television programs such as “Charmed” are teaching witchcraft to millions. The Harry Potter books are likewise furthering the cause of Satan! Halloween is no joke and is not harmless fun! This evil holiday has no part in the life of a Christian. The Roman Catholic Church borrowed Halloween from the witches, which shows how blind they are. May God help you as you read this tract to avoid Halloween and warn others that it is strictly the invention of Satan and can never be anything but evil of the first magnitude!

Source: Pastor David J. Meyer, Halloween and the Forces of Darkness, Last Trumpet Ministries International, http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org/tracts/tract10.html, accessed 2005.

In the following, Paganism is portrayed extremely negatively, occultism and Witchcraft are associated with murder and Witches are compared to Nazis:

Suppose if you will that spirits and witches are sheer nonsense. Why, then, encourage children to celebrate their mythical frolics and perhaps take them seriously? Paganism hardly a cultural mainstay of all that is best in our society. Suppose that in our folklore, witches and demons merely represent moral evil. Hallowe'en tends to celebrate evil in the ascendant by the reversal of moral standards. If Nazi figures were regularly presented for children's admiration and affection there would soon be a public row. But loveable little witches are brought out every autumn . This disturbs the polarization of good and bad, right and wrong in children's minds. It is a negative stroke in moral education. Occultism, witchcraft and satanism are popular and powerful fads, if nothing more. They are associated with sexual immorality, drugs, racism, sadism, and even murder. Hallowe'en can be an apparently harmless introduction to something very nasty below the surface of our society.

Source: 'Hallowe'en', , 1999-2000.

There is no point in responding point by point to such a blatant tissue of lies, but it should be noted that this same website calls upon its readers to be pro-active in campaigning against Hallowe'en. It is therefore requisite that Pagans should be pro-active in combating the wilful distortion of this, their holy day.

Further Reading

More Hallowe'en from Witchology.com

Hallowe'en (Halloween) in Your Inbox

Don't have time to read all of this now? Want a copy to read later? Add your email to our mailing list and we'll send you this page and all the Hallowe'en (Halloween) information on the Witchology.com website.

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