EXCERPT from Bonfires, Crones and “Stingy Jack”  by Helene Kobelnyk  in VIVAcini! 26 Oct 2012

Everything about Halloween revolves
around the dead, the ghostly and scary because
on Hallow’s Eve, according to ancient
myth, the veil between the living and the
dead is very thin, which means that spirits
can cross into the realm of the living, sometimes
simply to visit or even to claim souls
and predict death.
Ghosts wore masks in order to blend in
with the living while the living disguised themselves
so that visiting ghosts wouldn’t recognize
them. It was also widely believed that on
this night, all the souls in Purgatory were set
free for 48 hours of wandering, haunting and
all-around mischief.
In ancient Celtic times after bonfire celebrations,
it is said that the ashes were arranged
in a circle and those family members responsible
for hosting the fire, placed a pebble
within the circumference of the circle. If the
pebble moved from its original position by
morning, it was believed that the person who
placed the pebble would be dead within the
year

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