Tag Archives: trick-or-treating

Halloween Withdrawal and a LIVE Report from Trick-or-Treating – The Big Seance Podcast #108

Halloween Withdrawal and a Live Report from Trick-Or-Treating, PLUS family traditions, costumes, and favorite memories - The Big Seance Podcast: My Paranormal World #108, BigSeance.com

 

Are you suffering from Halloween Withdrawal? This episode, with a LIVE report from Trick-or-Treating and a special Faust family interview, will keep you engrossed in the holiday for just a bit longer before it’s gone for another year!

 

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My Ouija Séance on All Hallows Eve 2014

Ouija Séance on All Hallows Eve, Big Séance

 

You may be familiar with my Annual Thanksgiving Ouija sessions. This year Karen A. Dahlman encouraged me to have one on Halloween, and so I did. I decided to call this one a Ouija Séance, because well… it sounds cooler.

My planchette partner was my mother. I was so very lucky to have them visiting us over the Halloween weekend. It was really nice, and I wish we could have extended it for several more days.

In this post, I will share with you a brief report along with some audio artifacts from the séance. 

 

But first… Trick-or-Treaters…

It was such an unseasonably windy and cold night for trick-or-treating, but along with the neighbors, we did our usual “schtick” out on the front sidewalk. I was sure that we’d have a much bigger turnout this year with it being Friday and all, but I think the cold kept many of the kiddies in… or it at least kept them from being out too late, unless your costume involved a winter coat, ski mask, and gloves. But my hot apple cider was a bigger hit than ever. I always offer it to the “big people” who accompany most of the little costumed goblins. (I even had one family show up and say “We remember your hot apple cider from last year! We were hoping you’d be out here again!”) Thanks to the neighbors’ fire pit, we managed to stay warm and enjoy ourselves for most of the evening!

Oh yeah… and my Halloween window dressings were a big hit this year too! I think we’ll use them again next year!

 

Halloween_cat_eyes_in_the_window_big_seance

 

I was very tired from an incredibly crazy week and busy night, and my mom was tired from being on the road, but once we were sure the trick-or-treaters had given up, and after we had the chance to watch the original 1978 version of Halloween, we began our séance shortly after midnight.

 

The Ouija Séance… just call me the Spirit Rapper Whisperer…

Our séance began after the rest of the house was asleep and bundled in their beds upstairs. All the candles on the Halloween Altar were lit, and we sat with the board, which was surrounded by many of the vintage Halloween cards and photos. I recorded our session with a digital audio recorder, and was also prepared with the spirit box that I got from Stephen Hill.

We opened the séance by clearly stating our intentions and having a moment of silence for prayer/meditation. We discovered fairly quickly that we’d have to cut the silence short to keep from falling asleep. (Seriously… I was nodding off.)

Within the first 5 minutes, we were hearing many knocks and pops. I acknowledged that the water line to the fridge (for the ice maker) was making a few noises, and it was clearly our first really cold and windy night of the year. But the heat was not on, and other than it being Halloween and having two extra guests in the house, nothing else was out of the ordinary in our immediate surroundings. I have never before noticed or heard so many loud knocks and pops in the lower level of our home in such a short time. I really want to be able to explain them, but the curious timing of the knocks (almost every one happened after a question, as if in response) combined with how loud they were, makes them really hard to ignore. I don’t know why I always seem to be the Spirit Rapping Whisperer, but I’ll let you be the judge on what exactly this is.

 

A few audio artifacts of the knocking/rapping:

4 minutes and 24 seconds into the séance

11 minutes into the séance

13 minutes and 5 seconds into the séance

 

Ouija Séance on All Hallows Eve, Big Séance

 

Then we turned on the Spirit Box

I don’t know that I can make a guess as to what any of these possible messages say. All I know is that I don’t typically flag too many interesting spirit box artifacts, especially those recorded in my own home. Most of the voices in the audio artifacts below seem to be the same voice that crosses over several to many frequencies or stations. That makes it significant in my book. I was sweeping the AM frequencies.

