Tag Archives: halloween

Verhextes Halloween

Eigentlich wollte ich ja noch einen Bericht zum #NornenHopping und zum #LitcampHH schreiben.
Eigentlich wollte ich auch mal wieder weiter an Geschichten schreiben.

Stattdessen bin ich jetzt bei Elenor Avelle und unterstütze sie bei ihrem Hexenhofmarkt.
Und damit ich trotzdem, wie es Tradition ist, an Halloween was hier zu stehen habe, habe ich mir von ihren Jungs vier Begriffe geben lassen, aus der ich dann eine kleine Geschichte geschrieben habe, die auf eben jenem Markt spielt.

Bekommen habe ich: klammheimlichPerspektiveMarvel und Cat Noir.
Bei den letzten beiden habe ich ein bisschen geschummelt, dass muss ich ja zugeben, aber lest selbst:

Das Gruselwusel

Es liebte Halloween, die Nacht, in der nicht nur der Schleier zwischen den Welten am dünnsten war, sondern auch die Sterblichen alles gruselig dekorierten, um das Dunkle zu feiern. Jedes Jahr auf’s Neue suchte sich das Gruselwusel einen Ort aus, um sie sich genauer anzusehen, was sie da so veranstalteten. Und ein bisschen Chaos zu verbreiten. Immerhin hatten die Menschen furchtbar ulkige Vorstellungen davon, was einen richtigen Grusel ausmachte.

Die Feier diesmal war sogar ein ganzer Hinterhofmarkt, was es besonders spannend fand. Aus den Schatten heraus sah es sich um. Überall standen die Menschen. An verschiedenen Ständen, unterhielten sie sich und lachten ausgelassen. Ein paar Kinder versuchten mit Stöcken auf Figuren einzuschlagen. ‘Piñata’ stand auf einem Pappschild darunter. Was auch immer das bedeuten sollte, es würde sich das einmal genauer ansehen. Geschickt kletterte es an der Wand hinauf und den Strick hinab, mit dem das etwas an der Decke befestigt war. Gerade als ein Kind zu einem erneuten Schlag ausholte, fing es an, das etwas hin und her zu schwingen. Der Stock sauste durch die Luft und verfehlte das Ding um Längen. Das Gruselwusel kicherte während es weiter schaukelte. Unter ihm jammerte das Kind, schrie schließlich nach seiner Mama und warf den Stock wütend zu Boden. Schnell huschte es weiter.

Klammheimlich stibitzte es sich einen lecker duftenden Lebkuchenmenschen, auf dem ein Skelett mit Zucker gemalt war und verschwand damit unter dem Tisch. Warum sich die Menschen vor Skeletten fürchteten, hatte es noch nie verstanden, schließlich steckte in jedem von ihnen eines.

Genüßlich knabberte es an seiner Beute und beobachtete die Menschen aus dieser Perspektive. Bald tauchten vor ihm ein paar Füße in schweren Stiefeln auf. Neugierig blickte es die schwarzen Hosenbeine nach oben bis sein Blick auf einige Anhänger an einer Kette fiel. Ein blaues Häuschen, ein Medaillon mit einem Drachen und ein Baumwesen mit einem Gesicht. Menschen trugen schon seltsamen Schmuck. Neben den Füßen erschien ein zweites Paar. Von den Zehenspitzen bis zum Hals, war der Mensch von einer schwarzen Stoffschicht umhüllt. Erst der Kopf war wieder frei, die Augen von einer ebenfalls schwarzen Maske bedeckt und auf dem blonden Haarschopf saßen Katzenohren. Wieder etwas, dass das Gruselwusel nicht verstand: Warum verkleideten sich die Menschen als Tiere? Das Kind bewegte sich und ein heller Laut drang an die Ohren des Gruselwusels. Gebannt starrte es auf das Glöckchen, dass an einem Band um den Hals des Kindes hing. Mit einem großen Happs schob es sich das halb aufgegessene Lebkuchenskelett in den Rachen, um dann flink auf die Schulter des Kindes zu klettern. Dieses merkte nichts von seinem Federgewicht, und so konnte es ungestört den drahtigen Arm nach dem Glöckchen ausstrecken, um es zu läuten. Der Ton erklang erst zaghaft, dann etwas lauter, aber das Kind bemerkte es nicht. Erst als das Gruselwusel kicherte, drehte es sich hektisch um, sodass es von der Schulter purzelte und auf den Boden plumpste. Schnell flitzte es hinter einen Grabstein, der an einer Wand lehnte. Als es dahinter hervorlugte, sah es eine blutige Hand, die aus einem falschen Erdhaufen herausragte. Es schnupperte kurz an ihr, aber essbar roch sie nicht.

