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

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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.

 

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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!

 

 

 

The Big Seance Podcast can be found right here, on Apple PodcastsSpotifyTuneIn RadioStitcherGoogle Play Music, and iHeart Radio. 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!


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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