Hallowe'en: October 2003 Archives

October 30, 2003

Warm black pussies.

United States: The Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has dropped its ban on the adoption of black cats during October. The national American SPCA had stopped advising such a ban two years ago after they uncovered no evidence to support suggestions that black cats were under any additional danger in the run-up to Hallowe'en.

I've been checking with people in (the SPCA's) adoption and animal science departments and no, there hasn't been any instance where a witch ... did anything with these black cats, [Deborah] Sindell said.

There's really no evidence.

The executive director of Washington County Humane Society said that he had not seen a single case of adoption leading to torture during his 30 years' experience, and noted that an ill-doer would have a much better supply of animals to be cruel to: Cats are readily available, free on the street. Those are the ones I'm more concerned about.

An anthropology professor questioned the very basis of the urban legend:

Legend says that a cat caught and killed at Halloween was especially powerful for a voodooist, Stevens said, but witches were said to share their powers with cats.

People who were fearful that the black cat was carrying evil - they might be the ones that mistreat the cat, not the witches themselves, Stevens said.

Ban on black cat adoptions at Halloween droppedCapital News Service, 30th October 2003.

October 28, 2003

Le nettoyage ethnique de Hallowe'en

France: A French fast food chain (surely not a very French thing in itself) has put the Auld Alliance at risk by claiming Hallowe'en is Anglo-Saxon. Flunch has replaced the Scottish and Irish festival with their very own invented Celtic New Year.

Gilleron said the Gallic promotion, which features stores decorated with cardboard druids, was in the spirit of French ancestors. The eve of the Celtic New Year was a big event and would be followed by weeks of parties and banquets.

Customers have so far failed to notice. Asterix Spirit Stems Halloween Invasion - Yahoo! News, 28th October 2003.

Sacred sweets.

The demonic St. Matthew has conducted a quick, not-very-scientific poll of some neighbourhood kids to find out what they think Hallowe'en is about. The answers he got mostly concerned sweeties. Then he goes and falls for a spoof while looking for Christian anti-hallowe'en sites to take the mick out of. Fundamentalist Christianity and Halloween! - morons.org, 28th October 2003.

October 27, 2003

Brazilians spot a good excuse to party.

Brazil: Despite the early influence of Scottish and Irish immigrants (the name 'Brazil' comes from a Gaelic legend), Hallowe'en has never really been marked until recently. A rough translation of an article by Sérgio Augusto includes some information about the Brazilian Hallowe'en and where it comes from (complete with obligatory pseudoceltic nonsense):

Brazilians are natural partiers, but the catholic traditions always kept Brazilians from celebrating the arrival of November with the same happiness enjoyed in Carnival times. Mexican tradition allows for this type of carrying on, since they have made Dia de los Muertos (Finados) their most celebrated holiday. Watching them mix the macabre with a carnival feeling is awe-inspiring. Their Mayan and Aztec roots give way to an incredible comfort level with death, allowing them to enjoy eating foods in the shape of skulls. Every November 2nd, Mexicans creep tourists out by their displays of skeletons and death. In the interior of Mexico, there is still the belief that celebrating the dead will bring rain, better crops and increased fertility, and of course, good luck.
With such tradition, Mexicans should really downplay Halloween, since they also have pranks associated with their Day of the Dead festival, when young adults steal fruit, flowers and corn on the evening of November 1st, honoring all the saints. Witches on broomsticks don't mean anything in Mexico. They didn't mean anything here, either, except in Maranhão, where for some odd reason some celebrate Nossa Senhora da Vassoura, who wipes the bad away with a broom. Well, the rest of Brazil is accepting the traditions of All Hallow's Eve, on the night before November 1st, October 31st.

With extreme Protestant groups making headway among Brazil's poor, there is some opposition, of course. Augusto has a low opinion of them, and their propaganda (the example referred to is a Jack Chick comic).

One group of fascists who are against this party are called the Satanic Panic-ers, who distribute pamphlets and have a comic book called Spellbound. In it, Halloween is described as a satanic ritual where children eat poisonous candies and are kidnapped and sacrificed so that their fat can be used to make the candles that go in the jack-o'-lantern, and so on.
Not even the Celts had devils or deities connected to death in their beliefs. There is no proof that the Celts harmed or killed people other than those who committed crimes and sometimes prisoners of war. Sacrifices, inquisitions and pogroms were, as the Vatican itself shamefully admits, Christian inventions. Another fallacy: the Celts never saw a pumpkin, and they knew that human fat is not a good ingredient to make candles.

