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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: October 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

CANDY CORN MACAROONS WITH PUMPKIN SPICE FILLING!!

 This recipe comes from www.barbarabakes.com .   I truely unique take on candy corn.  These days, macaroons are all the rage too, give them a try.



Candy Corn Macaron




I got a little carried away at the store today. I had this idea to make candy corn macarons for this month’s MacTweets and I went to the store to buy candy corn to dress up the pictures. When I got there, they had ordinary candy corn of course, but this year Bach’s also had Caramel Candy Corn, and Chocolate Caramel Candy Corn, and Caramel Apple Candy Corn. All of which I decided I should take home and try.
But I didn’t stop there – no of course not. There were also candy cane flavored Dots and candy corn Kisses and I thought I should sampled those as well. (Let’s not talk about the two cute packages of Halloween Lindor Truffles that I bought and have hidden in my closet.)







The reason for my apparent current obsession with candy corn is that I hate them. I think they have a horrible, waxy flavor. My husband and my kids seem to like them, but I think they’re pretty nasty.
But I do sort of think of them fondly. They remind me of this time of year – cooler weather and yummy treats. Candy corn always seemed to be hanging around when you were bobbing for apples or eating pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. They look so cheery and fun and I really do want to like them.
So when I saw the orange pumpkin spice Kisses I thought they would make a perfect filing for a candy corn mac. A candy corn that would be full of fabulous fall flavor, not waxy and bland with an odd smell. Of course, I wanted to make the top white and the bottom yellow. I tried shaping one in the shape of a candy corn, but it looked more like an egg, so I stuck with round candy corn macs instead.







I made the Ottolenghi recipe that works well for me. I used half the batter for white and then added yellow to the other half. If I was making two colors again, I would make half a batch of each because the yellow got over mixed and spread much more than the white ones, making it hard to match them up.
I made the filling by melting about 10 Pumpkin Spice Kisses in the microwave at 50% power for about 1 minutes and adding enough powdered sugar to make a thick filling. This really is a perfect mac flavor for fall and so much better than candy corn candies.

Macarons 

Ingredients

110gm powdered sugar
60gm finely ground almond meal/flour
60gm egg whites (of 2 eggs)
40gm granulated sugar

Directions
Preheat oven to 310 degrees F
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready. (Setting the pastry bag in a glass while you fill the bag was a great tip I learned during this process.) (Also, I like to double stack the baking sheets.)
Combine the powdered sugar with the almond powder. (Pulse in a blender or food processor if you don’t have finely ground almond meal. A mini food processor works best for this if you have one.)
With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes. (To test to see if egg whites are ready, whip until the tip of the peak doesn’t fold over when you pull the beater out of the meringue.)
Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag. (You can put a spoonful on a plate to test it. If it slowly flattens out it’s perfect. If it runs, add a bit more almond flour/powdered sugar. If it just stays in a blob, give it a few more folds.)
Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.
Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons. Leave out, uncovered for 15 minutes, then bake them for 15-20 minutes. Give the macs a gentle little shake with the tip of your finger to see if they’re done. You want them set but not firm. It’s better to undercook them.
Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.
Print Recipe
So you may be wondering what I thought of the other flavors of candy corn – waxy and nasty. Somehow the Kisses nailed the strange candy corn flavor in their Candy Corn Kisses, but at least it was smooth and creamy and not waxy. The Dots sort of captured the candy corn flavor but in a gummy sort of way.

THE ANATOMY OF FEAR INFOGRAPHIC!

  Boo! Did I scare you? Probably not, but it’s the thought that counts. Today is Halloween or All Hallows Eve for those of you who prefer ye olde English. As you all know it is a day when kids and adults alike get dressed up and indulge in “treats,” for kids it’s candy for us, well it’s something that makes you feel worse than candy the following morning. Unfortunately Halloween day is on Monday, and though it will not deter everyone from partying tonight, many celebrated this weekend. Personally I went to a couple of friend’s parties and checked out 6th street in downtown Austin. This being my first Halloween to be of drinking age, I had to check out what all the hubub is about. Though it was a cool site to see, the crowd is just too big to have any real fun, besides waiting forever in line to get into the bars.
   Many of us without children will probably be treating today like any other day, except maybe more likely to watch a horror movie or something of the sort. A holiday largely associated with fear, today’s infographic The Anatomy of Fear outlines what fear is and some of the things that cause it. The definition of fear according to today’s infographic: a basic survival mechanism in response to pain or threat of danger.
   One of the more interesting phobias listed, nomophobia, is the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. The joys of our technology reliant society, in opinion this is kind of a ridiculous phobia. Anyway why is it we like being scared? For one the same place of the brain that experiences fear also is associated with pleasure. It is also a method of testing and overcoming our limits as well as realizing we are not always in danger and can enjoy the adrenalin rush.







