The ancient Druids would probably call Hurricane Sandy the first salvo in an onslaught of spirits of the dead. The Druids believed that these spirits roamed the earth on the night before the celebration of their new year, November 1st.
Because harsh winters often led to death, Druids held a festival, Samhain, on the last evening of their summer, October 31st. That evening, when the dead were said to roam, the Druids lit bonfires, dressed up as animals, donning their heads and skins, and offered up sacrifices, usually crops and animals but sometimes, it’s said, humans. During this special evening, the people believed that fortunes could be predicted.
The Romans conquered the Celts and, eventually, the festival of Samhain became part of the Christian religion. All Saints Day, sometimes called All Hallows or All Hallowmas, moved to November 1st. The evening of October 31st, previously Samhain, became All Hallows Eve.
For centuries, the night we know as Halloween has been celebrated to honor the wandering spirits of the dead and pay homage to the dark spirit of the Winter. So, be particularly careful this Wednesday evening. Hurricane Sandy’s winds are sure to stir up a large pot of ghostly activity!