Halloween is one of the holidays I have as much memories as Christmas or New Year. In my younger years, costume parties & trick or treating were not widely practiced so it included the yearly showing of "Gabi ng Lagim" on IBC 13, the candle wax balls & the usual pranks to scare the beejeesus out of you - but it likewise means the gathering of relatives.
It is the day to light a candle & pray for our dearly departed - remembering them even if they are not around anymore - it is a spiritual connection. How did All Soul's & Saint's Day become the spooky pumpkin heads & witches, of black cats & bats & the superstitions?
In the Catholic calendar, November 1 is the time to honor the Saints, thus All Saint's Day. People then believed that the dead visit the earth & started to consider this day as holy & was likewise called All Hallow's Day - now shortened to Halloween. But it is the New Year for the Celtics back in the 5th century BC. The Celts believed that the spirits who died within that year seek living bodies to possess for the next year, this was their afterlife - the Panati. People then made their homes undesirable, they wear dreadful costumes & made loud noises to push away these spirits. Now we have costume parties to actually celebrate life & living, and children trick or treating - only treats but no tricks! Read more on Halloween here http://www.jeremiahproject.com/culture/halloween.html & read on the world's different Halloween yearly traditions at :
My Bonfire Stories
As a child, I have always been scared of the spiritual realm that exists in a parallel time - yes, I believe in demons & ghosts and even if I am still terrified of the other world as an adult, I still continue watching horror movies. Last weekend, I just saw White Noise - a story about EVP, Electronic Voice Phenomenon, a way to communicate with the dead through a simple tape recorder. Apparently, EVP is real & numerous people practice it. To what extent should we believe every human's attempt to unravel the mysteries of the unknown - and probably off limits? I have my own share of encounters with the other world & somehow, personal experiences like this make you always doubt.
Not your kind of Romeo
When I was around 10 years old, I have a nanny with whom I was so close with. She would sleep in my room everyday & we would speak until so late in the night - I considered her as one of my best friends. One afternoon in our shop, our gardener informed us that my nanny is sick & we should see her. One of our maids at home also came & told us that she is being possessed. She was banging her head on the walls, her eyes were droopy with big eye bags - as if she was drugged & just one level below an OD. Apparently, our maid is a bit of a quack doctor & was able to extract information from my nanny. According to her, my nanny saw a "nuno," a dwarf & offered her a "puto," a rice cake which she happily accepted from a dwarf named Romeo, who was in love with my nanny. He got jealous when my nanny was fooling around with our driver & bit her on the the arm. I saw the mark with my own eyes - a black & blue bite mark of a 1 year old, only with complete set of teeth! My parents seeing this, they brought my nanny straight to the church. I couldn't even remember if our parish priest at that time really had the power to excorcise but when he was doing it, my nanny wouldn't say the Our Father & hold the rosary. Of course it was nothing like the movie Excorcist & after the prayers, my nanny eventually came back to normal - just like that, her eyes were awake & the eye bags were gone - she looked around & when she saw me, she said "Oh look, it's Makis..." I ran home like crazy & I was terrified. My nanny never slept in my room after that & I had to camp in my parent's room for months. My nanny & our driver are still married until now with 4 kids. Romeo, the dwarf lives in the tree at the corner of our shop's garden & my brother just told me that they made an offering to the tree. Whatever my nanny had, I think I'd pass for this kind of trip.
Knock before you enter
We were going to stay in a family friend's house in Ilocos Sur for our yearly family getaway. It is normally with my mother's best friends & their families which they called "The 41 Club," a card game they play every weekend. We just came back from the Malacanang of the North when my brother came running out of our room. He said that he was going to use the bathroom & he heard that the shower was on. Before entering, he tried to say hello while slowly pushing the door to see who it was. While wondering who it was when all of us just came back, the shower stopped & the door closed on his face. We all checked it out & the bathroom door is now locked but the shower is still on. Others tried to look on the window from the outside but there was nobody. The helpers of the house said that it was a woman ghost & every morning when they have their breakfast, they would hear the door open & shut & they would just greet her & invite her for breakfast. Well, ghosts still do need their privacy in the bathroom.
Back in 1994, my ex-boyfriend & I were invited to stay with our friend at their beach house in Matuod, Batangas. It was off-season so we had the whole beach for ourselves - the 3 of us, my dog, our helper & the concierge. We went to bed at around past 2 in the morning, sharing one room since we were an odd number & my friend already knows some stories. We were awakened by a bottlecap, literally bouncing on the pavement downstairs. We asked each other if we all heard it & tried to go back to sleep. We were surprised that the bottlecap now hit our window, as if somebody threw it & it stopped. This time, we were awakened by the warmth of the room because the fan was off - apparently, somebody was playing with the fan. We didn't really sleep well. Our helper told us that he also had a hard time sleeping because he kept on getting up to turn off the kitchen faucet & the toilet kept on flushing. What's strange is that my dog didn't bark even once for this unknown presence. Bothered ghosts bother.
Our Halloween Decor : Vidar