Anatomy of Fear





TOP TEN MOST HAUNTED CITIES IN THE UNITED STATES!!





    Visit even the smallest of towns in the U.S. and you’re likely to hear some local ghost stories and discover a few haunted houses. But some American cities have gained the reputation for being particularly ghost-ridden thanks to their rich and often bizarre historical backgrounds. The following are ten of the most haunted cities to steer away from—or toward, if you dare—this Halloween.


10. San Francisco, California

    San Francisco’s rich cultural makeup, large immigrant population, and a history of natural disasters like earthquakes have helped it develop a reputation as a Mecca of all things haunted. Chinatown alone is home to countless ghost tours and creepy folklore, but the city also boasts a wealth of haunted hotels, mansions, and army bases. Of these, one of the most famous is the Queen Anne Hotel, which served as a school for girls in the 1890s and is said to be haunted by the ghost of its former headmistress, Mary Lake. There are also a number of stories concerning Mary Anne Pleasant, the so-called “Voodoo Queen of San Francisco,” who was a former slave and abolitionist who used a knowledge of the black arts to gain wealth and influence among the city’s elite. Even the trendy San Francisco Art Institute, which is rumored to have been built on top of a graveyard that housed victims of the 1906 earthquake, is said to be the home of several ghosts who have frequently been seen climbing the stairs to a tower that overlooks the ancient cemetery.


Most Haunted Place: Alcatraz





alcatraz




   Alcatraz Island is one of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks, but the former maximum-security prison is also home to some of the city’s weirdest ghost stories. Visitors to the island often claim to see apparitions walking the cellblocks, and sometimes hear voices emanating from what was once the cafeteria.


9. Key West, Florida

    Sunny Key West might not seem like the most probable setting for haunted houses, but this small beach community is home to some of the oldest—and downright creepiest—of all ghost stories. The city’s rich history of buccaneers and rumrunners provides the backdrop for a lot of these ghosts, like those that are said haunt Captain Tony’s Saloon. Before it was a bar, Captain Tony’s was supposedly the location of the island’s morgue, and the tree that grows through the building’s center is said to have been a major site for lynching pirates and other criminals, and many are said to still haunt the premises today. Other local ghost stories concern the writer Ernest Hemingway, who kept a home on Key West for some thirty years. Hemingway’s house, now a museum dedicated to his life and work, is said to house the novelist’s ghost. Some visitors and workers claim to see him walking the grounds, while others have heard the clicking of his typewriter coming from inside the main house.



Most Haunted: Robert the Doll





robert-the-doll-large




    The island’s art and historical museum isn’t haunted, but it does contain one of the creepiest artifacts of Key West’s history in the form of Robert, a large doll that many claim is possessed. The doll was given to painter Gene Otto in the early 1900s, and the young boy soon became deathly afraid of it, as he said it would often threaten him and wake him in the night by throwing furniture around the room. The boy’s parents would often swear they saw the doll moving, and neighbors claimed they often spotted Robert pacing in front of the windows of the house when the family was away.


8. Athens, Ohio

    Athens, Ohio is a small town that is home to the Ohio University as well as some downright strange ghost stories. This small, otherwise peaceful community has inspired stories of hauntings that include everything from a headless train conductor to pagan cults and the violent murders of livestock. Many claim that when plotted on a map, the city’s five major graveyards form the symbol of a pentagram, and strange rituals are at the center of many of Athens’ most famous ghost tales. A lot of these stories date back over a hundred years, when the town became associated with the Spiritualist movement of the 1800s. The most famous tells of Jonathan Koons, a poor farmer who was instructed by ghosts to build a “spirit room” in which apparitions would then manifest and communicate with him from beyond the grave.


Most Haunted Place: Athens Lunatic Asylum




Ridges_ballroom

Night Shift Staff




    There’s nothing creepier than a good old-fashioned insane asylum, and Athens has one of the most famous in the form of the Athens Lunatic Asylum, which operated from 1874 until 1993. The hospital held many violent patients, and is notorious for being the site of hundreds of lobotomies. Since closing, the hospital has been the at the center of numerous ghost stories, most of which are kept alive by the students at the university, which now owns the asylum grounds. The most famous of these concerns Margaret, a deaf-mute patient who supposedly escaped from her room, accidentally became trapped in an abandoned ward, and eventually died of exposure. Her decomposing body was found weeks later, and supposedly the stain that was left on the floor of the ward can still be seen today.



