The countdown to Halloween has begun with just a few days until one of the scariest nights are upon us. Seesawing the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity, life and death, Halloween is a time of festivity and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The Celts, who lived 2000 years ago, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter – a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. To commemorate this spooky occasion, we’ve put together a two-part series (this week and next) that dips into grotesque facts, crimes inspired by spine-chilling movies, a special ‘witchy’ quiz, and all the freaky facts you probably didn’t know about this creepy night.
SEE ALSO: How Halloween Is Done, Hollywood Style!
Zombies: The Curse Of The Undead
Imagined being imprisoned in your body forever. Dead, but alive (with the added taste craving for fresh brains). That’s the curse of the zombie.
Rising from the grave, rotting green skin, and an uncanny taste for human flesh. That’s the zombie in a nutshell. The zombie myth dates as far back as the 17th and 18th centuries when African slaves worked on sugar plantations. Slavery was extremely brutal: Half of the slaves brought in from Africa were worked to death within a few years, which only led to the capture and import of more. Slaves believed that dying would release them back to lan guinée, literally Guinea, or Africa in general, a kind of afterlife where they could be free. Though suicide was common among slaves, those who took their own lives wouldn’t be allowed to return to lan guinée. Instead, they’d be condemned to toil the plantations for eternity, an undead slave at once denied their own bodies and yet trapped inside them -a soulless zombie. The original brains-eating fiend was a slave not to the flesh of others but to his own. After the Haitian Revolution and the end of French colonialism, the zombie became a part of folklore.
Our Top 10 Zombie Movies For A Fright Night In
28 Days Later
Return Of The Living Dead
Shaun Of The Dead
Dawn Of The Dead
The Evil Dead
Night Of The Living Dead
Evil Dead 2
Trick Or Treat? The Halloween tradition of trick-or-treating dates back to the early All Souls’ Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called ‘soul cakes’ in return for their promise to pray for the family’s dead relatives.