Weiter hinten auf dem Markt sah das Gruselwusel Kinder hinter einer Tür verschwinden, um dann kurz danach aus einer direkt daneben kichernd wieder hinauszukommen. Das musste es sich genauer ansehen. Mit dem nächsten Kind schlüpfte es durch die Tür. Dahinter war es dunkel, nur die sich öffnende Tür erhellte kurz den Gang, der bald schon hinter einer Ecke verschwand. Die Wände waren mit schwarzem Stoff bespannt, und allerlei Spinnweben hingen von der Decke. Als die Kinder den Gang wieder verließen, blieb das Gruselwusel und suchte sich ein Plätzchen an der Wand, dort wo der Weg sich bog. Hier wartete es.

Als schließlich erneut ein Kind den Gang betrat und direkt auf es schauend vor der Wand stehen blieb, öffnete es die Augen. Es wusste, dass sie das gleißende Gelb in der Dunkelheit nicht übersehen konnten. Das darauffolgende Kreischen war herrlich und auch das ängstliche Gesicht als das Kind aus dem Gang stürmte. Kichernd fiel das Gruselwusel von der Wand hinab und rollte sich hin und her. Menschen erschrecken machte ihm doch am meisten Spaß an Halloween.

Also dann, passt auf euch auf in dieser geisterhaften Nacht!

Ich ziehe morgen dann weiter nach Hamburg, sammle noch ein paar Nornenbücher für den Verkauf an unserem Stand auf der BuchBerlin ein, bevor es dann übermorgen spontan mit Janzy für ein paar Tage nach Amsterdam geht. 🙂

Anne

Happy – what exactly are we celebrating?

In the previous years I mostly talked about Halloween, but there is something else that Evangelic or Lutheran Christians (and variations thereof) celebrate today:

Reformation Day.

The day when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the gates of the church in Wittenberg or send them in a letter to Archbishop of Mainz, depending on the version.
This year marks a special occasion, hence the digression from the usual Halloween stuff: It’s the 500th anniversary of this event and all over the country it’s been celebrated as Lutherjahr (Lutheryear) all year long, especially in Wittenberg (where he lived and worked), Eisleben (where he was born and died) and Eisenach (where he translated the bible). For this occasion all German Federal States get a public holiday today and not just the Evangelic ones (which also means that the Catholic ones have two holidays this years as for them All Saint’s Day – „Allerheiligen“ is a public holiday as well…).
There are many things potraying the unusal life of Martin Luther, books, movies, graphic novels, museums of course and even  a musical…but that doesn’t change the fact that what he wrote in those theses caused the way religion was used/viewed to change drastically. All those things Catholic priests used to suppress the uneducated people were no longer usable as everyone now understood what was wrong with the system and could later read what actually stood in the bible. I’d really recommend to read up on the whole thing and if you’re nearby, do check out the museums in Wittenberg and Eisenach, they’re pretty good and should be up to modern standards thanks to all the renovations that went on before this years celebration.

What’s Luther to me?

Well, I’m Evangelic, which means everything the belief system I grew up with contains is based on Luthers interpretation and translation. It feels like through this break with the old traditions that Evangelic people are more open minded, which doesn’t mean all Catholics are close minded, but those strict ones are still quite conservative, you can’t deny that…
In my Journey through Germany in 2014 – a part I still owe you – I visited Wittenberg and wandered through the museums I mentioned above. It gave you a different view on the stuff you learn in school and general media. It shows you that Luther wasn’t the driving force behind the Reformation, he was just the pebble that set everything in motion, even if he didn’t want the split itself.
In 2015 my cousin got married on the Wartburg, the castle in Eisenach where Luther translated the bible. The day after the ceremony my Dad and I explored it. We had planned to come here for years, but only managed it then, without Mum. It’s quite an impressive castle that still holds on to lots of history. Not just the bible translation, but also the Sängerkrieg took place here – which I recently read about in an interesting (but slightly flawed) novelization by Robert Löhr(, that I also picked up during our visit back then).