7. Portland, Oregon

    Portland, Oregon has developed a reputation as the most haunted city of the Pacific Northwest thanks to its bizarre history and high number of ghost sightings. One of the city’s most famous haunted houses is Pittock Mansion, an ornate house that was built in 1914 by a wealthy businessman and his wife, both of whom died shortly thereafter. Visitors have claimed to have seen apparitions and heard footsteps coming from empty rooms, and doors and windows will sometimes open by themselves. Weirdest of all, a portrait of Mr. Pittock, the man who built the house, will inexplicably be found in different parts of the house, as though it can move itself from room to room. In addition to the Pittock house, other Portland haunted places include the Bagdad theater, a movie theater built during the roaring 20s that supposedly houses a number of spirits, and the Willamette river, where in recent years a phantom rowboat has been spotted by several people.


Most Haunted Place: Shanghai Tunnels




shanghai-tunnels




    Portland’s coastal location established it as a shipping hub and port of call for sailors during the 1800s. This eventually led to the rise of a practice known as shanghaiing, wherein unsuspecting men and women were kidnapped from bars or hotels, shipped to the Orient, and impressed into slave labor or prostitution. Portland was notorious for this practice thanks to a series of labyrinthine underground tunnels that run beneath the city streets, which were used by the Shanghaiiers as a safe way to capture and transfer victims to the harbor without being seen. Today, the tunnels are said to be haunted by the ghosts of the people who were kidnapped, many of whom were never seen or heard from again.



6. Charleston, South Carolina

    Known as the “Holy City” for the church spires that dot its skyline, Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the U.S., and also one of the most haunted. Victorian mansions line the downtown area known as the Battery, which was a protective artillery installation during the Civil War, and it is here that many of the city’s most haunted houses can be found. Perhaps the most famous is the Battery Carriage House Inn, a hotel where people have reported seeing everything from strange lights, to the gentlemanly ghost of a student who died after leaping off the roof, to a headless torso that appears at guests’ bedsides in the middle of the night. Charleston is also known for a number of ghost stories that originated with the Gullah, a West African culture that populates parts of South Carolina and Georgia. The most famous Gullah horror stories usually center on Boo Hags, a type of blood-red vampire that wears human skin as a mask and feeds on its victim’s energy while they sleep.



Most Haunted Place: the Dock Street Theater




dock-street-theater




    Charleston is full of buildings with a checkered past, and one of the most well known is surely the Dock Street Theater. Built in 1809, the theater is said to be the home of two spirits. The first is Nettie, a poor prostitute who was killed near the theater after being struck by lightning. The other is the ghost of Junius Brutus Booth, an actor who is more famous today for being the father of John Wilkes Boothe, the man who killed Abraham Lincoln. Both spirits are said to wander the backstage area of the theater, and many workers and performers claim to have spotted them.

 

5. Salem, Massachusetts

    In 1692, Salem, Mass. became the sight of a series of infamous trials after three local women were accused of using witchcraft to terrorize a trio of young girls. The trials soon escalated into mass hysteria, with townspeople vehemently accusing neighbors and acquaintances, almost all of them unmarried women, of being witches. Over 150 people were arrested and charged, and as may as 19 were eventually executed by hanging. Today, the town of Salem encourages its reputation as “Witch City, USA” and has one of the biggest Halloween celebrations in the country. Alongside the tourist shops and museums, though, stand several infamous ghost stories related to the witch trials. One in particular concerns Gallows Hill, the site of several hangings, which is said to be haunted by the spirits of the 19 people lynched for being witches.


Most Haunted Place: Joshua Ward House




ward_house




    Known as one of the most haunted houses in America, Joshua Ward House is built on the foundation of the home of George Corwin, the man who served as Sheriff during the Salem witch trials. Corwin is infamous for his role in the death of Giles Corey, a local man who was charged with witchcraft. When Corey refused to enter a plea in court, Corwin used an old English legal precedent and placed him under a board piled with rocks in order to coerce him into talking. Corey never relented, and was eventually crushed to death under the massive weight. To this day, many claim that Corey and Corwin, who is rumored to be buried beneath the foundation of his old home, haunt the Joshua Ward House.


