Throwback Thursdays – Treat-or-Treating

Will trick or treating be a Halloween tradition that survives the apocalypse?

Past:

Trick-or-treating can be traced all the way back to the Celtic celebrations of Samhain, on what is now known as October 31st, the night when the dead were believed to come back to the living. Villagers disguised themselves in costumes made of animal skins to drive away evil spirits. Food and drink were left out. Bonfires were lit. Sacrifices made. Basically, the Halloween party life hasn’t changed much, well, maybe we don’t sacrifice as many bodies as we used to, but, we’re still lighting shit on fire and eating and drinking until we pass out. By the middle ages, people dressed in more elaborate costumes went door-to-door asking for treats, even performed for treats. Christianity took hold and their diehard zealots tried their best to push out pagan ceremonies of All Hallows eve, October 31, and All Hallows Day on November 1, with their own for All Saints Day on November 2. Everything only got muddled and combined. Immigrants brought their Halloween traditions, including trick-or-treating, to the USA, but by the 1920s, pranksters almost got Halloween canceled with their viciousness, horrible pranks, and acts of violence, that’s when parents started to organize community-wide events like parades, carnivals, or festivals.

Present:

Whoohoo, trick-or-treating is back, baby! According to Statista.com, Halloween spending is up to $10.6 Billion dollars in 2022, with $3.6 billion dollars being spent on costumes, and deep-pocket pet owners shelling out $710 million dollars to dress up their pooches and kitty-cats. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, they estimate about 42 million trick-or-treaters this year and 128 million dwellings offering treats, and a recent article from US News and World Report says the top three costumes were: the witch, Spiderman, and that funny inflatable dinosaur.

Future:

Mask or no mask, let’s face facts, you need people to trick-or-treat. You need people to pass out candy and you need kids, small people, to collect it. I mean, the USA couldn’t make it through a manageable pandemic without hoarding toilet paper and staying inside to stop the spread of a highly infectious deadly disease, it’s doubtful the majority of the population is going to make it through one of IET‘s 13 hypothesized apocalyptic doomsday scenarios.

The good news is, when the dust clears, I believe there will some form of a society, and probably one in need. Going door-to-door to collect food and handouts could become commonplace again, not mention to leaving “treats” to ward off evil (people) from doing good folks harm and you can be sure, as long as someone remembers October 31st is Devils night, somebody is going to be up to no good. I think trick-or-treating will most definitely survive the apocalypse.

Trick or Treat art by Raluca Iosifescu.

Tuesday Terror – Trick ‘r Treat

Trick ‘r Treat

When Michael Doughtery’s horror anthology, Trick ‘r Treat, was released in 2007, it seemed like Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros didn’t quite know what to do with the picture. After a round of festivals, the movie ended up direct-to-video, destined to die a quiet death. Well, horror fans who had seen the film, raved about it. They said it was best Halloween movie since, well, Halloween, and the good word that Trick ‘Treat was an amazing movie spread quickly. No one loves the dead coming back to life quite like the horror community.

Despite not getting a proper theatrical release, Trick ‘Treat amassed a cult following on par with the big franchise films like Halloween and Friday the 13th. In fact, Trick ‘r Treat’s Sam, the cute little mascot with a killer attitude, enforcing the rules of Halloween, is now an official horror icon with best -selling merchandise and hot collectibles of his own, after just one movie.

No one really knows why Trick ‘r Treat got the cold shoulder, some say it was bad early reviews, some say it was the violence towards children, which was still pretty taboo in 2007, yet, others blame the fact that it was an anthology, which historically don’t perform well at box office. It no longer matters. Many fans, including yours truly, consider this mandatory annual viewing every Halloween.

Throwback Thursday – Jack-o’-lanterns

Will jack-o’-lanterns be a Halloween tradition that survives the apocalypse?

Past: Centuries before the Native Americans introduced pumpkins to puritan societies, the Celts (ancient Irish peoples) were carving gruesome faces into turnips and potatoes and filling them with candles, all in an effort to guide wandering spirits to safety and ward off evil spirits during Samhain.

Ancient Celtic jack-o’-lantern at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

By the early 1800s, the Irish began telling the story of Stingy Jack, a man cursed to roam the earth for eternity after being rejected entry into both Heaven and Hell.

“As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”

https://www.history.com/news/history-of-the-jack-o-lantern-irish-origins
Stingy Jack art by Anton Vitus

Present: Irish immigrants brought their legend of Stingy Jack with them to the America and replaced turnips with pumpkins, which were big and easier to carve, not mention, the most economical gourds to cultivate, growing almost anywhere with the proper care.