Luther and the Devil

As it’s Halloween I can’t leave you without telling something spooky:
It is said that when he translated the bible Luther was visited by the Devil, who wanted him to stop. To cast him out Luther threw his ink glass at him, but it missed him and shattered on the wall. This stained was said to have stayed there for quite some time.
Though by now it doesn’t exist anymore as „visitors“ took away part of the wall when they came to the Wartburg to see it…(and it’s said to have been artificially prolonged by the GDR regime 😉 )

Other Halloween stuff

Yesterday a guest post of mine was published on the Nornennetz-Blog, it’s a mixture of one of my earlier Halloween posts in German, combined with knowledge I gained from Ed Mooney’s and Ali Isaac’s posts about it.
Tonight one of my old stories from „Your Picture – A Story“ will be re-released through the Nornennetz Halloween-Event as well. Though I didn’t edit the English version accordingly, yet…

Either way, stay safe in this spirit filled night!


PoiSonPaiNter

A watchful Halloween

Well, it’s been a while since my last post and I’m not entirely sure why I couldn’t get myself to write anything here, I just didn’t feel like it…
But I did get a few things done – or semi-done at least.

  • I drafted my Advent Calendar and am in the process of typing it.
  • I sketched a special story for a friend and finished the first nine chapters of it.
  • I concluded my participation for fruehstuecksflocke’s #Projekt24
  • I translated and edited two old stories (including The Quest for Ore – reading at own risk as I haven’t included the edits on the Blog yet. ;)) for another project I’ll announce when it’s time.
  • I also finished my entry for Bücherstadtkuriers‘ Literary Advent Calendar. Let’s see if they like it. 😉 (If not, you can read it on the 25th of December).
  • I also was at two conventions (on the same weekend >_<) and at another HGWAnime-Event.
  • And I finished and caught up with a few more series, though I didn’t feel like writing another WWW.

Anyway!
Back to the topic at hand:

Halloween

Just as I did the last couple of years, did I want to write something for this years Halloween.
So far you got: (Childhood) Halloween Memories and some spooky local legends.
This time it’ll be a recommendation of spooky Specials of TV Series or Movies. So have fun checking them out and maybe you want to add your own favourites to the list. 🙂 (Note: I know there is a full list on Wikipedia, but I prefer recommending stuff, that I’ve seen before 😉 ).

Halloweentown I-IV

One of the must-haves for me. It’s quirky it’s funny, not that scary, but scary enough to make little children cringe and most of all: Full of fantastical creatures.
The stories might not be the most innovative – and it still bugs me that they changed Marnie’s actress for part four, as I like Kimberly J. Brown since I first saw her in Rose Red – but they’re a lot of fun and definitely one of those things that just fit the newer sense of the holiday by combining the partying attitude with the old legends and creating something unique. 🙂

Castle – Vampire Weekend

I recently started watching Castle, because of reasons, and this Episode is filled with all kinds of nods and references to stuff the actors (Nathan Fillion, especially) did before.
You have a joke about Firefly, a mentioning of Buffy (which brings an entirely different angle to the table: If Buffy is fiction in Castle, is Caleb then played by Castle in this version? 😀 – and I finally know why Stana Katic looks so familiar; she played the female lead in The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice…) and all of the classic stuff like Dracula, the Wolfman and so much more that makes this episode fun and enjoyable. There is another Halloween Special, but I haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t tell you if it’s good. 😉

Psych – This Episode Sucks

Full of Vampire references this one might not be a Halloween Episode per se, but still fun enough to add to this list. And who doesn’t enjoy childish grown ups dressing up as fancy vampires that are unable to talk through their fake teeth? 😀
For some reason I also want to add 100 Clues to this list, that is even less of an Halloween-Episode, but it still has the flair of old mystery flicks.

