What is Halloween?

Mark Joyner Contributing columnist

October 16, 2013

I think the first thing to discuss is why we have Halloween in the first place, the “reason for the season” if you will. The word Halloween comes from All Hallow’s Eve, which is the night before the Western Christian feast of All Hallows (or All Saint’s Day). Many believe the Feast of All Hallow’s occurs when it does as a way of making the then new religion of Christianity less foreign to Europe’s former Pagan population. Some people believe that Oct. 31 — Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve — is a time when the space that separates our reality from the dimension of ghosts and the supernatural is as it’s thinnest. And that is why this time of year is given over to our obsession and experiences with spirits, hauntings, unnatural creatures, and other elements that remain unexplained in our reality.

Every year, amid the excitement of Halloween-related fun, conversations commonly turn toward scary and unnerving talk of the mysterious world of paranormal and supernatural phenomena. Unlike the entertaining “safe scares” that Halloween brings, for those who encounter “real paranormal phenomena,” the encounters can be truly terrifying and even life-changing. And while these otherworldly phenomena have been a part of the human experience since the dawn of humankind – and, incidentally, is where Halloween originates – not even western society’s modern-day cynical culture of scientific analysis could dismiss and suppress the existence of these elusive phenomena. On the contrary, whether you are a believer or a hardened skeptic, an avalanche of experiences involving paranormal and supernatural phenomena continues to be reported worldwide. For some fun places to go to experience some good scary fun in Sampson County go visit: Hollerin’ Haunts 2914 Bud Johnson Road Clinton, NC 28328, Hubb’s Corn Maze 10444 N Us 421 Hwy, Clinton, NC 28328. City of Clinton, Halloween on the Square Oct. 31.

The History of

the Jack-O-Lantern

People have been carving jack-o-lanterns for hundreds of years. The tradition of carving jack-o-lanterns was brought to America by the Irish.

According to Irish mythology there was a man known as Stingy Jack who had tricked the Devil. One result of his trick was that the Devil could never claim his soul. When Stingy Jack finally died he found that he could not gain access to Heaven either. He found himself wondering in the darkness. The Devil gave him an ember directly from the fires of Hell to help him see in the darkness. Stingy Jack hollowed out a turnip and placed the burning ember inside. Ever since that day Stingy Jack has roamed through the earth, trapped between Heaven and Hell.

The Irish people carved their jack-o-lanterns on All Hallow’s Eve and placed candles within them to keep evil spirits and Stingy Jack away. Originally the jack-o-lantern was carved from turnips, potatoes, gourds, rutabagas and even beets. Irish immigrants found that pumpkins were much larger than turnips and much easier to be carved. Gradually the pumpkin became the fruit of choice for carving jack-o-lanterns.