Spooky N Fun

Halloween costumes have evolved with time and technology. You can get a costume off the rack but making your own is maybe the most fun. Pull out the stops and do a deep dive into theatrical makeup. Like that cutie with the sideways smile next to the joker in row 4. Then there is the shoe family in row 5. But I really love the simplicity of the father-son costumes in rows 6 and 7. Elvis and his guitar, the Blues Brothers, Where’s Waldo and Spy vs Spy.  Look at these cool couple’s costumes in row 8: Pencil & Paper and Jack & Jill after rolling down the hill. But in row 9 are my favorite subjects, food, like Bacon & eggs. And a friend of mine dressed as Mustard & Ketchup one year. Babies are always fun to dress up, too: Carrot, spaghetti, and a cupcake. Then get the pets involved. (that’s when cats will usually leave the room)

With all that’s going on, I just can’t skip Halloween.  I know it’s the kid in me, but I have such fond memories of candy, decorations, pumpkin carving, and costumes.  As a kid, I LOVED going to the store with my parents and picking out a costume. I remember the plastic face mask and the clothes – especially the capes!  (and sword or pitchfork).  Having a cape made you into a superpower – and it was even cooler running door to door and having it flap in the breeze.  I’m sure mom and dad have pictures of me dressed up with my brothers and sisters – with 18 kids in the family, it was quite the task to get us all dressed, and then organized to go door to door. The memories of my girls going out, starting with me carrying them with their little containers to when they graduated to the pillowcases still bring smiles to my face. With Halloween tomorrow, I’m sure you have plans to be safe and socially distant – good luck with that.  For my trivia and history buffs, here’s some fun info on how Halloween and unusual costumes came to be.  Enjoy!  And thanks to History.com and CNN for the info.  For some fun music to play while you read along, click HERE.

  • Halloween is a holiday celebrated each year on October 31. The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.  The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago, mostly in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, also celebrated their new year on November 1.
  • This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. It was believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred (and the need to hide from evil spirits).
  • In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, the Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort during the long, dark winter.
  • To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes.  When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.
  • By 43 A.D., the Roman Empire had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the 400 years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.  The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple, and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of bobbing for apples that is practiced today.
  • On May 13, 609 A.D., Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome in honor of all Christian martyrs, and the Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day was established in the Western church. Pope Gregory III later expanded the festival to include all saints as well as all martyrs and moved the observance from May 13 to November 1.
  • By the 9th century, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with and supplanted older Celtic rites. In 1000 A.D., the church made November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. It’s widely believed today that the church was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, church-sanctioned holiday.
  • All Souls’ Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils. The All Saints’ Day celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-Hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.
  • The celebration of Halloween was extremely limited in colonial New England because of the rigid Protestant belief systems there. Halloween was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies.
  • As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups and the American Indians meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included “play parties,” which were public events held to celebrate the harvest. Neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, dance and sing.
  • Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. By the middle of the 19th century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.  here are some great ghost stories
  • Halloween costumes from the first half of the 20th century were terrifying. Drawing on the holiday’s pagan and Christian roots — as a night to ward off evil spirits or reconcile with death, respectively — people often opted for more morbid, serious costumes than the pop culture-inspired ones of today.
  • It was believed that, during the fall festival, the world of the gods became visible to humans, resulting in supernatural mischief. Some people offered treats and food to the gods, while others wore disguises — such as animal skins and heads — so that wandering spirits might mistake them for one of their own.  Hiding behind their costumes, villagers often played pranks on one another, but blamed the spirits.  Masks and cover-ups came to be seen as means to get away with things.
  • In medieval England and Ireland, people would dress up in outfits symbolizing the souls of the dead, going from house to house to gather treats or spice-filled “soul cakes” on their behalf (a Christian custom known as “souling”).  From the late 15th century, people started wearing spooky outfits to personify winter spirits or demons, and would recite verses, songs and folk plays in exchange for food (a practice known as “mumming”).
  • By the 1920s and 1930s, people were holding annual Halloween masquerades, aimed at both adults and children, at rented salons or family homes. Costume preparations, many hand-made,  began as early as August.  Falling right between summer and Christmas, the celebration also seemed to benefit from its timing in the calendar.
  • Those same decades also saw the emergence of costumes influenced by pop culture, alongside the first major costume manufacturing companies. The J. Halpern Company (better known as Halco) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, began licensing images of fictional characters like Popeye, Olive Oyl, Little Orphan Annie and Mickey Mouse around this time. People also became fascinated with impersonating characters at the fringe of society, including pirates, gypsies and even bums became common outfit choices.
  • Continuing the tradition of old practices like souling and mumming, Halloween pranks became a common phenomenon in North America — sometimes to the point of vandalism and rioting. By the mid-1940s, the press had dubbed the night’s anarchy (or its broken fences and smashed windows, at least) the “Halloween problem” — and costumes may have partly enabled that behavior.  In an effort to discourage criminal damage, local and national officials attempted to recast the holiday — and dressing up for it — as an activity for younger children. (The Chicago City Council even voted in 1942 to abolish Halloween and establish “Conservation Day” on October 31 instead).
  • After World War II, as TV brought pop culture into family homes, American Halloween costumes increasingly took after superheroes, comic characters and entertainment figures. They also became increasingly store-bought: By the 1960s, Ben Cooper, a manufacturing company that helped turn Halloween into a pop phenomenon, owned 70 to 80 percent of the Halloween costume market.  It was around this time that adults started dressing up for Halloween again.  Like kids’ costumes, their approach was often more fun than frightening — and would eventually be just as inspired by popular movies or Hollywood fame.
  • But there was still a place for scary outfits, encouraged by a slew of splatter-horror movies that started emerging in the 1970s and 80s, from John Carpenter’s “Halloween” to Wes Craven’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”
  • According to those who track the traditions, costumes have certainly become more reflective of the times we live in, with parents dressing their kids as sports stars, movie stars, cartoon characters.  Many parents like to dress up as well, when walking with their kids, or greeting guests at the door.

Top 5 Characters for 2020:
·      Carole Baskin from Tiger King. …
·      Harley Quinn from Birds of Prey. …
·      Wonder Woman from Wonder Woman 1984. …
·      Cheerleaders from Cheer. …
·      Black Widow. …
·      Most popular – witch.



Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
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On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!



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