Grimm – La Llorona

One of the creepiest episodes of Grimm I’ve seen so far – and I’m still missing a huge chunk of the later Seasons…
With Grimm you basically have a set number of things something could be: Human or Wesen, but with La Llorona they add something entirely different. A real ghost? A special Wesen? No one knows and at the end of a terrifying hunt, she’s gone.
Besides: Monroe’s love for Halloween and the fact that Wesen take a break on this day is also quite fascinating.

Honourable Mentions

There are a lot more Halloween themed Episodes or Movies, but I want to leave it at that, you still need some time to go Trick-or-Treating, right? 😉

But if you still haven’t gotten enough spooky stuff do try the original Sleepy Hollow movie or even Nightmare Before Christmas.
Buffy and Supernatural themselves pretty much are constantly Halloween-themed, but there are episodes that are considered Specials like Hush or It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester. And not to forget the twenty-something Special Halloween Episodes of The Simpsons. 😉
Then of course there are all the horror classics, but everyone knows which those are, so I’m now leaving you with this:

Stay save in this spirit filled night and have Happy Halloween – or Samhain! 🙂

Have a pumpkin for the way

PoiSonPaiNter

(c) The pictures (except the pumpkin, that ones mine) were taken from the Wikia or IMDB pages of the episodes/movies linked within them. All rights for them belong to their respective owners.

Into the Autumn

During the last few months I received several tags by both DarkFairy and Fissel and I’ll try to get them done one after the other without boring you too much with them. As the days are getting darker and colder I decided to start with this one that was forwarded to me by Fairy.
The Tag – originally called Ab in den Herbst* – was created by Corly and like all Tags brings Rules with them:

  • Link your post below Corly’s Original-Tag
  • Say thank you for the nomination: Thanks Fairy!
  • Answer the questions
  • Tag more Bloggers and tell them

The Questions

Which books remind you of autumn? (Be it due to the cover or because they take place in autumn)

Honestly? I have no idea. I barely remember any covers – even though they might influence my decision to buy the book – or take notice of the Season’s within a book – as they barely play a role.
Corly included the German version of Suzanne Collins Mockingjay in her list and I have to admit, that I am not sure if the thingies are supposed to be flames (German subtitle: Flaming Wrath) or autumn leaves…
Thinking a bit more on it, I guess Der Königsschlüssel (The King’s Key) by Boris Koch reminds me a bit of autumn, too, due to the colour of the cover, but I don’t think it was hinted at in the story…
Story-wise I’d say Terry Pratchett’s Reaper Man reminds me of autumn, simply because DEATH is bringing in the corn…

What do you associate with autumn?

Colourful leaves/trees, rain and wind are the major associations I have with autumn, but there are also a couple of other things. The days are getting darker, all the stuff from the garden is harvested and there are a few things that are celebrated in this Season – and I don’t mean HalloweenSt. Martin’s Day was a huge thing when I was a kid – especially the lantern procession. By now the focus of the 11th November is more on the beginning of the carnival Season where we get the traditional Pfannkuchen from our bosses. Also in autumn are the change of the daylight saving time and the Eternity Sunday or Sunday of the Dead (Ewigkeitssonntag or Totensonntag) that I talked about back in 2013 over at the Fairytale Traveler. This year that day will be quite difficult….

What do you especially like about autumn?

I’m not really sure, but I guess I like that the weather now allows me to not feel guilty about staying in all day. 😉 And I really love passing by or driving through alleys full of colourful trees…oh and tramping through the fallen leaves and kicking them into the air is also great. 😀

What is your favourite Halloween-movie?

This thing is filed with difficult questions…
I guess my favourite Halloween-movie is Halloweentown and its sequels. They’re just so much fun… and of course Nightmare before Christmas, but you can never be sure if this movie fits into the category Halloween- or Christmas-movie 😉
[Author’s Note: I just re-read Fairy’s post after completing mine: I did not mean to copy these from you, but it’s not surprising to me that we picked the same movies. >_<]

Are you an autumn-child (meaning: Were you born in autumn)?

Nope, Winter is my Season. 😀

What do you say about the season autumn in general? Do you like autumn?

It depends, some days, especially when the sun shines and illuminates all those colourful leaves, autumn is awesome. On others when the fog is hanging low or it is raining, you just want to wrap a blanket around yourself and shut out the world, which isn’t an entirely bad thing, but sometimes it can drag you down and that’s not so great. But I generally like autumn as a season.

