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Speaking of spooky

November 3, 2015
Kindergarten students drop by to perform a song at the office of Lloyd Garrison School in Berwyn.

Teachers and students around the province got into the Halloween spirit throughout the week leading up to the big day.

Halloween history

Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”).
The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ­ancient Gaels believed that, on Oct. 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops.


Halloween trivia

  • Orange and black are Halloween colours because orange is associated with the fall harvest and black is associated with darkness and death.
  • Jack o’-lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.
  • Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.
  • Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first.
  • Bobbing for apples is thought to have originated from the Roman harvest festival that honors Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees and orchards.
  • Black cats were once believed to be witches’ familiars who protected their powers.
  • The fear of Halloween is known as Samhainopobia.


Grade 6 student Isabella Tegnander ponders a question by Craig Momney of Shaw Television at Father Beauregard School in Fort McMurray during the school’s pumpkin carving contest.

Phys-ed teacher Gord Thompson of Sir Alexander Mackenzie School in St. Albert prepares to get a cream pie in the face from parents Christina Green-Siracky (left) and Amy Vollmin during the school’s fall festival, which also included a haunted house, potion sampling and fortune telling.

Fort McMurray Catholic Schools superintendent George McGuigan rushed to the scene for a photo op when he heard that his unique look had inspired the Halloween costume of Grade 4 student Kyle Marsden.

Doors and lockers were popular targets for Halloween enthusiasts at Senator Gershaw School in Bow Island.

Annie Dyck (right) expresses disgust as she samples a pumpkin-related dessert and Alanna Blue plots out her next maneouvre as the two prepare an entry to their school’s pumpkin carving contest. The Grade 11 students attend South Central High School in Oyen.

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