Down a long winding road and onto a small narrow path walked a dozen or more people dressed in dark clothing. In their arms were assorted candles, baskets, herbs, and sacks filled with all sorts of magical things. As they walked along they gathered broom straw from the fields and tied it into bundles.
It was the month of October and these people were preparing to celebrate their special day of the year. It was called the festival of Samhain. This time marked the end of the summer and the harvesting of crops. It was also the when evil spirits returned to earth. October 31st was the day the ghost of the dead returned to cause all sorts of mischief to all who were not Christians. Anyone who was not protected by the cross or the blood of Jesus Christ was fair game to the demons. The return of the cold winds of winter was just around the corner and everyone was preparing to stay inside.
Slowly the people walked gathering the broom straw. They were headed to a large space deep inside of the forest. Each year they gathered wood from the forest and built a huge bonfire. The bonfire was used to burn crops, and to sacrifice animals to the evil spirits they worshiped. Each soul walking was required to have a broom especially all the women for they were expected to fly through the sky at the stroke of midnight.
During the celebration, each person wore costumes of all sorts. Some wore animal skins and others dressed in black robes with hoods to cover their heads. Each person carried a cage or a sack with a black cat inside of it. They had spent many months finding these furry creatures and fattening them up. Those who did not bring a cat brought frogs or owls. Should they decide to add to the black cauldron pot they would have all the necessary items available. They would sit around the sacred bonfire telling each other’s fortunes and mulling over who the next person would be to cast their wicked spells upon. Once the sack had been emptied and the bonfire burned up, they would gather bones or odd stones to take home with them to protect them from the harsh winter.
It was Lady Pennsworth who started the cauldron. Once it was boiling she would ask anyone who wanted to add something to it to come forward and drop it inside the boiling water. This was considered good luck to anyone who added to the pot. She would stir the cauldron until all items had cooked well. Goblets were then brought forth to hold the stew and each person drank from the goblet. Everyone was required to participate in the ritual or be cast outside of the circle of white stones. Should they be cast out of the circle they would no longer have any protection from the evil spirits. This was the night people around the world called Halloween. It was also the night children ran from house to house collecting bags of candy and treats. It was a night of fun and games. However some games have deadly consequences. Fire burns and innocent children suffer at the hands of demented ghostly figures.
The fire burned and the cauldron boiled. At the stroke of midnight each woman straddled her broom and flew high above the trees over the small town only five miles away. As they flew they dropped to the level of the windows of each house. They were looking for anyone still awake so they could cast their magic spells before daybreak. Much to their dismay most of the houses were dark or had the sign of the cross posted just above the front door. It was every parent’s duty to see that their families were protected from the evil ones as it is today. They took this day and those who believed in it very seriously. No child was to be left unprotected. Preachers and priest were on high alert making themselves available to anyone who needed help on this day called Halloween.
There are many people still playing evil games today. Where there is good, there is evil. Where there are witches and warlocks, there are priest and ministers of the Gospel. Where there are ghost and evil spirits, there are messengers of God who appear as angels. Where there is death, there is life. There are books of magic and spells as ancient as time. Then there is the Word of God that still lights the way for all men. We are given a life full of choices and God watches from on high to see what we will do with each choice. Don’t be afraid of the evil in the world today. Instead commit your heart and soul to the Giver of all good gifts.
This is what Jesus said in Luke chapter 11: verses 9-10
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Know your enemies battle plan and with God’s help you will prevail!
Written by Sybil Shearin
All Rights Reserved
Copyrighted July 2011
Sybil Shearin is a published author, writer and poet from North Carolina. Her first book was “Little Hands” by Winston Derek Publishing Company. Since that time she has written hundreds of poems, articles and children’s stories. Sybil is a native of North Carolina and she enjoys her work making people happy. Please take time to visit her websites and be sure to read her stories to your children and grandchildren for they not only tell stories but teach children about animals.