What kind of holiday destinations do you like most in autumn?

The majority of my travellings take place in summer, so the only times I am actually on tour in autumn is for concerts, maybe an MPS or things like last years trip on Halloween or this year the TimeLash. This also means that I barely use any vacation days in autumn anyway and therefore don’t have a destination – other than getting home, I guess. Though I do still want to actually participate in an American Halloween celebration or actually be able to follow some Irish traditions…

Are there animals that you associate with autumn?

Deer, I guess? And crows and brants and cranes probably, as those are the ones you mostly see either standing on the (empty) fields or noisily flying above you to their wintering grounds.

Your most beautiful autumn-picture? (Can be a private one)

Tough one again… I think most pictures that include colourful leaves are beautiful, so… (yes, I’m a big fan of colourful leaves…). I’m most fascinated by pictures that depict trees or forests throughout the Seasons, where they have like one picture for each Season. Those are great….

Do you have a special autumn experience?

Hmm…I guess you can count all those Halloween experiences I had so far into this, other than that…no idea…

Last thoughts

Okay, so this probably weren’t the most interesting answers to these question, but I still wanted to do it. I think it helps one to learn a bit more about oneself if you try thinking about certain things, you haven’t thought about before and tags like this one help with that.
As I don’t know whom to tag, I will skip that part of the rules. If you want to answer the questions anyway, because you think autumn is awesome or otherwise then go ahead and feel tagged! 😀
You can obviously use my translated questions or Corly’s original (German) ones.
Don’t slip on any fallen leaves. 😉
PoiSonPaiNter
* I obviously translated the rules and questions.

Happy Halloween!

Meh, I really wanted to participate in Ed’s Capturing History Challenge: Spooktacular, but I just don’t have a picture of all those places around here, whose stories are worth to be told.
And there are a lot of stories. From the witch trials in Penzlin, over tales of Klabautermänner or Mermaids in the Baltic Sea or the many lakes of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, to the Petermännchen from Schwerin castle and the Oaks of Ivenack, up to many tales of White Women and Black Dogs/Poodles.

You might remember that I already talked about my Halloween experiences in Germany and my plans for last years Halloween – though I still haven’t written down the tales of that trip – so this year I decided to tell you a few of the tales that are said to have happened in my home town Jarmen – the name might sound familiar if you read A Song of Ice and Fire by the way. 😉

So I looked through the many books we own and found a copy of a myth collection called „Der Schatz von Meesiger – Sagen aus dem Kreis Demmin“ (The Treasure of Meesiger – Myths from the county Demmin) that was re-released a couple of years ago.
Even though the county Demmin doesn’t exist any more – thanks to the Kreisgebietsreform that split it apart – Jarmen itself is still a small town in the Vorpommern part of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern that is situated directly at the river Peene – commonly referred to as the Amazon River of the North – and has an interesting history by itself (we were Swedish for a while and we have a Griffin in our coat of arms).
So enjoy a little dive into the myths surrounding the place I call home. 🙂

The Devil is the real Deal

Years ago when the apartment building my family lives in wasn’t build yet a storehouse and stables for the stage coach stood in its place.

One night one of their coaches was filled with so many people that an old man had to sit with the postillion in the coach box. The two began talking and the old man turned the conversation towards belief. The postillion declared that he did not believe in anything, not even the Düwel (lower-German for Devil) himself. The old man then suddenly declared „Denn’n Düwel gifft dat“ (The Devil exists) and snatched the whip away from him. He cracked it loudly and the horses stopped in their tracks, all windows and doors of the coach opened and a smell of tinder and sulfur hung in the air and the old man was gone. The postillion now certainly changed his belief.

Two farmers who lived in the same area had a different meeting with the Devil. They made a deal with him to always have enough money as long as the Peene would have enough water. Then one summer the river dried out more and more and was nearly gone. The brothers, who had not thought of the deal in the times they faired well now remembered it when money no longer came into their pockets. They believed everything to be over and just became idle and melancholic, while waiting for the Devil. So one day he came to collect them and in the following year the water in the Peene flowed high again.

