Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Soul of Halloween

Halloween's my second favorite holiday. Its traditions and mystery intrigued me when I was a girl, and even moreso now. Halloween legends, superstitions, myths and beliefs provide an endless wealth of story material!

To celebrate this ancient holiday, I'm be giving away PDFs of my two Halloween-themed stories this week: One Soul for Sale and Reflections. I'll also give away a PDF of my fantasy, The Duende and the Muse, and finally next Monday, a PDF of Seventh Heaven.

Here are some of the spookier superstitions and beliefs about death:

According to an old saying, if a candle's flame goes out on Halloween, then a ghost is visiting you.

If you see a spider on Halloween, it could be the spirit of a dead loved one looking out for you.

Ancients believed ghosts could be weighed down, so used tombstones to keep them in place.

Because some believed spirits could only travel in a straight line, mazes found at the entrance to many ancient tombs may have been intended to keep the spirit of the dead from returning to the world.

Some people believed that a person's soul remained for 24 hours after death. Members of the family, or friends of the deceased, often sat with the body of their loved one to prevent the devil from stealing the soul.

If a dead person’s eyes are left open, he’ll find someone to take with him.

If you touch a loved one who has died, you won’t dream about them.

If you look at your shadow in the moonlight on All Hallows Eve, death will find you.

Thunder following a funeral means that the dead person's soul has reached heaven.

If you see an owl diving on Halloween night, it's coming to take your soul away.

Comment today or tomorrow for a chance to win a PDF of my novella, One Soul for Sale, one of Eternal Press' Top 10 Bestsellers! I'll announce a winner tomorrow night in the comments section.


Judy said...

Goodness!! Some of those beliefs are quite spooky!! A couple will make you wonder.

Halloween is also one of my favorite times of the year. It is finally getting cool down here in the south, the leaves are turning and I love to see the children dressing up in their costumes!!

Happy Halloween everyone!! I enjoy being scared (in a good way):)


Maggie Dove said...

Hi Cate! Happy Halloween!


Jo Ann said...

Hi Cate...Happy Halloween!!!

Susan Macatee said...

What a cool post, Cate! Halloween is such a fun holiday!

Cate Masters said...

Happy Halloween, guys! Or should I say, bwahahaha!

stacey said...

thats some intresting Beliefs I think people are strang and the things thay belief are stranger.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Cate,
Halloween isn't celebrated very much in Australia, but some of these beliefs you wrote down are not only interesting but downright scarey.


Pamela Keener said...

Wow! Very spooky blog.
Happy Halloween
Love & Hugs,

s7anna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
s7anna said...

I need to start proof-reading before I post...Aargh!!!

wow...a lot of the listed superstitions are new to me...I love the one about thunder during a funeral...meaning that the soul has reached heaven...

I'm now inspired to look up other superstitions b/c you've got me intrigued.

Happy Reading!!!
Anna Shah Hoque

Cate Masters said...

Sorry to be late... very sad day, my dad has died. He had the best soul of all.
Congrats to Anna, whose name I drew as the winner. I'll email you your PDF.
I may be late in selecting other winners this week but will catch up when I can. Thanks for your understanding.

s7anna said...

Hi Cate,

I'm terribly sorry to hear of your loss. My deepest condolences go out to you and your family.


Judy said...

So sorry for your loss, Cate. You and your family will be in thoughts and prayers!!