 

A few Spirit Box audio artifacts:

 
17 minutes and 55 seconds into the séance
Original Audio with no enhancements

Slowed down

 

19 minutes and 3 seconds into the séance
Original Audio with no enhancements

Noise removal and amplification

 

20 minutes and 27 seconds into the séance
I had just asked, “What is today?”
Original Audio with no enhancements


Noise removal and amplification

Noise removal, amplification, and slowed down

 

20 minutes and 49 seconds into the séance
I had just asked, “Do I know you?”

Original Audio with no enhancements

Noise removal and amplification

 

21 minutes and 43 seconds into the séance
I had just asked, “What am I touching right now?” (Hands were on the planchette/Ouija board.)

Original Audio with no enhancements

Noise removal and amplification

Noise removal, amplification, and slowed down

 

Halloween Altar SkeletonOne other interesting detail is that at 20 minutes and 27 seconds into the séance, the little skeleton man that was sitting up in the center of the buffet/Halloween Altar, fell over. I was sitting in a chair directly in front of him with my back facing him. My mom watched it fall. Paranormal? I’m not sure. It was probably a couple of inches away from the back of my chair, but I wasn’t doing much moving around. 

When we stopped after 28 minutes, it was because I was falling asleep. Once again, I must point out that we experienced no movement or activity coming directly from the Ouija board. This has been the case for every Ouija session I’ve had in the last three years or so. 

 

Did you find this post interesting? You may want to check out some of my other Ouija posts. 

Spirits of Ouija with Karen A. Dahlman – The Big Séance Podcast #5

Why I pushed pause on EVP and Ouija, and why it’s time to get going again!

Fear and Spirit Communication

Thanksgiving Ouija Session 2013

 


Halloween History and a Conversation with the Holiday’s Leading Expert, Lesley Bannatyne – The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #18

big-seance-podcast-celebrate-october-happy-halloween-banner

 

Lesley Bannatyne, the nation's leading expert on Halloween, The Big Séance Podcast

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. 

 

 

Get this episode on iTunes!
Direct Download Link

 

Halloween History

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?

  • Samhain
  • Harvest
  • 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
  • Games
  • “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

  • Fear
  • 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:

www.iskullhalloween.com

Lesley’s Books

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

 

Thanks, Lesley!

 

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

 

Sam Haynes, Spine ChillersSpooky 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!

 

 

Record your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! Call the show at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show.

 

The Big Séance Podcast can be found right here, on iTunes, and on Stitcher. Please subscribe, submit a rating, or share with a fellow paranerd! Do you have any comments or feedback? Please contact me at Patrick@BigSeance.com. Consider recording your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! You can also call the show and leave feedback at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show. The candles are already lit, so come on in and join the séance!

 


The Legends, Lore, and Symbols of Halloween, with Special Co-Host Karen A. Dahlman – The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #17

big-seance-podcast-celebrate-october-happy-halloween-banner

 

Karen A. Dahlman, The Legends, Lore, and Symbols of Halloween, The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #17

In this episode, I chat with special guest co-host, Karen A. Dahlman! My favorite holiday is just around the corner, and so we reminisce about Halloween memories, the month of October, and some of the legends, lore, and symbols of Halloween! You may remember her from Episode 5, talking about The Spirits of Ouija.

 

 

Get this episode on iTunes!
Direct Download Link

 

The Legends, Lore, and Symbols of Halloween!

 

Topics discussed in this episode:

What’s the Halloween season like in California vs. the Midwest?

We talk about our memories of trick-or-treating, and Karen will surprise you with the tale of her last time partaking in this fun tradition.

With perfect timing, Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, two of my favorite paranormal television shows, finally return. We review the most recent episodes and talk quite a bit about the ghost of the little girl on the Queen Mary.

My visit to A Death in the Family: Death and Mourning in the 19th Century at the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion in St. Louis.

What’s the lore about death and mirrors?

Are we disconnected with death in 2014? Death, the Spiritualist Movement and the 19th Century. Mary Todd Lincoln and séances at the White House.

Karen, a leading expert on the Ouija, tells us about some of the superstitions regarding the talking board.

Will Karen or I hold séances on Halloween?

Is it really true that during this time of year the veil is lifted between the living and the dead? Karen says yes, and she teaches us about The Law of Critical Mass in physics.

Remember the myth of tampered candy and razor blades in apples?