4. Chicago, Illinois


    Thanks to its famous great fire and history of gangsters and underworld criminals like Al Capone, Chicago has developed quite a reputation for being haunted. The city has a number of well known ghost stories that are whispered among the locals each Halloween, and perhaps none is more famous that the story of Resurrection Mary. As the story goes, Mary was a young girl who was hit and killed by a car while leaving a dance hall with her boyfriend. She was buried in nearby Resurrection Cemetery, and ever since she can be periodically seen wandering the streets in her white burial dress, still trying to find her way back home. Another famous story concerns what has come to be known as the “Devil Baby of Hull House,” a child born with scaly skin and a pointed tail who supposedly haunts the house once owned by famed activist Jane Addams.

Most Haunted Place: Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery





Bachelors_grove_IR




    Rumored to be one of the prohibition-era gangsters’ favorite places to dump bodies, Bachelor’s Grove is an old and decaying burial ground that has been the site of countless stories about ghosts, spirits, and devil worship. Several headstones in the cemetery seem to move at will, and many claim that the spirits of the dead often materialize and walk the grounds at night. The most famous of these is the “White Lady,” the ghost of a young woman who is always seen in a white dress, often cradling a baby in her arms.



3. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

    In July of 1863, the small college town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was the site of the biggest military clash of the Civil War, which to this day remains the bloodiest event to ever occur on American soil. Over 150,000 total soldiers converged on the scene, and when the battle was over as many as 50,000 were killed, wounded, or missing. The shadow of the battle still stands over the town today, and many claim the ghosts of dead soldiers haunt the battlefields. What’s unique about Gettysburg is the sheer amount and frequency of its ghost sightings. Some places in the town, like the home of Jenny Wade, a woman who was killed by a stray bullet from the battle, supposedly experience paranormal activity on a daily basis. Elsewhere, there have even been reports of lone visitors to the battlefield park stumbling across what they assume to be a battle reenactment, only to later learn that none took place that day.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

A MOST BEWITCHING NIGHT-THE HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN!





    Known variously as Samhain, Summer’s End, All Hallow’s Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool, and Snap-Apple night, Halloween is among the world’s oldest holidays. Rooted in ancient pagan and Christian festivals that celebrated the inextricable link between seasonal and life cycles, Halloween has transcended its cultural roots and is currently celebrated in various forms all over the modern world. Halloween as it exists today is an exciting array of dichotomies as it delights both children and adults, prompts private religious observance as well as public exhibitionism, and blends personal imagination with mass marketing. A day full of magic and mystery, Halloween has not only survived, but it has thrived during epic cultural, religious, economic, and industrial changes throughout its long history.









Roots in Ancient Celtic Festivals

    The essential elements of Halloween, such as costuming, trick-or-treating, lighting bonfires, telling ghost stories, and attending community parties can be traced back 2000 years ago to the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain (SOW-in or SOW-an), which means “summer’s end.” As the second major seasonal festival of the year (the first was called Beltain, celebrated around May 1st), Samhain marked the death of summer and the beginning of the Celtic New Year (Rogers 2002). As a moment of change, Samhain was viewed as a night of magic and power. In a time where there was little distinction between the diminishing sun and the possible extinction of life, Samhain was an intensely sacred festival that marked the boundaries between summer and winter and life and death (Skal 2002).
    The Celts (which included people from northern France, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, and Brittany) believed that on October 31st the Lord of Death, Saman, would call together all the souls that had died the previous year to travel to afterlife during the Vigil of Samhain. Ancestral ghosts and demons emerged from sidh (ancient mounds or barrows of the countryside) and were free to roam the earth, harm crops, and cause trouble (Bannatyne 1990). The living would often disguise themselves in ghoulish costumes so the spirits of the dead would think they were one of their own and pass by without incident. The masked villagers would also form parades to lead the spirits out to the town limits. In addition to masks and costumes and, arguably, as a precursor to modern-day trick-or-treating, the Celts would also offer food to Saman to persuade him to more be temperate as he judged their ancestors. Additionally, the Celts would lay out food for their weary ancestors traveling to the other world or to appease spirits who were looking for trouble.










    Because these roaming spirits were thought to hold the secrets of the afterlife and the future, Celtic priests, or Druids, thought that divinations could be read with more clarity on this particular day. The priests would light large fires to both strengthen the Sun god and to make divinations by throwing a horse or cat (sometimes in a wicker cage) into the fire and watch the burning entrails. At midnight, they would begin to worship Saman, who would be the ruler of the earth for the next six months (Thompson 2003). Because the Celts were an oral culture, some speculation remains whether the Druids actually practiced human sacrifice and the Roman accounts (like Julius Caesar’s reports) are accurate or just instances of Roman propaganda (Skal 2002).