A White Woman in the Smithy

As the stage coaches weren’t the only business it is not surprising that there was a smithy in Jarmen as well.

One day the apprentice, who lived in the attic of the smithy came to his room and saw a lady all dressed in white standing on the stairs to his room. In his drunken state he thought her to be his master’s young wife and sent her a friendly greeting that she did not return. He turned around and believed to see her walk through a closed door and vanish, frightened he got up to his hay bed and did not find any sleep that night.
The next day he told his master about it and asked him for advice. He just told him to do „gor nix“ (nothing).

The next night when the twelfth hour came the woman returned and stood in the moonlight above the apprentice‘ bed until he woke up and rose up in fright to flee. The woman pushed him back down and told him he could free her, opening her garments to give him an incentive, but heading his master’s advice he did nothing.
After a moment she leaned back down and whispered to him:
„Tomorrow night go forth towards Demmin. Be at the first cross road at midnight. A coach with four white horses will drive up. Give each horse a „Pfennig“ (Penny/Cent) to eat and throw two more crosswise over the carriage with the words ‚Drive on in Peace'“
The frightened apprentice didn’t know what to do, so he asked for some time to think.

In the following night the White Woman appeared again at his bed and took off her garments without a word, her pale body shone in the moonlight. This view made the apprentice promise to be at the described place the next day.
As announced the coach arrived and he fed the horses the Pfennige and threw two more crosswise over the carriage. It opened and there sat the White Woman and smiled. A gust of wind got up and the translucent garment of the woman flew towards him, entangled him and tried to pull him into the carriage…
In his panic he called out „Drive on in Peace“ and the spook was gone.
As long as he’d been in his master’s service the apprentice never again saw his master’s young wife in the house.

A different tale

I hoped you liked this little look into the myths surrounding my home town and if this is something you’re interested in, let me know and I’ll see what other myths I can dig up.  🙂

If you want to read more spooky stories feel free to go over to DF.PP Entertainment for a collection of stories fitting for the occasion (the majority of them is in German though…). 🙂

I don’t know what this Halloween will bring for me and I’ll spent it with Black Kat, Anice and others from the Black Pack at the Burg Stargard at their Halloween feast, but we’ll see.

So, stay save in this spirit filled night and have Happy Halloween – or Samhain! 🙂

Have a pumpkin for the way

PoiSonPaiNter

(c) All three stories were taken, re-told and translated from the book „Der Schatz von Meesiger – Sagen aus dem Landkreis Demmin“, collected by Karl Schlösser, first published as „Der Schatz von Meesiger – Sagen aus dem Großkreis Demmin“ in 1994 by the Baltic-Verlagsagentur and re-released in 2001, where they can be found as „Der Teufel höchstselbst“, „Der Pakt“ and „Die weiße Dame“

A different kind of Halloween

Last year I told you about my experiences with Halloween and that I consider it to be one of the most interesting feasts I know.
Last years Halloween in Hamburg was fun – and I still owe you the review on the HellNights part of it – but it was still just Halloween in Germany and the same old story I already told you about.
We ended up in an Irish pub on the Reeperbahn, with a hilarious live band, nice drinks and a really funny barwoman, but the only costume was a Batman that briefly entered the room…
This isn’t technically something bad, but as you might remember did I also tell you that

it is one of my goals to one day spent a Halloween in the U.S. and/or other places with Halloween/Samhain traditions to see how it is celebrated there at first hand.
(Quote from the other post)

And guess what?
That’s what I’m doing this time. 😀
Throughout the year I discovered a more thorough interest in a certain country and as I already told you in my review for The Hunter’s Moon do I blame this on several posts by The Fairytale Traveler and Ed Mooney Photography.
With this and the fact that I still had quite a bunch of vacation days left for the remainder of the year an idea started to form.
An idea that became a plan that would have me spent