Divination games played on Halloween in the Victorian time period, including waiting for your future love by staring in a mirror (not creepy at all, right?), and the “dumb supper”.

Spirit Communication with candles and flame. 

The number 13 and the story of the 13th floor. Myth?

Some facts and jokes about Pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns!

Halloween (The Jack O’Lantern Rag) by Arthur Manlowe (1911)

Karen tells us why she loves Owls, which are viewed as symbols of Halloween.

Bet you didn’t know what the witch’s broom symbolizes.

Avoid having bad luck on Halloween. Be careful! (Actually, these are myths…. supposedly.)

Are there ways to have GOOD luck on Halloween?

Both Karen and I share our favorite Halloween candy!

Have you ever bobbed for Apples?

The top haunted attractions for 2014 in the US!

Karen teaches us how to have fun with panty hose on Halloween! 

 

For More on Karen A. Dahlman:

karenadahlman.com

Karen’s Books on Amazon

Karen’s Facebook Page

Twitter: @KarenADahlman

And check out my review of The Spirits of Ouija.

 

Thanks again, Karen!

 

Sam Haynes, Spine ChillersSpooky 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!

 

 

Record your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! Call the show at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show.

 

The Big Séance Podcast can be found right here, on iTunes, and on Stitcher. Please subscribe, submit a rating, or share with a fellow paranerd! Do you have any comments or feedback? Please contact me at Patrick@BigSeance.com. Consider recording your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! You can also call the show and leave feedback at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show. The candles are already lit, so come on in and join the séance!

 


The Year of Halloween: An Interview with Eva Halloween – The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #16

big-seance-podcast-celebrate-october-happy-halloween-banner

 

In this episode, we sit at the séance table with the haunted hostess of TheYearOfHalloween.com, Eva Halloween. Eva and her site is a massive collection of resources that helps readers to celebrate Halloween all year long!

 

Eva_Halloween_the_year_of_halloween_big_seance_podcast“I was a lot less interested in talking about my personal feelings about Halloween 365 days a year, as much as I really had a love of kind of curating what’s out there and bringing it to people, and say here’s the best of things in all manner of ways that can bring that kind of creepiness and spooky fun of Halloween alive all year round without it necessarily having to be 365 days of pumpkins or black cat cutouts. There’s lots of ways to have that kind of fun feeling all year.”  –Eva Halloween

 

Get this episode on iTunes!
Direct Download Link

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Favorite Halloween Memories and Traditions
  • Trick-or-Treating
  • Contributors to The Year of Halloween
  • Makeup and Costume Tutorials
  • Halloween DIY Projects
  • Art & Inspiration
  • Annual Costume Contest
  • Friday Night Features
  • 31 Halloween Activities
  • The Peculiar Photos of Ransom Riggs
  • Last Year’s TYOH Talking Witch Commercial
  • Does Eva ever tire of Halloween?
  • What Goes On at TYOH During Other Times of the Year?
  • Sneak Peek at what’s coming up for the rest of the season!

Acadia Einstein’s SuperficialGallery.com

 

For More of The Year of Halloween:

Google+: Eva Hallowen

Twitter: @EvaHalloween

Facebook: The Year of Halloween

Tumblr: The Year of Halloween

 

Thanks, Eva!

 

Sam Haynes, Spine ChillersSpooky 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!

 

 

Record your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! Call the show at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show.

.

The Big Séance Podcast can be found right here, on iTunes, and on Stitcher. Please subscribe, submit a rating, or share with a fellow paranerd! Do you have any comments or feedback? Please contact me at Patrick@BigSeance.com. Consider recording your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! You can also call the show and leave feedback at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show. The candles are already lit, so come on in and join the séance!


Halloween Memories and Nostalgia from This Generation X-er

From the moment there was a hint of fall in the air, I have been reminiscing and thinking about Halloweens growing up. Today I decided to type aloud just some of the memories and thoughts that come to mind. I bet those of you who grew up in the 70s and 80s have similar memories. Go ahead. Climb on into my Delorean and let’s travel back… back into time…

 

…to a time where Halloween meant witches with brooms, black cats, skeletons, and jack-o-lanterns with basic triangle eyes and jagged teeth. There was nothing more exciting than seeing your classroom teacher get out a big stash of black, white, and orange construction paper for craft time!

