Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Happy Halloween! Today’s the day for all the little ghosts and goblins to take to the streets to “Trick or Treat,” so please be careful on the roads and byways. The forecast says rain, so be extra cautious of our little ones who may be darting about. Remember the Lions Club party at the Newfane Town Hall community room tonight, where everyone can stay cozy and dry.
How about some Halloween trivia to share this week? The ancient Celts celebrated All Hallows Eve to honor the dead on Oct. 31, the last day of their calendar year. Believing the spirits came to walk the earth, the Celts created scary masks to disguise the fact that they were human and keep them safe. The “Jack-o-lantern” name is thought to some from an old Irish folk tale about Stingy Jack, who could not get into heaven and the devil did not want him either, so he was forced to wander the world looking for a home, carrying a burning coal ember in a carved out turnip lantern. When the Irish immigrated to the U.S., they didn’t find an abundance of turnips, so they took to carving pumpkins instead. Trick-or-treating harks back to the Middle Ages and All Souls’ Day, when poor people in Britain would beg for soul cakes, a sweet-bread treat. These were squares of bread with currants and they promised, in return, to offer prayers for the souls of those who had died and were in limbo. The most popular candy in today’s trick-or-treat bag is a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. According to a legend, if you see a spider on Halloween, it is actually the spirit of a loved one watching over you. On Halloween night, it is believed that if you stand in front of the mirror at midnight, you’ll be able to see the reflection of your future spouse just above your left shoulder.