31 Day of Halloween Horror
31. The Howling: Reborn
Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting "haunted houses" and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century including Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom as well as of Australia and New Zealand.
Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced "sah-win").
The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops.
The festival would frequently involve bonfires. It is believed that the fires attracted insects to the area which attracted bats to the area. These are additional attributes of the history of Halloween.
Masks and costumes were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or appease them.
Trick-or-treating, is an activity for children on or around Halloween in which they proceed from house to house in costumes, asking for treats such as confectionery with the question, "Trick or treat?" The "trick" part of "trick or treat" is a threat to play a trick on the homeowner or his property if no treat is given. Trick-or-treating is one of the main traditions of Halloween. It has become socially expected that if one lives in a neighborhood with children one should purchase treats in preparation for trick-or-treaters.
The history of Halloween has evolved. The activity is popular in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, and due to increased American cultural influence in recent years, imported through exposure to US television and other media, trick-or-treating has started to occur among children in many parts of Europe, and in the Saudi Aramco camps of Dhahran, Akaria compounds and Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia. The most significant growth and resistance is in the United Kingdom, where the police have threatened to prosecute parents who allow their children to carry out the "trick" element. In continental Europe, where the commerce-driven importation of Halloween is seen with more skepticism, numerous destructive or illegal "tricks" and police warnings have further raised suspicion about this game and Halloween in general.
In Ohio, Iowa, and Massachusetts, the night designated for Trick-or-treating is often referred to as Beggars Night.
Part of the history of Halloween is Halloween costumes. The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays goes back to the Middle Ages, and includes Christmas wassailing. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of "souling," when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2). It originated in Ireland and Britain, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of "puling [whimpering, whining], like a beggar at Hallowmas."
Yet there is no evidence that souling was ever practiced in America, and trick-or-treating may have developed in America independent of any Irish or British antecedent. There is little primary Halloween history documentation of masking or costuming on Halloween in Ireland, the UK, or America before 1900. The earliest known reference to ritual begging on Halloween in English speaking North America occurs in 1911, when a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario, near the border of upstate New York, reported that it was normal for the smaller children to go street guising (see below) on Halloween between 6 and 7 p.m., visiting shops and neighbors to be rewarded with nuts and candies for their rhymes and songs. Another isolated reference appears, place unknown, in 1915, with a third reference in Chicago in 1920. The thousands of Halloween postcards produced between the turn of the 20th century and the 1920s commonly show children but do not depict trick-or-treating. Ruth Edna Kelley, in her 1919 history of the holiday, The Book of Hallowe'en, makes no mention of such a custom in the chapter "Hallowe'en in America." It does not seem to have become a widespread practice until the 1930s, with the earliest known uses in print of the term "trick or treat" appearing in 1934, and the first use in a national publication occurring in 1939. Thus, although a quarter million Scots-Irish immigrated to America between 1717 and 1770, the Irish Potato Famine brought almost a million immigrants in 1845-1849, and British and Irish immigration to America peaked in the 1880s, ritualized begging on Halloween was virtually unknown in America until generations later.
Trick-or-treating spread from the western United States eastward, stalled by sugar rationing that began in April 1942 during World War II and did not end until June 1947.
Early national attention to trick-or-treating was given in October 1947 issues of the children's magazines Jack and Jill and Children's Activities, and by Halloween episodes of the network radio programs The Baby Snooks Show in 1946 and The Jack Benny Show and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet in 1948. The custom had become firmly established in popular culture by 1952, when Walt Disney portrayed it in the cartoon Trick or Treat, Ozzie and Harriet were besieged by trick-or-treaters on an episode of their television show, and UNICEF first conducted a national campaign for children to raise funds for the charity while trick-or-treating.
Trick-or-treating on the prairie. Although some popular histories of Halloween have characterized trick-or-treating as an adult invention to re-channel Halloween activities away from vandalism, nothing in the historical record supports this theory. To the contrary, adults, as reported in newspapers from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s, typically saw it as a form of extortion, with reactions ranging from bemused indulgence to anger. Likewise, as portrayed on radio shows, children would have to explain what trick-or-treating was to puzzled adults, and not the other way around. Sometimes even the children protested: for Halloween 1948, members of the Madison Square Boys Club in New York City carried a parade banner that read "American Boys Don't Beg."
National Caramel Apple Day
With all the candy we’ll be eating this week, it’s nice to know there’s a way to at least help round out your diet by working some fruit in. Candy apples were supposedly invented by Newark, New Jersey, native William W. Kolb in 1908. Initially, the apples were window decorations, but they sold so well he kept on making them.
Candy apples are different from caramel apples, which use a dairy product in the sauce. Candy apples use candy that’s in its hard crack stage, which means you’ve melted sugar to between 300 and 310 degrees Fahrenheit.
The candy surrounding the apple can be flavored many ways - the ones Kolb made were cinnamon-flavored. As for the apple itself, most apple enthusiasts recommend using the Granny Smith variety as the tartness of the apple will be balanced by the sugary sweet candy.