Remember scarecrows? You don’t see those guys much anymore. Maybe it was just a country thing. They were fun to make, but it was lots of itchy and scratchy work. I remember making a few with my parents and raiding my dad’s closet and drawers for just the right look.

This was the first set of Halloween cutout decorations that I remember. You can see the witch and the scarecrow centerpiece. Those were my favorites!

This was the first set of Halloween cutout decorations that we had that I remember. You can see the witch and the scarecrow centerpiece. Those were my favorites!

I remember getting so excited to go down to the basement for the box of decorations. Some 1970s cardboard cutouts for the windows were all it took. My favorite was the witch. She was so creepy. I also very much remember the honeycomb scarecrow centerpiece that we’d keep in the middle of the dinner table. I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did. Then there was the giant skeleton with movable parts. My sister remembers the black cat that had similar movable appendages. Lately I’ve made several Google searches for vintage Halloween nostalgia, and when you search for decorations, I recognize almost every generation of the more popular cutouts and can tell you where I remember them from. Some of them hung in teacher classrooms.  When I see a lot of popular Halloween decorations now, like the orange and purple strings of lights (that just scream Christmas to me) and the noisy and obnoxious blow up contraptions, I just don’t understand them. But this is probably just another one of those signs of getting older and less hip. I wish they would reproduce some of the more classic decorations like they used to. Many of the popular cutouts from the 1980s were apparently reprints from the 1960s. I will say that there is one trend in the last few years that I’ve been seeing in the stores that I definitely like. Everything is glittery and sparkly now! Yes, please! I would have LOVED a glittery orange pumpkin as a kid! Oh my gosh… memories of Elmer’s glue and glitter… don’t get me started…

Remember these?

Remember these?

Did you have classroom parties thrown by the room mothers? There was always punch, games (including the one where you have to sit on the balloon to pop it… I HATED that one), and treats tied up in those paper treat bags. By the time my younger sister went through school, they were afraid to call them “Halloween parties” and for a time they referred to them as “pumpkin parties”. Silly.

I can also remember the Christian versions of these treat bags that we were given at church. I’m not sure what Bible verse would be appropriate, but they always included one. People were encouraged to use those on Halloween, just in case anyone thought you were a devil worshiper because you were celebrating such a fun holiday. Even as a child and as a good boy, I can remember thinking “yeah, right!” and passing up the opportunity to take the Bible thumper bags. Of course, the Christian treat bags weren’t a big deal, considering a grandmother of mine, who was a strict Jehova’s Witness, lived a few houses down. She would preach about how horrible Halloween (or most holidays, for that matter) was, and I remember feeling pressured by her to not celebrate it. I loved her, but Halloween was one of those awkward times for that part of the family. 

Speaking of treats, I can almost guarantee that at some point in time, all of us were given a Tootsie Roll Pop with a white tissue wrapped over the top and tied with yarn, am I right? Mmmm… candy corn. When you went trick-or-treating, did you love or hate the popcorn ball? I didn’t get too excited about anything that was homemade, and sweet tarts and anything with marshmallow were always what I had left from my loot in February or March before I would decide to offer the rest to someone else.

A Halloween clown. I was a clown for a few years since the costume was so big. My Grandma, a master seamstress, did a great job at keeping me in costumes!

A Halloween clown. I was a clown for a few years since the costume was so big. My Grandma, a master seamstress, did a great job at keeping me in costumes!

Actually, trick-or-treating wasn’t something that I took part in for very long, and my sister actually hated it. For a few years, my parents would take me and my little sister (once she was in the picture) to the homes of family members and close friends. We’d show off our costumes, hop back in the car, and head off to the next destination before going back home to catch remaining trick-or-treaters at our own house. And actually, handing out the treats to the few visitors we did have was way more fun, in my opinion. When I was six we moved away from town and out into the country, so for me the traditional neighborhood trick-or-treating wasn’t a big thing. I remember always hearing my friends at school talk about it though, and we’d see ghosts and goblins lurking all over town when we were in the car driving from one place to the next. I’m not sure I would have ever walked up to a stranger’s house for candy. I’m sure this is due in part to the warnings of things like razors in apples and poison in candy. Those things never happened, of course, but I remember the warnings that were popular in those days.

