Hallowe’en Chills

Updated: Oct 31

We have recently returned from a folklore collecting ‘holiday’ in the northern isles of Orkney & Shetland. These very wild and wonderful places leached the stories, superstitions and traditions in landscapes that had been inhabited by Picts, Nordic and Scottish peoples resulting in an often unique and wonderful folklore.

As we are approaching Hallowe’en we noticed how much more emphasis was placed on this tradition than in our home county of Shropshire in England. We all know that this tradition has become more commercialised and our current celebration has been very much influenced by America through popular culture. But here on these outlying islands, where daylight is in short supply and it is acknowledged that winter begins with the coming of October, we could really see how fear of an unknown lurking in the darkness of the land or within the turbulent waves or down the thin dark passageways in old towns could give rise to superstitions, traditions and customs that mark this time of the year.