Goddess Pomona



Roman Festival of Pomona

    When the Romans conquered the Celtic lands just before the birth of Christ, they both assimilated and added to ancient Celtic Samhain symbols and rituals. For example, the festival of Pomona, which celebrated the Roman Goddess of the harvest Pomona (or Pomorum) on November 1st, contributed the feast of nuts and fruits to Samhain’s own autumn celebrations. Apples, in particular, were associated with Pomona and were, for the Romans, a symbol of love and fertility. The Druid belief that the eve of Samhain was the most potent night for prognostication seems to have merged with aspects of the festival of Pomona in that dozens of Halloween divinations began to use apples (and nuts) to predict one’s spouse (Thompson 2003). The Celtic and Roman traditions not created a night devoted to the dead, but also a night for divination and romance. With the dawn of the first century A.D., these pagan traditions would encounter a new, powerful religion: Christianity.





All Soul's Celebration



All Saints and All Souls Days

    After Constantine officially declared Christianity legal in the Edict of Milan in A.D. 313, Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire. Realizing they would have more success in converting others by assimilating existing powerful pagan rites and symbols into Christian rituals rather than obliterating them altogether, shrewd Church leaders gradually appropriated Samhain and Panoma celebrations into the Catholic rituals of All Saints and All Souls Days. In fact, Pope Gregory III moved All Saints Day (or All Hallow’s Day, in England) from May 1stto November 1st to coincide with the pagan festivals. The eve of All Saints Day, October 31st, became All Hallow Even, then Hallowe’en, and then Halloween. In addition, a French monastic order called the Cluniacs created All Soul’s Day to commemorateall departed Christian souls (not just the saints') on November 2nd (Rogers 2002). Taken together, the three days were called Hallowmas, (“hallow” meaning “sanctified”or “holy”) (Thompson 2003).
    In many respects, these Christian rituals remained the same as their pagan counterparts with a few important derivations. For example, like the ancient pagans, the Church encouraged their congregation to remember the dead--but with prayers instead of sacrifice. In addition, instead of appeasing spirits through food and wine, members of the congregation would go house to house carrying a hollowed out turnip lantern whose candle symbolized a soul trapped in purgatory and offering prayers for the dead in exchange for “Soul Cakes.” Poor churches could not afford genuine relics of the saints and instead held processions where parishioners dressed as saints, angels, and devils, resembling the pagan custom of parading ghosts to the town limits (Bannatyne 1990). Bonfires were also lit, not in homage to the sun, but to keep the mortal enemy of the




All Saint's Day




new religion away: Satan, a concept arguably incompatible with the polytheism of the ancient Celts. The Druids were seen as witches (wiccas or “wise ones”), and a fourteenth-century text called Malleus Maleficarium (The Witches Hammer) created a link between witchcraft and the devil that produced a mythology so powerful it lasts even today (Rogers 2002). By the end of the Middle Ages, Hallowmas was among the most important liturgical movements in the Christian year.


The Reformation and Halloween

    It was on Halloween in 1517 when Martin Luther began a reformation that would radically limit celebrations of Halloween in Europe. As subsequent Protestant sects began forming throughout Western Europe, many Catholic rituals--including Hallowmas--were banned (Skal 2002). Yet, just as the Celtic Samhain was assimilated with the Roman festival of Ponoma and merged again with Catholic custom, the English Protestants appropriated several elements of Halloween in an autumn festival known as Guy Fawkes Day. This day celebrated the Protestant triumph of a Catholic plot led by Guy Fawkes to blow up the Protestant-sympathetic House of Lords when Parliament met on Nov 5, 1605 (Rogers 2002). Guy Fawkes was publically hanged and then drawn and quartered for his role in the plot, and it became popular to re-enact his punishment through the festive parading of a scarecrow figure through the streets (Rogers 2002). The eve of Guy Fawkes Day became “mischief night” and, instead of begging for “soul cakes” in commemoration of All Saints Day, boys dressed up in costumes to beg for coal to burn their effigies of Guy Fawkes, the Pope, or other unpopular political figures. But in countries that maintained a strong Catholic tradition, such as Ireland and Scotland, Halloween rituals flourished largely untouched by the Protestant Reformation (Skal 2002).










