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Halloween Symbols

Posted by admin On May - 17 - 2011

Halloween Symbols

Bats

Bats are a favorite Halloween decoration and symbol.  Vampires, especially Dracula, are rumored to be able to transform themselves into bats at will.  Vampire bats, which live in South America, venture out at night to bite livestock on the neck and feed on the blood from the wound.

Black Cats

As long as there have been witches, they have had “familiars” to aid their magic – usually a demon or other spirit that has taken the form of a black cat.  Black cats are said to be bad luck.  If one crosses your path, you should take extra care that day.

Broomsticks

Broomsticks as symbols of Halloween date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain and the Witches Sabbat.  On this night, witches from far and wide were rumored to ride their broomsticks to wild festivals around bonfires in forest clearings.

Bloody Eyeballs

All-seeing eyes have been part of supernatural lore for centuries.  The tradition of three witches who can foretell the future by passing around a single eyeball that they shared dates back to ancient Greek mythology, and it also appears in Celtic anthology.  Eyeballs outside of the head are among the scariest things that can be seen.

Fire

Fire symbolizes warmth and protection against the dark.  Ancient Celtic Druids built bonfires and put the skulls of their ancestors around the fires for protection against evil spirits.  Fire is also associated with the underworld and darkness, and can be dangerous as well as protective.

Ghosts

Ghosts and Halloween have been synonymous since the beginning.  The original festival of Samhain included the belief that the gates to the underworld opened on that night, and the dead walked on the earth among the living.

Gravestones

Gravestones symbolize the graveyard, which is the home of the dead.  Numerous ghost stories feature ghosts rising from their resting places in the graveyard.

Pumpkins

Pumpkins are naturally colored one of the two Halloween colors (orange and black).  Pumpkins commemorate the fall harvest, and are also carved into Jack O’Lanterns, a spooky tradition that began in ancient Ireland.

Skulls, Bones and Skeletons

Worldwide, skulls, bones and skeletons symbolize the world of the dead, the underworld, and spirits.  Skulls and skeletons are important parts of the Mexican Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

Spiders and Webs

Many ancient legends of witches focused on the witch being able to turn into a spider and trap helpless victims in her web.  Many people are afraid of spiders, and no haunted house or abandoned graveyard would be complete without hanging cobwebs, which show that the spider has taken over from the world of the living.

Witches and Wizards

Witches and wizards have been a part of Halloween since the early days of the Celts and Druids.  Witches and wizards have access to the world of spirits that others do not have.  Witch hats and wizard robes are standard costumes at every Halloween party and event.  Modern wizards and witch stories like Harry Potter have only added to this legend and trend.