With the commercialization of Halloween, we saw the pumpkin carving grow into a elaborate artistry and jack-o’-lanterns made out of every material substance known to man.

Future: According to an article “Could Humans Grow Food During a Nuclear Winter?” in Discover Magazine from March 2022, any sun-blocking catastrophes, i.e., volcanic eruptions, meteor crashes, or nuclear war would likely reduce sunlight by 40%, causing global permafrost and reducing much need precipitation. A Nuclear disaster would most surely ruin the earth’s soil, at least for a good 5 years or so. Without good sunlight and moderate soil temps, it would probalby be a number of years before survivors could grow fields of pumpkins again, or any food for that matter.

We have already experienced reduced crops in the last few years due to climate change, with soaring temps, severe rain storms in the East, and record-breaking droughts out West. Mini pumpkins, which can grow in controlled environments and small spaces, may be the only variety of pumpkin that survives.

All said, carving jack-o’-lanterns is arguably the oldest and most beloved Halloween tradition. I think as long as there’s a candle or a light, a metal bucket, and one human being left on the planet caring enough about Halloween, the jack-o-lantern will survive.

Friday Fright Nightcaps: Samhain Apple-Spiced Sangria (S.A.S.S.)

Add a little S.A.S.S. to your Halloween with this delicious autumn sangria.

Samhain Apple Spiced Sangria

INGREDIENTS:

1 bottle red wine
1 bottle sparkling apple cider (Martinelli’s)
1 cup spiced rum
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 pear
1/2 apple
1/2 orange
1 cup strawberries
1 cup blueberries

Directions:

Place the sliced fruit (pear, orange, apple slices, etc.) in the bottom of a pitcher.

Add the red wine, apple cider, spiced rum, and cinnamon sticks. Stir well. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours.

This recipe is highly modifiable. I find Red Blends and Cabs are best, but any wine will work. Switch out the rum with brandy for less spice. Choose different fruit if you’d like.

Samhain Apple Spiced Sangria

Happy Halloween!

Halloween 2020 Schedule

October is exactly one week away and Halloween Haiku celebrates all 31 days of the month!

This year, it’s all about Halloween at home. Don’t get down about Coronavirus trying to ruin Halloween, get creative!

Be sure to check in every day for cool, fun and inspirational Halloween artwork, poems, stories, and prizes. Prizes? That’s right, in additon to our annual Halloween Haiku Challenge, we’re going to be giving away some treats this October. Stay tuned for details!

31 Days of Halloween Schedule

Monday Macabre

Mondays are always dedicated to Haiku, but every Monday in October we go dark. Grab your crucifix, kids, cuz it’s about to get scary up in here, like super scary, satanic scary, Teletubbies scary.

Trick-or-Treat Tuesdays

Will you be tricked or treated every Tuesday in October? Only you can decide.  

Wicked Art Wednesdays

Every Wednesday, I’ll showcase original Halloween art from the most talented artists from around the world, including works from two widely-known professional artists and two amateur or inspiring artists.

Throwback Thursdays

Every Thursday, let’s travel back to the golden age of 80s cinema horror and explore the totally tubular world of neon spandex and blood-splatter.

Friday Fright Nightcaps

Why do ghost haunt bars? Because they love free boos! Don’t worry if you can’t paint the town dead this October because every Friday night, I’ll share some freaky Halloween cocktails that will set your cauldron on fire!

Sinister Saturdays

Every Saturday, I’ll share some mouth-watering recipes to die for, and just like last year, I’ll be rotating between savory and sweet, all guaranteed to have you screaming for more!

Poe Sundays

This year, I’ll be sharing artwork from talented artists from around the globe, all in tribute to the master of macabre, Edgar Allan Poe.

Halloween Haiku Challenge 2020
#Halloweenhaikuchallenge

Share your most original or scariest Halloween Haiku during October for a chance to win a copy of Pumpkins and Party Themes: 50 DIY Designs to Bring Your Halloween Extravaganza to Life by Roxanne Rhoads of A Bewitching Guide to Halloween. Winner will receive the book via Amazon, standard shipping rates apply. Sorry, US residents only.

Contest starts October 1st and ends at midnight, the witching hour, on October 31st
Winners will be announced on November 1st, here and on social media.

Don’t forget to follow @Halloweenhaiku9 on Instagram and Twitter.

Happy Halloween season, everyone!