Halloween in the New World
The existence of Hallowmas in the early American colonies depended on the religious fabric of each emerging colony. Whereas Maryland and Virginia were settled by Catholic and Church of England followers who imported Hallowmas symbols and feasts of the Old World, the Massachusetts Bay Colony, New Hampshire, and Connecticut were populated by rigid Puritans who viewed the Catholic and pagan overtones of Hallowmas as anathema to Puritan philosophy (Bannatyne 1990). Ironically, while the Puritans felt praying for the souls of the already predestined dead was redundant, they held a fascination of witchcraft and divination, and their witch-hunting zeal forever established one of Halloween’s most enduring symbols. In addition, Puritan New England practiced other remnants of Hallowmas such as fortune-telling games (predicting future spouses) and the celebration of Guy Fawkes Day (Rogers 2002).
    The American Revolution created a society more tolerant of religious diversity and, consequently, Halloween celebrations became increasingly secular and centered in the community rather than churches (Bannatyne 1990). While Halloween maintained its association with the harvest and changing seasons, it was also becoming more gendered. For example, while young males were creating mischief such as blocking chimneys, ruining cabbage patches, unhinging gates, and unstable-ing horses, young women typically stayed close to home on “San-Apple Night” to divine a future mate by bobbing for apples or divining from apple peels (Thompson 2003). Still, both genders enjoyed telling ghost stories, which likely derived from both the Druid belief that the ancestral dead arise on this night and the Christian directive to honor the souls of the departed at Hallowmas.










Immigration in the Early Nineteenth Century

    Fledging Halloween festivities after the Revolutionary War in America were given new life by an unprecedented number of immigrants between 1820 and 1870, particularly the Irish. Indeed, wherever the Irish went, their rich Halloween folk beliefs were eagerly embraced by Americans. The Irish reinvigorated embryonic American Halloween traditions and added a renewed emphasis on masquerades, house-to-house visits, and the symbol of Halloween itself, the Jack O'Lantern. Though there are many renderings of its origin, the Jack O’ Lantern is most often said to have been named after a man named Jack who trapped the devil in a tree. Jack agreed to let the devil go if the devil guaranteed that Jack would not go Hell after Jack died. When Jack died, he was not allowed into heaven since he was a cruel and sinful man in life, but Jack was also denied entrance into Hell because of the pact he had made with the devil. However, the devil gave Jack a burning ember from the fires of Hell which Jack placed in a turnip or carrot to navigate the dark places of the earth. When the Irish came to America, they found pumpkins plentiful and better suited as lanterns (Thompson 2003). Other immigrant groups added their unique traditions as well. For example, the Germans and Scots enriched American witchcraft mythology , and African Americans contributed elements of Voudon (sometimes called voodoo) to American Halloween traditions.










Victorian Era Romanticization

    The emergence of both the Victorian periodical and postcard at the end of the nineteenth century helped create homogeneity among the disparate ethnic Halloween traditions--at least among the educated middle and upper classes. However, while Victorian periodicals created a synthesis of sorts, they also tended to romanticize Halloween as a genteel holiday and as a night of romantic divinations and parlor games (Rogers 2002). In addition, Victorian ghost stories became less concerned with actual ghosts and more concerned with romance and passion. As Victorians attempted to throw better parties than their neighbors, they added pomp to their celebrations that had little to do with Halloween (Bannatyne 1990). Ancient Halloween rites were all but lost as the focus became more and more the province of children, matchmaking, and kissing games.


Halloween in the Twentieth Century

    As mass-marketed periodicals (such as The Ladies’ Home Journal) and other various mass media continued to advertise the “perfect Halloween party,” Halloween became a bona fide North American holiday in the 1920s that was an economic boon for businesses and candy manufacturers alike. As commercialization continued in the early twentieth century, civic groups such as high schools and rotary clubs began taking over some of the domestic rituals of Halloween and promoted it as an event for everyone. As cases of mischief increased, particularly during the Depression, more Halloween tricksters were being “bought off” with candy. For example, packaging for Ze Jumbo Jelly Beans contained the message: “Stop Halloween Pranksters.” In 1939, the magazineAmerican Homes was the first mass-marketed periodical in the U.S. to use the term “trick or treat” as a distinct property-protection strategy (Skal 2002).










