Halloween is just days away, so what better time to talk about the history of my favorite holiday with the nation’s leading expert on Halloween, Lesley Bannatyne! She’s the author of five books on the topic of Halloween, including Halloween: An American Holiday, an American History, which will celebrate 25 years of being in print in 2015. Click HERE for my review of this book.
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Topics discussed in this episode:
Can you guess Lesley’s favorite Halloween candy?
Lesley shares some of her favorite memories from the holiday.
Where did Halloween come from?
- Darkness and the coming winter
- Folklore and Superstition
- “The Other World”
- All Hallows/All Saints Day
- All Souls Day
- Pranks and Mischiefs
- Guy Fawkes
- Victorians and Halloween Parties
When did Trick-or-Treating become a part of Halloween? 1940s
- Kids and mischief around Halloween
- Adults threw Halloween parties to keep young people from mischief and vandalism. It didn’t work.
- Adults learned to offer food and treats (extortion/begging?) in exchange for no mischief or violence on their property.
- Trick-or-Treating seen on television for the first time
- Trick-or-Treat for Unicef (charity)
When did costumes go from being disguises to a way of expression? Costumes then and now.
Our favorite symbols of Halloween. Where did they come from?
- The Witch
- The Black Cat
- The Bat
- Pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns
- Are Scarecrows disappearing?
The Victorians and Halloween… how did they celebrate?
- Parties and Decorations
- “Dumb Supper”
- Seeing the image of your future love
Lesley shares how she researched and found historic articles and information from Halloweens past from vintage periodicals.
Urban Myths about Halloween
- Apples and razor blades
- Black Cats and Satanic Sacrifice
Church, Religion, and Halloween
How has Halloween changed since Lesley’s book was first released?
What does duct tape have to do with Halloween? (Ha!)
For More on Lesley Bannatyne:
For More Halloween History
Why Halloween Matters
The Literature of Old Halloween
Check out Lesley’s appearance on the BBC on Halloween day!
Check out her appearance on the History Channel’s The Real Story of Halloween
Don’t forget!! Are you a regular listener? Please e-mail (or call, or SpeakPipe) with where you’re listening from, and how you’re listening! I’d appreciate it! Patrick@BigSeance.com
Spooky Music featured on this episode is from Sam Haynes. You can find more about Sam and his music at http://www.hauntmusic.co.uk/. Thanks, Sam!
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