Halloween in Ireland

(and not just in an Irish pub 😉 ).
The original plan spanned over two weeks, starting from the 24th October to the 2nd November. This way I would have also been able to attend the Bram Stoker Festival. Unfortunately everyone I asked or told about this was unable to cover the costs for such a trip. With no one to accompany me, on what would have been my first flight ever, I canned the idea and stopped thinking about it.
Yet, it was still there at the back of my mind, waiting to be unleashed again. I wanted to go and the fact that I was also suffering from Fernweh at that time didn’t really help my case. In the meantime I had changed my plans to spent Halloween in Hamburg again. This time with a former fellow student of mine: Janzy (the one from the Jazzfrühling).
But when the trip to the MPS in Hamburg didn’t still this urge to go travelling, the idea returned on our way back.
Hamburg has an airport after all.
Not even a day after the medieval festival I started making preparations for the shortened trip (only from the 31st October to the 1st November) by working up my courage to write to one of the persons that started it all: Edward Mooney.
With his amazing help I managed to not just get an outline of activities, but also learn about things I would have otherwise spent hours googling for the same information.

Let this be a HUGE (public) THANK YOU, Ed!

As I wanted to surprise Janzy with this idea and give her a part of it as Birthday present did I not tell her at first and simply grinned like an idiot when she mentioned wanting to visit Ireland when we were on the phone one evening.
Still, the more concrete my plans became, the more I felt that I’d be overwhelming her if I only told her on my arrival.
Yet, I wanted to SEE her reaction. Luckily there are things like Skype. 😉
When I couldn’t keep it to myself any longer and had her ok, that she wouldn’t mind travelling somewhere two hours away from Hamburg we changed from phone to Skype for the revelation.
The part I gave her as gift was The Dublin Ghostbus Tour and I sent her the link for it.
She scrolled up and down the page to then start the following conversation

„And where do I see where it is?“
„Up at the top in the headline: DUBLIN Ghostbus.“
„Yes, but there isn’t a Dublin two hours away [from Hamburg].“
„Sure, by plane.“
The gears were visibly turning in her head until realization dawned upon her.
„No, no, I can’t accept that as a gift!“
„Everything is already planned.“

She was really delighted, yet shocked, about this turn of events.
And I was glad she liked the idea as much as she did. 🙂
So now after booking everything, struggling with car rentals and anticipating this moment for months it is finally happening!
When you are reading this post we hopefully safely landed in Dublin! 😀
Shortly afterwards we’ll be renting our car to drive up to Navan for our B&B and then a bit further to Athboy for the Torchlit Procession to the Hill of Ward (Tlachtga).
Tomorrow we’ll be exploring Newgrange, Tara and then Dublin by Ghostbus.
As we decided to return on Monday, do we also have the whole Sunday to spent in the Irish capital city.
While I’m writing this I’m really excited for the trip.
Driving on the left (*cough*wrong*cough*) side of the road, exploring a new country, spending Halloween where it is properly celebrated.
I doubt even rain would make this any less incredible, but it won’t rain anyway. 😀

Stay save in this spirit filled night and have Happy Halloween! 🙂

Have a carved pumkin for the way

Have a carved pumkin for the way


PoiSonPaiNter
P.S. This is a scheduled post so it might be that it doesn’t reach my  Facebook, Tumblr or Google+ page.

Happy Halloween

or Samhain or whatever other holiday you are celebrating today.
Halloween or All Hallows‘ Eve is a Christianized feast to remember the dead, based on the traditional Celtic Samhain, that was also thanking for the harvest.
Many tales and traditions entwine around this holiday, such as:

  • (mostly) children dressing up as monsters and the-like to go asking for sweets (Trick-or-Treating) in the neighborhood
  • Jack O Lanterns being put in yards and windows to keep out wandering spirits (One version of the tale around the Lantern can be found at Ed Mooney Photography: The Tale of the Jack O Lantern another here in Nashoba Hostina’s Gallery: Jacks Lantern)
  • even bonfires as you can read in Ed’s other article: Tlachtga and the Sacred Flame

But I don’t really want to cover that part, far too many other people have already done that.

One of my very first pumpkins...

