Thursday, 9 December, 2021


Invisible Things and Halloween

Tulip Chowdhury

Invisible Things and Halloween
Tulip Chowdhury

Halloween is knocking on the doorsteps of October. It is not all about witches and other scary things. The mysterious things in life resonates to the invisible aspects that can surface our vulnerabilities. Some people believe in ghosts and witches and other do not.  However, the assumption of their animosity of ghosts and witches leads to fear. The invisible characteristics relate to the unseen world that we fear and wonder about. In a way it’s the occasion when we dive into the world that is mysterious and holds us in spell. Ask someone, “Are you superstitious, do you believe in ghosts and witches?” The answers are likely to be hesitant ones for much as want to believe that ghosts do not exist, strange things happen in life. You saw a shadow or a sudden light that are unexplainable to your logical self. Mysteries lead us to Halloween and the thoughts in October.

 Halloween is a word shortened from All Hallows' Evening to Halloween or All Hallows' Eve which means “hallowed evening”. The root meaning of Halloween means Saints’ evening. This is also the time for witches, fairies and ghosts to have their free rides. In the human world the shop windows have crows and witches. Their evil eyes and wicked smiles make one walk faster. Scarecrows have drooping hands that move with the wind as if calling people to unknown lands. Black cats peek from windows and porches from behind pumpkins.

Halloween falls along the harvest season a time for pumpkins to be in. And during this time, pumpkins are scooped from inside, the outside carved into ghost like faces, lighted candles set inside and then placed around the houses. Carved pumpkins, called the Jack-o-Lantern, is also a popular nickname for ignis fatuus or “fool’s fire”, the blue flickering lights seen in wetlands and associated in folklore with ghosts and fairies. This is a time when one goes crazy with overflowing of pumpkins in foods. Coffee, frozen yoghurt or ice-creams; shops are selling special pumpkin flavors in them. Bakeries are filled with pies, cakes, muffins, donuts that have pumpkin flavor wafting from them. Warm apple cider drinks make hanging out with friends very special. Call it, cooking, baking or eating fresh; its all, about having a touch of pumpkin in them. I wonder when the spas will be offering pumpkin baths! Business these days is all about Halloween, call it food, clothes, entertainment and everything else that is going on around you. You just can’t forget that this is the Halloween season with its annual celebrations.        

Getting a Halloween costume is another fun part of our wardrobes. Halloween parties are the occasions where you dress with the intention of scaring people. In Halloween parties one can find people dressed as Frankenstein, a vampire or Dracula. Some people wear masks to hide their faces, adding mystery to the night. Little girls have wide ranges of dresses to choose from Barbie, Frozen or witch costumes. Boys hunt for Spiderman, Superman, Ninja, Horror Gothic and so much more. It’s a night when children, youths and adults seem to indulge in fantasies with equal zest.

On Halloween nights it’s fun to sit around bonfires, visit haunted houses and the search for ghosts and witches through the night. It is the night of possible meeting of the spirits and any other supernatural elements that you have missed throughout the year. With countdown to Halloween, these are nights when you expect the witch’s laughter to ring out from a place under your bed. You wake up hearing “Hee…hee..haa…haaa” from that dreaded place where all the demons of nightmares dwell.

Life is beautiful because it is a mystery as a whole. In fragments of the time allotted to each individual, there are elements of wonder and speculations. As communities too we come together with vulnebilities as humans. Halloween, superstions, realities and our imaginations in between give life that touch of spark, and ignite our longing to move with the wheels of eternity.


Tulip Chowdhury writes from Massachusetts, USA