Halloween in Brazil - Gringoes.com, 27th October 2003.

Hallowe'en ethnically-cleansed from Moscow schools

Russia: Education authorites have banned the celebration of Hallowe'en in schools because Schools should celebrate holidays according to the basic values of the Russian culture. It seems that authorities are most worried that the festival acknowledges the existence of death, which is apparantly a bad thing to remind children of.

The very fact that Halloween activities contain religious elements (the cult of death, scoffing at death, personification of death and evil spirits, and so on) contradicts the temporal character of education in the state-run educational institutions and produces a destructive effect upon the psychological, moral and spiritual health of students.

There have been a small number of cases of juvenile delinquents using it as an excuse to do things they would have done anyway. Halloween Banned in Russian Schools - Pravda, 27th October 2003.

October 26, 2003

Hoary old chestnut campaigns for vote.

[A black cat today]United States: Dozens of black cats have been condemned to a miserable Hallowe'en thanks to gullible animal lovers who believe they might be sacrificed by Satanists. Rather than being allowed to join loving homes, the moggies will have to stay in their cages at animal shelters.

We are really cautious. This week and next, we will routinely not adopt them out, said Theresa Williams, director of St. Charles County Humane Services. The concern is that people who don't truly want to be pet owners will want a cat as a seasonal prop, or, as has happened in isolated incidents, get a black or white cat to use in ritual abuse.

Despite its definite tone, Williams admitted her statement had no basis in reality, and local animal protection officials said they had not received any complaints. Another 'expert', Nan Stuart, blamed 'dabblers' in Satanism and claimed:

She said, contrary to what some may think, white cats or white German Shepherds are probably most sought for ritual killings at Halloween. You probably won't hear about many of them, she said. I've investigated cases of it.

If she gave any examples of convictions, which would be in the public record, the newspaper chose not to mention them. Instead they observed, just like the Prattle last year (Hoary old chestnut - Prattle, 25th October 2002), the biggest problem is not witches, or even Satanists, but juvenile delinquents. The only remotely hallowe'en-connected cruelty cases have been teenagers torturing and killing animals in highly unritualistic ways.

When asked whether she feared for her life, Frigg (7), Prattle Alley's resident black cat (pictured above), presented her tummy to be tickled, complained about the diet food and asked to be kept indoors while the kids were messing with fireworks. Some shelters protect black cats at Halloween - St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 25th October 2003.

October 22, 2003

Nine days to go...

United States: ...and the loony fundies are complaining about Hallowe'en.

Halloween is a holiday with dark occultic origins, which many people do not realize. Some members in the church will go trick-or-treating, but Sheahan said he recommends those children wear positive-themed outfits, possibly going as Bible characters.
I would not want children dressing in costumes like witches, when witchcraft is actually practiced today right here in Marshfield, and it's a growing danger, Sheahan said. We need to be light in the darkness, not mimicking the darkness.

The Pagan Prattle recommends The Revelation of St. John as a useful source of costume inspiration... Alternatively, a cheap and easy option would be to go as Adam or Eve, prior to the fruit incident. Halloween traditions upset some churches - Marshfield News Herald, 22nd October 2003.

October 15, 2003

Hallowe'en banned in Wrexham

Wrexham Council has banned hallowe'en displays in libraries, and prohibited hallowe'en related activities in schools after what looks like an orchestrated campaign. The council says it has received a number of complaints but insists they only banned the ancient festival because it doesn't relate to any mainstream faith. Christians who mark All Souls' and All Saints' Day will be surprised. Halloween on the shelf - BBC News, 15th October 2003.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Hallowe'en category from October 2003.

Hallowe'en: October 2002 is the previous archive.

Hallowe'en: October 2004 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Resources

About this site
Contact the Prattle
Ego Corner

The Pagan Prattle
c/o P.O. Box 666
Edinburgh EH7 5YW
Scotland

Syndication

Licence

Creative Commons License
The original material in this weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.