   During WWII, some Halloween celebrations were canceled due to sugar rationing, but soon trick-or-treating would reach its commercial heyday. Like the consumer post-war economy, Halloween in the 1950s grew by leaps and bounds. Candy companies, with plenty of sugar available again, launched national advertising campaigns directly at Halloween, and soon trick-or-treating became a national practice (Skal 2002). Americans continued to add a distinctly commercial slant to Halloween with    Hollywood scary movies, greeting cards, and decorations. During the 1960s, however, rumors of tainted treats and razor blades in candy, as well as a cyanide-laced Tylenol scare in 1982, frightened both parents and children. Though actual tampering of Halloween candy has been extremely rare, fear still lingers today (Rogers 2002). Yet, Halloween, as it tends to do, recovered, and today is the second largest national holiday behind Christmas.
    Halloween is no stranger to controversy even in the twenty-first century, but the energy of Halloween has always been targeted by those who wish to control it, from the early Catholic church to the various political and religious groups of today. Yet, Halloween has managed to achieve national status without federal sanction (such as July 4th and Christmas) because it’s a celebration of the potential of what humans want to be--and, if only for one night, what they would not otherwise be (Rogers 2002). Historically Halloween endures because it allows its participants to both embrace and defuse their fears (Thompson 2003). From the ancient Celts who worshipped the Lord of the Dead to help them visualize the afterlife to the little vampires and fairies trick-or-treating at your door, Halloween’s adaptability is the reason it remains—after nearly 2000 years—the most bewitching night of the year.

HALLOWEEN COSTUMES THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, A LITTLE HISTORY ON EARLY COSTUMES!

Masked Halloween Mystery






   Decked out for Halloween, a masked woman on roller skates—most likely a random addition to her costume—poses in 1910.
   Masquerade parties in the United States were much more common a hundred years ago, when people dressed up not just for Halloween but also for several other holidays, including Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve, according to Lesley Bannatyne, author of the forthcoming book Halloween Nation: Behind the Scenes of America's Fright Night.
   Private social clubs often threw Halloween parties for their members, as it was the first major holiday after most people had returned from their summer homes.
   That said, it's "not like Halloween [in the early 1900s] was an East Coast phenomenon or a high-society phenomenon"—people of all classes donned costumes across the country, even in small Western mining towns, she said.
   The "early 20th century also was the beginning of a real democratic movement, a push toward a popular culture," Bannatyne said, so Halloween was "very egalitarian—everyone celebrated it in their own way."


Schoolhouse Ghost






   A person in a ghost costume stands with a table full of Halloween decorations in a rural U.S. schoolhouse in 1905. Nature often inspired Halloween costumes and decorations a century ago, with cornstalks (as seen above), vegetables, tree branches, and leaves showing up as common elements, according to Bannatyne.
   Halloween was originally perceived as a "rustic, country holiday," especially during the U.S. Victorian period, about 1840 to 1900, she noted. (Also see "Candy Facts: Halloween Treats From Ancient Recipes.")
   "Overwhelmed by the fallout of industrialization, [Victorians and early Halloween revelers] sought out a simpler time where people were more connected to the land and the natural world.
   "The quaint, old-world, country nature of Halloween appealed to them."


Halloween Child's Play







   Part of an old U.S. Halloween tradition, blindfolded children attempt to put out a candle in a photograph dated to the 1900s.  The game, probably called "blow out the candle," is often mentioned in early Halloween party books, Bannatyne said.
   Halloween in the U.S. was mainly a celebration for children until the premiere of the 1978 slasher flick Halloween, when the holiday "became paired with contemporary horror," she added.
   This new association with bloody violence—and the attendant gory costumes and decorations—"opened up the holiday for adults and older children to celebrate, and made it more popular."



Magic Moment






   Possibly conjuring a witch, sorcerer, or clown, one woman's 1910 Halloween costume (pictured) has several possible meanings, according to Bannatyne.
   The star and moon icons, for instance, may reflect a fascination with mysticism and magic, which have been   connected to the "spooky aura" of Halloween for centuries, Bannatyne said.
   "Many of the first Halloween costumes reflected people's interest in the exotic, such as other cultures," she said. "You often find Egyptian-inspired costumes, for example, because of the mystic association with ancient Egypt."
   Likewise, she added, this costume's celestial symbols could represent night—"the domain of Halloween."


Bewitched on Halloween







    Women wearing improvised witch costumes line up for a photograph in the U.S. in 1910.
   "Witches and Halloween have been tied together in the public's imagination since at least 16th-century Scotland," Bannatyne said. At that time, "you begin to find poems such as Alexander Montgomerie's 'The Flighting of Polwart,' where witches ride through the night on All Hallow's Eve."
   "Also, costumes were always homemade at first," she noted. "People only began to buy manufactured costumes in the second and third decades of the 20th century, when a few savvy companies—Dennison and Beistle were the first—became aware that money could be made from Halloween decorations."


Halloween Dance








   Costumed girls—including one swathed in swastikas—smile for the camera on October 25, 1918, on the way to a Halloween dance pageant. The swastika had different meanings before the rise of the Nazi party in the mid-20th century—for one, it's an ancient symbol for life in some Indian religions, according to Columbia University.
   "Most [U.S.] civic and private organizations in the first half of the 20th century"—such as dancing schools, churches, women's groups, and military groups—"all hosted Halloween parties for children," Bannatyne said.
   "It was partly an attempt to keep children busy on Halloween, so as to cut down on some of the mischief that happened at night."


