There have been many rituals performed over the years in efforts to ward off evil spirits and predict the future. There were also certain superstitions that we no longer hear about, here's a list of 7 unusual Halloween Superstitions we no longer celebrate:
Unmarried girls would peel an apple, taking care to remove the peel in one long strip. They would then throw it over their shoulder. It was believed that when the peel landed, it would form the initials of the man they would marry.
Young unmarried ladies might also carry a lamp to a spring of water on Halloween night. This supposedly enabled them to see a reflection of their future husband in the water.
When the Druids' bonfires burned out, a circle was made with the ashes of it. A member of each family in the village would place a pebble inside the circle. The next day, if a stone was moved or damaged, it was believed that a person in the family of he who placed that stone would die by next Halloween.
The British believed that the Devil was a nut gatherer. On Halloween, they used nuts as magic charms.
Journeys should be completed before sundown on Samhain. Travellers carried with them a piece of “holy” bread with salt on it to keep witches away.
If a candle's flame turned blue or went out on its own on the evening of Samhain, it was believed that a ghost was nearby.
To ward off evil spirits, Celts would walk around their homes backward three times before sunset on Samhain.
Modern Halloween Customs and Superstitions
There are some customs and superstitions associated with Halloween that we still observe today. Here are explanations of some of the most prevalent.
Although there are reports of children asking for treats in the days of Samhain, it was not a particularly widespread practice. The idea of trick-or-treating is thought to have originated in the 9the century, not with pagans, but with Christians.
November 2nd was another Christian holiday, known as All Souls' Day. This was a day to commemorate the deceased. Some Christians would walk from house to house, knocking on doors and begging for square pieces of bread with currants, known as soul cakes. In exchange for the cakes, they would agree to pray for the dead relatives of the donors. This was believed to aid their passage into heaven.
By some accounts, this practice spawned another tradition for All Hallows Eve. This day of celebration was observed by the rich and poor alike, yet many could not afford to celebrate properly. So the poor would visit the well-to-do, asking for donations of money and food. These donations were used to prepare a feast and celebration for their families.
Jack o' Lanterns
The Jack o' Lantern is a staple of Halloween decorating. But few people are aware of the story behind it. This piece of Irish folklore makes an interesting tale for Halloween night.
As the story goes, there was a farmer by the name of Stingy Jack. He had a bad reputation for being a drunkard and a trickster. On Halloween, the left a pub and was greeted by the Devil himself, who wished to claim Jack's soul.
The clever Jack asked the Devil to let him have one more drink. The Devil obliged, but Jack said he didn't have any money. So the Devil turned himself into a coin. But instead of taking the coin in and buying a drink with it, Jack put it