National Knock-Knock Jokes Day
Just in case you don’t know what what one is - it takes two to knock knock. One person is the “knocker” while the other person is the “knockee.” And unlike other jokes, you don’t have to be a comedian or practical joker to tell a great knock knock joke either.
These classic non-rhyming jokes are fun for all ages. What parent, grandparent or teacher hasn’t heard a knock-knock joke? Children seem to revel in telling these silly little jokes, even if they don’t make much sense.
Classic & Clean Knock Knock Jokes
- Knock knock. (Who’s there?) Boo. (Boo who?) Don’t cry – it’s only a knock knock joke!
- Knock knock. (Who’s there?) Cash. (Cash who?) No thanks. I’d rather have peanuts instead!
- Knock knock. (Who’s there?) Madam. (Madam who?) Madam foot got caught in the door!
- Knock knock. (Who’s there?) Wendy. (Wendy who?) Wendy wind blows de cradle will rock.
- Knock knock. (Who’s there?) Dwayne. (Dwayne who?) Dwayne the bathtub – I’m drowning!
- Knock knock. (Who’s there?) Dewey. (Dewey who?) Dewey have to listen to all this knocking?
- Knock knock. (Who’s there?) Macomb. (Macomb who?) Do you know where I left macomb?
- Knock knock. (Who’s there?) Annie. (Annie who?) Annie thing you can do, I can do better!
- Knock knock. (Who’s there?) Little old lady. (Little old lady who?) Gosh, I didn’t know you could yodel!
- Knock knock. (Who’s there?) Anita. (Anita who?) Anita hug right about now.
- Knock knock. (Who’s there?) Mirra. (Mirra who?) Mirra mirra on the wall….
- Knock knock. (Who’s there?) Dishes. (Dishes who?) Dishes the police – open up!
National UNICEF Day
The horrors of World War II were still a part of the fabric of American life in 1949. When the children of Reverend Allison of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania showed concern for Europe's children still suffering in the wake of the war, he devised a unique way for them to get involved. On Halloween night the three Allison children went door-to-door to collect money for their peers in post-World War II Europe. They raised a total of $17 and donated it all to UNICEF. Reverend Allison also ensured that other Presbyterian Sunday schools also participated.
Inspired by their innovative and philanthropic spirit, the campaign that came to be known as ‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’ was launched nationwide.
US President Lyndon Johnson highly approved of the campaign, and on March 17, 1965, in a statement to the U.S. Committee for UNICEF, said: "In keeping with our traditional spirit of good will and generosity, each American can help UNICEF to continue its work by participating in the trick-or-treat program at Halloween and in the greeting card campaign. Mrs. Johnson and I hope that our fellow citizens this year will once again join in bringing the opportunity for a better life to more of the world's children."
The following year President Johnson of the USA declared Halloween, 31 October, to be 'National UNICEF Day’ in perpetuity in the United States.
The request to President Johnson was first put forth by the Honorable Robert W. Kastenmeier of Wisconsin, of the House of Representatives on Monday, March 7, 1966. His speech was reprinted in the Congressional Record, "UNICEF and the 1965 Nobel Peace Prize: Request to the President To Designate October 31 as National UNICEF Day".
Two days later, on March 9, 1966, The Honorable Joseph D. Tydings of Maryland, in the Senate introduced Joint Resolution 144 authorizing and requesting the President to designate October 31 as National UNICEF Day
National Magic Day
Each year governors, mayors and other governing bodies throughout the country are requested to issue proclamations declaring the last week in October as National Magic Week, encouraging magicians throughout the country to participate in the activities.
The Society of American Magicians adopted the idea of National Magic Week as a way of promoting the Art of Magic by performing shows at orphanages, hospitals and nursing homes for those who would have difficulty getting to a theater to see a live performance. The members of the Society of American Magicians who participate in these shows find it a rewarding activity. Many people enjoy magic shows during this week that otherwise would not be able to do so.
The roots of National Magic Week go back over 80 years. Before there was a National Magic Week there was a National Magic Day. It began with a "Houdini Day" in the summer of 1927, less than one year from the death of Harry Houdini. A trophy in honor of Houdini, was presented by Mrs. Harry Houdini in New York City.
There were many other "Houdini Days" following, but it was not until 1938 that Les Sholty, a Chicago member of the Society of American Magicians, sought official sanction for a "Houdini" day. Mrs. Houdini sanctioned this and October 31 was proclaimed National Magic Day in his memory. The plan was formulated at that time to have free performances for shut-ins and handicapped people.
Many newspapers carried the story about National Magic Day and various magical societies kept the idea alive. The first radio broadcast about National Magic Day occurred over radio station KQW on July 20, 1938. Mrs. Harry Houdini participated in that broadcast and much publicity was generated by her friend Edward Saint.
In 1963 Edward Schneider, National President of the Society of American Magicians issued the first official "National Magic Day" proclamation. In order to meet the many conjuring activities and requests for TV and media stories, the "Day" was celebrated for almost a week. As the President of the local Assembly #22 in Los Angeles, John Zweers proclaimed the first "Magic Week" from October 25 to October 31. Due to many requests from other Assemblies wishing to do likewise, the "week" became official when John Zweers became National President in 1966 and the event was adopted in the national constitution.