Bobbing for Apples






   A U.S. girl bobs for Halloween apples sometime in the early 1900s.
   Due to Halloween's rural origins—its precursor, Samhain, was marked 2,000 years ago in Celtic Europe—the harvest-time holiday has often been associated with apples, nuts, and cabbages, Bannatyne said.
   Today Halloween is a "rogue holiday," not attached to any person, ethnicity, or event, according to Bannatyne. Because of that, it's often a "cultural bellwether" for what happens in U.S. society.
   For instance, on Halloween 2001, right after the September 11 terrorist attacks, more families than usual went trick-or-treating—for example as firemen—to show their "lack of intimidation," she said.

TEN COOL HALLOWEEN CAKES!!

Let’s take a look at a few of the freakiest, loveliest cakes we’ve spied around the web.

10. Black Spider Wedding Cake





1797083008_07a567f140

9. Zombie Fingers Cake





zombie fingers cake

8. Jack-o-Lantern Cake





jack-o-lantern cake

7. Vampire Bat Cake





bat-cake-10

6. Bloody Eyeballs Cake





bloody eyeballs cake

5. Mad Scientist Cake





mad scientist cake

4. Cockroach Cake





cockroach cake
(Make)

3. Zombie Cake





zombie cake



2. Kitty Litter Cake





kitty litter cake


1. Bleeding Heart (and all the other organs, too) Cake




organs cake

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

DIY MINI OWL TREAT BOXES!!

   This diy comes from www.domestifluff.com.  If you have children, this would make great treat or candy bag for that special Halloween party or to give to special friends!.



Mini Halloween Owl Treat Boxes




This craft is part of the 13 Days of Halloween project. Download number templates for the project, as well as the bug template for Day 3, in the tips and supplies post. Links to all of the crafts from this project can be found in the main 13 Days of Halloween post.
This is it, Day 13! This little owl may look menacing, but he’ll be holding Halloween treats for you when you get to the big day. Happy Halloween!
Quick Tip: If you’re pressed for time and want to speed up the process, you can cut 2″ wide x 3/4″ tall pieces of black cardstock and use decorative edging scissors (Fiskars Clouds and Scallop work very well for this) to make the feather ruffles, instead of cutting out the feather ruffle templates.





How to Make a Mini Owl Treat Box




Supplies Needed
black and orange cardstock
a stylus, ruler, and small cutting mat for scoring the box template (optional)
craft scissors
glue dots and double-sided tape
school glue
a small paintbrush
a paper plate or piece of paper
glitter (I used Martha Stewart Fire Opal)

Instructions

1. Print the templates onto cardstock. Page one of the template contains everything that will need to be printed on black; page two contains the beak and eye center pieces, which are printed on orange. Cut out all of the template pieces and, as shown in the picture, assemble the eyes and attach the beak to the horns using glue dots. Assemble the box according to the instructions found in the template file.
2. As shown in the picture, attach the feather ruffles to the box using glue dots or double-sided tape.
3. Using a small paintbrush and school glue, cover the beak in glue. Immediately sprinkle the glitter over the beak until it’s completely covered, and allow excess glitter to fall onto a paper plate or piece of paper below. Tap off any remaining excess glitter, and set aside to allow the glue to dry completely.
4. Paint the eye center with glue, and use the technique in step 3 to complete the glittering process. Repeat for the second eye.
5. After the glue on the beak and eyes has dried completely, attach the eyes to the beak/horn piece using glue dots or double-sided-tape.
6. Attach the completed face piece to the front flap of the box using glue dots or double-sided tape. Fill with treats, and seal the box shut using glue dots, double-sided tape, or even a small piece of velcro.

DIY NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS JACK IN THE SCARY BOX TOY!

Nightmare Before Christmas Jack in the Box Scary Toy Tutorial




Supplies Needed:





1-Dollar Tree craft pumpkin
1- USPS Priority Mail Box 7"x7"x6" (free @ USPS)

           1- Semi-rigid Aluminum Flexible Hose
           1- Pink Foam Insulation Square 7"x7"x2" cut
           12" PVC Pipe Segment
          Air Dry Clay
          Acrylic Paints
          Sand (or Something to weight the bottom of the box)
          Exacto Blade

Approx. Cost: $5 or less
(Depending on what you already have at home)

Time Invested: 3 hours