One of my very first pumpkins…


Halloween for me is special because we do not really celebrate it in Germany. Roughly 10-20 years ago, no one even knew about it. Depending on which Federal State you are in you even celebrate other things on the 31. October (and the 1. November).
In the Lutheran regions the 31.10. is called the Reformation Day, a day to remember Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses at the church door in Wittenberg. In my region/state this is considered a civic holiday. Whereas the Catholic regions have the 1.11. (All Saint’s Day) and other’s – like the state I studied in – have neither.
So I grew up with the knowledge of the 31. being the Reformation Day.
When I was about 8 or 9 I first heard about Halloween.
Back then we had evening projects in Primary School and one of them was lead by a woman that had moved to our small town from America. She told us about several things like the language, muffins, traditions and of course: Halloween.
And it then made sense to me why they played spooky cartoons on Reformation Day. 😉
We even had a costume party back then and I remember going as vampire, with a sliced black plastic bag as cape and tediously sought black clothes (back then my wardrobe was a bit more colourful than it is today…) and ridiculous face paint. 😀
That year we also went Trick-or-Treating (as ghost-thingies), but the majority of people around us didn’t really know what that was about, so we had to explain it over and over again. As a result we skipped the Trick-part when they weren’t prepared. By now people know that kids walk around on this day asking for sweets, but they are rarely in costume and, especially the boys, prefer Tricks to Treating….It’s a pity, but I can’t change that.
For a few years my father also grew pumpkins in our garden, so I’d be able to carve them around Halloween. He doesn’t do it anymore as I was barely around the last few years, but it was always fun to create the scary faces – even though they looked never as great as some others do.
One of my wolve-themed pumpkins...

One of my wolve-themed pumpkins…


What also is different in Germany is that there are rarely any Haunted Houses.
There is also not that much decoration in the houses. In Kölln-Reisiek a village or small town close to where I studied is a family that turns their house into a Haunted Mansion every year, it’s only small but somewhat cute. But really large ones? Not that I know of. You have The Dungeon in Hamburg, but that’s not really the same as you can go there throughout the whole year.
Apart from the fact that you are able to buy costumes and sweets and everything, there is not that much celebration going on here and it is one of my goals to one day spent a Halloween in the U.S. and/or other places with Halloween/Samhain traditions to see how it is celebrated there at first hand.
What I like about Halloween is the spookiness that accompanies it. The lores, the legends and just the belief that the souls of the dead and other spirits have the chances to walk freely on earth (again) hold a great fascination for me. Though not just those that are specific for this holiday.
At the beginning of the month I discovered The Fairytale Traveler, a blog about journeys into regions of these things. For the whole October they introduced the people to A Monster a Day, which was pretty cool as I also learned new stories.
Apart from that there are also the Horror stories that accompany Halloween. I don’t mind a good scare, though by now I am more scared by psychological things than, supposedly scary looking creatures. Even though I do cringe at sudden revelations in movies. Occasionally I myself try to write scary stories, but they are more often than not just unfinished drafts. What I did finish is a story about the Owlman of Cornwall. A creature that is said to live in the woods of Mawna and occasionally appears before people. Some even connect him to the Mothman that appears shortly before a disaster. Anyway, if your German is good enough you might want to have a look into the story: Augen (Eyes).
Another story that is fitting for the occasion and rather young compared to the one above is about spirits that inhabit pumpkins and trick people. But I haven’t gotten around to typing it yet.
One of the Pumpkins I carved for the party.

One of the Pumpkins I carved for the party.


But enough about stories, let’s get to the fun part of Halloween: The Halloween Party.
In my semi-adult years I never attended a fully fletched Halloween Party. I organized one for my college, but that wasn’t the same. Even though we decorated the cafeteria barely anyone dressed up or did actually do something remotely Halloween-ish. It was more like a normal party with decorations…
Another Halloween was spent at the Hammerfall concert in Hamburg I mentioned in my concert review from last year, which was pretty cool, yet strange to be there at that time of the year.
As the 31st is not a civic holiday in Schleswig-Holstein (where I studied) I was only able to go to the small Haunted Mansion I talked about earlier last year.
But this year will be a bit different.
I will be in Hamburg again and though we do not know what we’ll do at Halloween itself we (Black Kat, Iron Eve and me) will go to the Hellnights on the 1. November. A Horror punk concert-festival with The Other and other bands.
Or to put it into one of my much liked alliterations:
Halloween in Hamburg and Horrorpunk Hellnights in the Hafenklang.
(Just like Hammerfall in Hamburg on Halloween 😉 ).
I’m curious what will happen and wish you all a save journey through the spirit-filled night. 🙂
PoiSonPaiNter