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Halloween Countdown, Day 3

"Its [Halloween's] literature over the past four hundred years exposes a time tied to the quickening dark, to seasonal change, to death, to the movement of beings -- fairies, witches, dead souls -- through the night. Halloween was once imagined as a rift in reality where time slipped by without the traveler knowing he'd gone missing. As a night to return home, dead or alive. There was fear, yes, but it was fear of loss -- of children and family, of land, crops, and place. This night wasn't about murder or violence, but rather about the unquiet of guilt, anticipation of the unknown, of facing the consequences of meddling with things you couldn't -- or shouldn't -- control. These Halloweens meant something; they held a place in the year for magic, for mourning, for first love. For fear. In Halloween literature, the otherworld is always and uniquely present. On this night, it can be broached, or we, if we're willing, can open our eyes wide enough to see it."
- from "Introduction" by Lesley Pratt Bannatyne to A Halloween Reader


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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
lizziebelle
Oct. 3rd, 2015 02:36 pm (UTC)
What a wonderful summary of why Halloween resonates so much with us. Even if most people don't know it.
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 4th, 2015 01:15 pm (UTC)
I agree. I just love this!
galwithglasses
Oct. 3rd, 2015 06:27 pm (UTC)
Such an accurate write-up of this time of year. Lovely post.
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 4th, 2015 01:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you! I'm so glad you like this passage, too. I think it's wonderful.
gilda_elise
Oct. 4th, 2015 11:07 am (UTC)
Wonderful words to describe this most delicious of holidays. I'm going to see if our library has a copy, and, if not, I'm seriously thinking of buying myself one.
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 4th, 2015 01:15 pm (UTC)
Fantastic! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Happy reading! :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )