This is the paranormal blog of author Lynda Hilburn, http://www.lyndahilburnauthor.com
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Guest Author: Sapphire Phelan
It’s that time of year again, when ghosts, goblins, witches,
monsters, and all manner of scary things haunt the night of October 31st.Whether you call supernatural or paranormal,
it’s all about Halloween.
It is said that on Halloween, the veil between the world of
the living and the world of the dead is at its thinnest. This allows the
spirits of that dark unknown place to more freely walk among us—making
Halloween the spookiest time of year. Whether that is true or just a tradition,
it's certain that the living is more focused on ghosts and the possibilities of
the paranormal throughout October. Yes, thanks to Ghost Hunters and Ghost
Adventurers, people know that phantoms are all year long, but when creepy
things happen at Halloween, the feeling of the season makes them all the
Bonfires are held on Halloween. Today, it’s just for furn.
But attribute this as a hold over from a time when people still worshipped the
Syrian sun god Baal. The fires were meant to represent the sun, and thus, honor
him. This tradition predated Samhain, making it one of the oldest customs.
Fires were also thought to be used as a way to scare off any supernatural being
which might wish to bring harm or misfortune. During the spread of Christianity
in Europe, people gathered around communal
bonfires to feast and make merry all night, often times telling ghostly tales.
They’d do this ’til sunrise, fearing to sleep because of the ghosts and goblins
which were abroad. Another thing that is done back then that we still do today—wearing
costumes to Trick or Treat or to Halloween parties—was masquerading or guising
on Halloween because of the belief that wearing a disguise hid you from wicked
spirits and fiends seeking to harm mortals, or to frighten or confuse
The custom of Trick or Treat also had its start in a
paranormal Halloween of ancient times. In ancient Ireland, there would be a “White
Mare procession,” where someone would dress in a white sheet, carry a horse’s
skull, and lead a parade of children. Gifts were given to the children, who’d
say prayers to keep bad spirits away. In Medieval Europe, impoverished
adults and children alike, would go “souling,” singing songs and offering
prayers to the dead on All Hallow’s in return for soul cakes. On the
night of the Feast of Samhain, people would go door-to-door collecting
provisions for the feast. They’d often be dressed in costumes to confuse the
supernatural beings lurking about that night. Gifts of food were also left out
for real faeries and goblins who were roaming about in autumn.
Carving a Jack ‘O’ Lantern was yet another way to frighten
away spirits. In Ireland,
These were originally lanterns made from carved turnips. The light, as well as
the ghoulish faces carved into the lanterns, was another way to scare off
trouble making creatures. In America,
the custom became carving pumpkins, likely because it was much easier than
carving a turnip. There’s even an Irish tale that says the reason, called
Legend if the Jack-O-Lantern.
was a miserable, old drunk who loved playing tricks on anyone and everyone. One
dark, Halloween night, Jack ran into the Devil himself in a local public house.
Jack tricked the Devil by offering his soul in exchange for one last drink. The
Devil quickly turned himself into a sixpence to pay the bartender, but Jack
immediately snatched the coin and deposited it into his pocket, next to a
silver cross that he was carrying. Thus, the Devil could not change himself
back and Jack refused to allow the Devil to go free until the Devil had
promised not to claim Jack's soul for ten years. The
Devil agreed, and ten years later Jack again came across the Devil while out
walking on a country road. The Devil tried collecting what he was due, but Jack
thinking quickly, said, "I'll go, but before I do, will you get me an
apple from that tree?" The
Devil, thinking he had nothing to lose, jumped up into the tree to retrieve an
apple. As soon as he did, Jack placed crosses all around the trunk of the tree,
thus trapping the Devil once again. This time, Jack made the Devil promise that
he would not take his soul when he finally died. Seeing no way around his
predicament, the Devil grudgingly agreed. When
Stingy Jack eventually passed away several years later, he went to down to
Hell to see the Devil, but the Devil kept the promise that had been made to
Jack years earlier, and would not let him enter. Thinking,
Ah, Heaven will surely let me in then!, he wandered up to the
Gates of Heaven, but was refused entrance because of his life of drinking and
because he had been so tight-fisted and deceitful. Jack
went back to Hell to see the Devil. "Where
can I go?" asked Jack. "Back
to where you came from!" replied the Devil. "You doomed yourself
to roam the earth, a restless soul who can find no rest
ever." Lucifer tossed him a turnip and a ember straight
from the fires of Hell itself. "Here, hollow out this turnip and
place this ember inside. Use its light to find your way through
eternity." And to
this day, Jack wanders, never stopping in one place, a hauntingly lost soul,
who learned you never ever really beat the Devil at his own game.
So dust off that costume in the closet, carve that pumpkin, and make sure
your home is properly protected, for as that old poem remarks:
“From goulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night
Good Lord, deliver us!”
What kind of legends or myths have you heard about
Halloween? Leave a comment about one of them and be entered to win a download
of Just Another Paranormal Halloween
anthology that includes my paranormal romance story, “His Girl.”
HAPPY PARANORMAL HALLOWEEN!
Dark heroes and heroines with
bite...sink your teeth into a romance by Sapphire Phelan today.
Mortal woman Tina discovers she is part of a
prophesy that says she and Charun, her demon Familiar, must make love so she
can become the witch she is fated to be. If she doesn't do it and stop the
demon army bringing Armageddon to the Mortal Realm on Halloween, she won't
stand a chance in Hell.
A year later, just when Tina and Charun thought
it was all over and that their life would be normal—another prophesy pops up.
If Lucifer snatches Tina and mates with her before the last chime before
midnight of the new year and gets her pregnant with his son, that the real
Armageddon would begin, spelling the end of life as they knew it. This time
they get help from an archangel, Jacokb, but with demons, Lucifer, and a cute
demon bunny with fangs out of a Monty Python nightmare, out to stop them and
Heaven not lending a hand, will Tina this time lose the battle and become the
mother of the Antichrist and the start of a new Hell on Earth?
Phelan has published erotic and sweet paranormal/fantasy/science fiction
romance along with a couple of erotic horror stories. Her erotic urban fantasy,
Being Familiar With a Witch is a
Prism 2010 Awards winner and a Epic Awards 2010 finalist. The sequel to it is A Familiar Tangle With Hell, released
June 2011 from Phaze Books, Both eBooks were combined into one print book, The
Witch and the Familiar, andreleased April 24, 2012. Her male/male paranormal
romance novella, Dark Leopard Magic,
second book in the Beast Magic series was just released as an audio book.
she can always be found at her desk and on her computer, writing. And yes, the
house, husband, and even the cats sometimes suffer for it!