I can't believe I found a photo of the same pattern I used to obsess over at my grandma's fabric shop!

I can’t believe I found a photo of the same pattern kit I used to obsess over at my grandma’s fabric shop!

And costumes were different in those days. Another grandmother of mine owned a fabric shop when I was young and I would “help” her clean and organize. I loved it! I remember being very interested in the McCall’s costume patterns, specifically the one pictured on the right! (I can’t believe I found a photo!) Do you remember how cool it was to pick out a make-up kit with just three basic colors? Just put some plastic vampire teeth in your mouth and it will make up for how cheap the make-up looked. No vampire teeth? That’s okay. Just stick some black wax on a few of your teeth and go as a “hobo”. Remember when dressing up as a hobo for Halloween was popular? Why did we do that? Weird. Speaking of weird, there are certain smells–like duct tape, for example–that instantly transport me back to the smell of a Halloween mask. I’ve heard others agree with me on this one, so I can’t be THAT weird.   

I’m not sure when it started or even if it was meant to be a tradition, but we usually had either chili or potato soup for dinner on Halloween. There was a year where my father somehow ended up with orange potato soup because of something weird that happened with the carrots that he added to the mix. I remember convincing my parents to let me add food coloring to the soup years later to truly make it orange. We’d listen to Monster Mash or even my favorite spooky sound effects “tape” (still have it) while setting the table for dinner. Now as an adult, I usually try to carry out the Halloween chili tradition. 

Now we live in a large suburban neighborhood, and I can’t even get home from work before they’re knocking on the door in daylight, so I make my chili the night before. We sit out front with a few decorations, candles, tiki torches, a big bowl of treats, and plenty of hot apple cider for anyone who wants it. 

I love this photo. My sister was Casper and this was her first (and probably last) Halloween trick-or-treat experience. As my mom explained on the back of this photo, "Patrick is a Mexican." Don't ask...

I love this photo. My sister was Casper and this was her first (and probably last) Halloween trick-or-treat experience. As my mom explained on the back of this photo, “Patrick is a Mexican.” Don’t ask…

 

I’m sure as soon as I publish this I’m going to think of about 50 things I forgot to include, but then again only four of you probably made it this far into my reminiscing… and thank you for that! 

Please feel free to comment and share your nostalgia or Halloween memories and traditions!

 

You might also like:

HALLOWEEN: An American Holiday, an American Tradition (Big Séance)

Skin and Bones (Big Séance)

A New Spin On Your Halloween Altar and Decorations (Big Séance)

Planning a Halloween Party (in 1911) (Big Séance)

 


It’s October!

Well even though I celebrated Autumn way too early (because I get so excited), it is definitely here now… and tomorrow is the first day of the spooktacular month of October! October just makes me feel good. There’s just something about the crispness and the electricity in the air. And now is the time to break out your hoodies! 

Here is a pictorial tour of things about October that get me totally excited. 

 

I really kick the candles up a notch in October...

I really kick the candles up a notch in October…

 

Apple Cider… especially for trick-or-treaters…

 

Me as a kid… a clown for Halloween.

 

Another Halloween… this time as a bunny rabbit with my Bampa…

 

This picture is just funny to me. My sister never really got into Halloween. This may be the only year she (as Casper) dressed up. According to what was written on the back of this photo, apparently I dressed as “a Mexican”. 🙂

 

Trips to the Pumpkin Patch…

 

Meril showing off our pumpkins last year…

 

 

My 2011 punkin head….

 

Our annual shot of the punkin heads on the porch from 2011. Joe was feeling very artistic and creative with his pumpkin (on the left)…

 

This is Meril’s first dress up experience a few years ago. He’s a punkin head. He’s much cooler with it all now. He won’t be very happy when he finds out I posted this.

 

The witch my mom surprised me with yesterday…

 

A tree from the front yard of my parents’ house.

 

A walk down historical Main Street in St. Charles, Missouri… It’s where Joe and I first met…

 

More from one of our walks down historical Main Street in St. Charles, Missouri… It’s where Joe and I first met…

 

The movie Hocus Pocus

 

“Welcome to the tunnel of terror… ah ah ah… Please, join us.” From Roseanne’s first Halloween episode from season 2.

 


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