Magic displays can be found at libraries, stores and malls throughout the country during National Magic Week. Since many Assemblies already do charitable work during the year, the week is publicized to highlight them and the great enjoyment their magic presents to the public.
When Magic Week is over each local Assembly of the Society of American Magicians is encouraged to compile their Magic Week activities in a book and submit it to the National Council of the Society of American Magicians where they are reviewed and receive recognition.
National Magic Week is the Society of American Magicians and the magical fraternity's way of sharing with others the wonderful art form that is deeply loved by those who participate in it.
Carve a Pumpkin Day
This is your last chance to carve a pumpkin because Halloween is tonight. Pull out your caring patterns and get down to work. If you can't find the patterns you have leftover from last year, there's no time to go to the store. They're probably sold out, anyway. Just carve a pumpkin freehand. After it's done, get your costume on and go trick or Treating.
We believe this holiday is celebrated a little late. It is better held a few days before, or the weekend before. Then, you can make a pumpkin caring party out of it. You can roast pumpkin seeds, drink apple cider and enjoy your pumpkin carvings. If you decide to celebrate this special day a little earlier, I won't tell.........
Have a happy Carve a Pumpkin Day.
Day of the Seven Billion
The world had already reached a population of five billion on on July 11, 1987, and six billion twelve years later on October 12, 1999.
United Nations Population Fund spokesman Omar Gharzeddine disputed the date of the Day of Six Billion by stating, "The U.N. marked the '6 billionth' [person] in 1999, and then a couple of years later the Population Division itself reassessed its calculations and said, actually, no, it was in 1998."
According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division, October 31, 2011 was a symbolic date chosen based on data interpolated from its 5-year-period estimates. The estimates were based on data sources such as censuses, surveys, vital and population registers, and published every other year as part of its World Population Prospects.
The actual date that the world population reached 7 billion has an error margin of around 12 months owing to inaccuracies in demographic statistics, particularly in some developing countries (even the world's best censuses have 1–2% error). Assuming a 1% global error margin, the 7 billion world population had been reached as early as March 20, 2011 or as late as April 12, 2012.
However, the International Programs Division of the United States Census Bureau estimated that total world population had not reach 7 billion until sometime on March 12, 2012. It also offered an estimate that differed by about three months from the UN estimate for the Day of Six Billion.
The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis estimated a date between February 2012 and July 2014.
Girl Scout Founder's Day
"Daisy," as she was affectionately called by family and friends, was the second of six children of William Washington Gordon and Eleanor Kinzie Gordon. Family members on her father's side were early settlers in Georgia, and her mother's family played an important role in the founding of Chicago, Illinois.
A sensitive and talented youngster, Daisy Gordon spent a happy childhood in her large Savannah home, which was purchased and restored by Girl Scouts of the USA in 1953. Now known as the Juliette Gordon Low Girl Scout National Center, or often referred to as the Birthplace, the handsome English Regency house was designated a registered National Historic Landmark in 1965.
Young Daisy Gordon developed what was to become a lifetime interest in the arts. She wrote poems; sketched, wrote and acted in plays; and later became a skilled painter and sculptor. She had many pets throughout her life and was particularly fond of exotic birds, Georgia mockingbirds, and dogs. Daisy was also known for her great sense of humor.
Juliette Low was very athletic. From her childhood on, Daisy was a strong swimmer. She was Captain of a rowing team as a girl and learned to canoe as an adult. She was also an avid tennis player. One of her special skills was standing on her head. She stood on her head every year on her birthday to prove she still could do it, and also celebrated nieces' and nephews' birthdays by standing on her head. Once, she even stood on her head in the board room at National Headquarters to show off the new Girl Scout shoes.
National Increase Your Psychic Powers Day
I'm thinking of a number from one to ten. Okay, take a guess.......what number is it??
Nope, it's ten. Sure, I fooled you. But, if you truely have psychic powers, you would know I was up to something.
The reason for this little exercise(above), was to show you that you need to improve upon your psychic powers. And, today is "the" day to increase your psychic powers.
Now, let's get on to "How" you can increase your psychic powers. There are a number of ways. And, there is no shortage of psychics, groups and websites to help you.
Here are a few ways, to improve your psychic capabilities:
- Get out the Ouija board. Use it with some friends.
- Practice makes perfect. Get out a deck of cards. Shuffle them well. Think of what the top card is. Then, turn it over. Keep going.
- Flip of the coin, too. Guess heads or tails while the coin is in the air. As your psychic power increases, you should guess correctly more than 50% of the time.
- Hone your ESP skills - When the phone rings, guess who it will be. As you go through the day, guess what people are going to say, or what is going to happen next.
I'm getting a reading in my mind that you will have a happy and fun filled Increase Your Psychic Powers Day.
Increase Your Psychic Powers Day appears to have roots in England back to the nineteenth century. Some documentation and readings has it occurring on Halloween night. Other, references, has is on the 30th.