On Halloween some will dress up in pointy black hats and eat candy, while others will be quietly celebrating the beginning of the pagan New Year.
Halloween is the widely celebrated adaptation of the pagan holiday, Samhain, which begins on the night of Oct. 31.
With countless black hats and black cats used as decorations, I sat down with my friend, Raven Charleston, to talk about her pagan upbringing and feelings on Halloween.
Wicca is the religion of witchcraft, and falls within the bounds of general Paganism.
According to Charleston, Samhain is “the time the veil between the worlds is thinnest. It is a day to remember those who have passed and are no longer with us.”
Halloween commercializes and simplifies the pagan holiday to include the greater public, but the two have very little to do with each other.
For witches, the final night of October is not one for partying and trick or treating, it is a time to connect with those who have passed and now occupy the spirit realm.
Charleston describes childhood memories of her family coming together, breaking out the Ouija board and eating a delicious meal.
On the night of Samhain, both good spirits and bad spirits are present. Pagans wear costumes and masks to hide their true identify from the bad, protecting themselves.
This pagan tradition of wearing costumes on Samhain has become one of the most commercialized elements of Halloween.
While some witches may take offense to their bumpy nose portrayal, most witches she knows think it’s funny, Charleston said.
Charleston’s mother wears a pointy black hat to be ironic, and jokes by speaking in a spooky, cackly voice, she said.
The witch costume is one of the most popular Halloween attire choices, and it allows witches to go out, wear their own garb and feel accepted.
On Samhain, some pagans might share a meal in silence, with plates set out for loved ones who have passed.
There are many misconceptions about witches on but most are inaccurate.
Witches might perform a ritual on Halloween, but not bad or dark magic. Wicca is a very nature-based and peaceful religion, Charleston said.
Witches are thought of as creepy, but they are ordinary people celebrating a holiday with their fellow Wiccans.
Instead of performing dark magic, witches are likely to be eating squash and sharing stories with family and friends around a table.