Hallowe'en

The word Hallowe'en dates to about 1745 and is of Christian origin, meaning "hallowed evening" or "holy evening."  It comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows' Eve (the evening before All Hallows' Day), with the word "eve" (from "even"), contracted to e'en or een.    

 
Some researchers speculate that the modern "trick-or-treat" ritual may stem from the Scottish practice of "guising," a secular version of "souling." In the Middle Ages, soulers, children and poor adults, would go to local homes and collect food or money in return for prayers said for the dead on All Souls’ Day.  Guisers discarded the prayers in favor of less religious performances like jokes, songs, or other “tricks.”

Vintage Hallowe'en

Selected Dances

(click for more haunted folklore and background information)

Black Cat

"Take your undergarment off at Halloween, wash it backwards, dry it backwards, and then sit down before the stove backwards without speaking; and if you are to marry, you will see your future husband come down the steps. If you are not to marry, you will see a black cat come down the steps, followed by four men carrying a coffin.” <br>~ Traditional, very complicated black cat superstition

Black Cat

Black Cat Day

Hallowe'en Jig

Amang the bonie winding banks, <br> Where Doon rins, wimplin, clear; <br> Where Bruce ance ruled the martial ranks, <br> An’ shook his Carrick spear; <br> Some merry, friendly, country-folks <br> Together did convene, <br> To burn their nits, an’ pou their stocks, <br> An’ haud their Halloween" <br><br> ~ Robert Burns, Halloween, 1785

Hallowe'en Jig

Halloween

Slains Castle (Dracula's Jig)

"My son, the vampire, <br> He'll make you a wreck. <br>Every time he kisses you, <br> There'll be two holes in your neck." <br>br> ~ Allan Sherman, My Son the Vampire (1964)

Slains Castle (Dracula's Jig)

Dracula Bites Day

Weird Sisters

"By the pricking of my thumbs,  Something wicked this way comes. Open, locks, Whoever knocks." ​<br><br>~ Macbeth, Act IV, Scene 1

Weird Sisters

the Season of the Witch

Ferla Mor

"Whatever you make of it, I do not know, but there is something very queer about the top of Ben MacDhui and I will not go back there again by myself I know.” <br><br> ~ Professor J. Norman Collie, 1925, at the 27th Annual General Meeting of the Cairngorm Club in Aberdeen

Ferla Mor

Myths and Legends Day

Mischief

"The devil's in the moon for mischief" <br><br>~ Don Juan by George Gordon, Lord Byron, Canto the First

Mischief

Mischief Night/Devil's Night

Sleepy Hollow

"This sequestered glen has long been known by name of Sleepy Hollow ... A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land, and to pervade the very atmosphere." <br><br>~ Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, 1820

Sleepy Hollow

Pumpkin Day

Widdershins (Martlew)

Widdershins (Martlew)

the Season of the Witch

Green Lady of Skipness Castle

"A form sits by the window,<br> That is not seen by day,<br> For as soon as the dawn approaches <br> It vanishes away."<br><br> ~ The Haunted Chamber, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Green Lady of Skipness Castle

Ghosts & Ghouls Day

Scottish Witch

Scottish Witch

the Season of the Witch

The Pumpking Baker

"Take a pound of Pompion, and slice it; an handful of Time, a little Rosemary, sweet Marjoram stripped off the stalks, chop them small; then take Cinamon, Nutmeg, Pepper, and a few Cloves, all beaten; also ten Eggs, and beat them all together, with as much Sugar as you shall think sufficient; then fry them like a Froise." <br><br>~ Gentlewoman’s Companion, written by Hannah Woolley, 1675

The Pumpking Baker

Pumpkin Day

Witches' Brew

"Fillet of a fenny snake,<br>In the caldron boil and bake; <br>Eye of newt, and toe of frog, <br>Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, <br>Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting, <br>Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,— <br>For a charm of powerful trouble, <br>Like a hell-broth boil and bubble." <br><br>~ ~ Shakespeare's Macbeth, the witches' recipe, Act 4, Scene 1 (c. 1603-1607)

Witches' Brew

Witches' Night Out!

Hallowe'en & Spooky Dance Index

(click for dance description or cribs)

Jan    Feb    Mar    Apr    May    Jun    Jul    Aug    Sep    Oct    Nov    Dec

The majority of dance descriptions referenced on this site have been taken from the

 

Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary or the

Scottish Country Dancing Database 

 

Snapshots of dance descriptions are provided as an overview only.  As updates may have occurred, please click the dance description to be forwarded to a printable dance description or one of the official reference sources.

Follow us on social media

  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • Twitter - Grey Circle

© 2019 Curious Magpie Designs