Halloween is a holiday which is celebrated on October 31. According to tradition, Halloween begins after sunset. Long ago, people had faith in that witches gathered together and ghosts roamed the world on Halloween. Today, most people don’t believe in ghosts and witches any more. However, these supernatural beings are still a part of Halloween.
One of the most popular Halloween customs is dressing up in costumes. It is most popular among children. By tradition, for frightening the spirits away people would dress up in costumes (wear special clothing, masks or disguises).
Halloween is also related with supernatural creatures like ghosts and vampires which are not belong to the natural world. In fact, they don’t really exist.
As a result, vampires (creatures that drink blood), ghosts (spirits of the dead) and werewolves (people that turn into wolves when the moon is full) are included in popular Halloween costumes.
According to the books, witches usually wear pointed hats and fly around on broomsticks in people’s thought. They are considered as uncommon creatures that have magical powers.”Magic is central not only in ‘primitive’ societies but in ‘high cultural’ societies as well…” The concept of witchcraft as harmful is often treated as a cultural ideology providing a scapegoat for human misfortune. In Early Modern Europe, witchcraft came to be considered as a part of a vast diabolical conspiracy of individuals in league with the Devil undermining Christianity. It eventually leaded to large-scare witch-hunts, especially in Protestant Europe. In many English-speaking countries ‘novels, some pitiful women are sentenced to the death because they are seen as witches such as the old woman （the creature of The Scarlet Letter who helped Hester）.
Witch hunts continue to this day with tragic consequences. Witchcraft has become the designation of a branch of contemporary Paganism since the mid-20th century. It is most notably practiced in the Wiccan traditions, some of whom claim to practice a revival of pre-Abraham spirituality.
Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings. They subsist by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures, in spite of whether they are undead or a living person/being. Vampire entities have been recorded in many cultures, and may go back to “prehistoric times”. However, the term vampire was popularized until the early 18th century after an influx of vampire superstition into Western Europe from areas where vampire legends were frequent (such as the Balkans and Eastern Europe).
The level of vampire superstition in Europe kept increasing. It led to mass hysteria. What is worse, it resulted in corpses actually being staked and people being accused of vampirism in some cases.
A werewolf who is known as a lycanthrope (from the Greek) is a mythological or folkloric human. The werewolf can shape shift into a wolf or an therianthropic hybrid wolf-like creature, either purposely or after being placed under a curse or affliction (e.g. via a bite or scratch from another werewolf).
Petronius and Gervase of Tilbury are early sources for belief in lycanthropy. The werewolf is a widespread concept in European folklore. He exists in many variants which are related to a common development of a Christian interpretation of underlying Indo-European mythology which developed during the medieval period.
Werewolf beliefs are also introduced to the New World with colonialism from the early modern period. Belief in werewolf develops parallel to the belief in witches in the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. Like the witchcraft trials, the trial of people who are supposed as werewolves emerges in what is now Switzerland (especially the Valais and Vaud) in the early 15th century and spreads throughout Europe in the 16th, peaking in the 17th and subsiding by the 18th century. The oppression of werewolves and the associated folklore becomes an integral part of the “witch-hunt” phenomenon, albeit a marginal one, accusations of werewolf being involved in only a small fraction of witchcraft trials. The accusations of lycanthropy (transformation into a wolf) were blended with accusations of wolf-riding or wolf-charming during the early period.
For these creatures, there are many costumes and mask which are designed as witch’s black robe or as vampire. If you want to join masquerade parties, dreadful costumes and masks can’t be ignored. You can get more information at http://www.handgiftbox.com.
- Your Weekend Creature Comforts: The Halloween Classics Part 1: Werewolves (evilgeeks.com)
- Mythical Monday: The Huntsman and the Werewolf by Mae Clair (maeclair.net)