That very special time of year is fast approaching: Halloween.
Two thousand years ago the ancient Celts called it Samhain (pronounced sow-in or sau-an) which means Summer’s End in Old Irish. The ancient Irish and Scots believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family’s ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. The need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm.
After the introduction of Christianity, Samhain was hidden behind the festival of All Hallows Eve, the day before the Christian Holy Day of All Saints Day, Nov. 1. People then would hang skeletons in their windows to represent their departed ancestors and would carve turnips into lanterns that were used to frighten away evil spirits. Skeletons are still a common Halloween symbol as are jack-o-lanterns, although now they are carved from pumpkins — not turnips.
Not that long ago, just about every house in a town or city boasted a carved pumpkin and hordes of children roamed the streets going from door-to-door trick-or-treating. There is less of that today but some people still hold to the old ways and like to decorate their homes for Halloween. A lot of the modern decorations are not very scary. But some still like to make their houses as spooky as possible. Here are a few of the homes in Revelstoke where residents have gone to some effort to keep the spooky Halloween traditions alive… or should I say Undead?