Halloween: Bewitching Treats, Eats, Costumes and Decorations
by Lorenz Books
Published by Lorenz Books
1999, 64 pages
Buy it online
Reviewed by Linda L. Richards
Despite all of the emblems of evil associated with it, I think of Halloween as sort of a hopeful quasi-holiday. After all, Halloween’s history and evolution is all about fairly malevolent forces. Yet, somehow, in modern times, Halloween has come to be celebrated by a whole lot of happy shenanigans. Costumes, wonderful food that's (hopefully) bad for you, sometimes even fireworks. It's all pretty cheery stuff and all of it enacted by participants who are quite often decked out like creatures from their own worst nightmares.
... marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the cold winter. It was believed that on the night of Samhain, witches, ghosts and other dark forces ruled, and that the souls of the dead would revisit the places where they had once dwelt.
Later, the Catholic Church endeavored to put an end to such silliness by declaring November 1st to be All Saints' Day and the night before it to be All Hallows' Eve. However, the more stately November 1st holiday couldn't rival the raucous celebrations that had evolved around October 31st. And Halloween was cemented.
Completely darken one room, play creepy music and guide two or three children at a time to the delights of:
A section called Warming Delights regales us with recipes that include the humble pumpkin. Bewitching Sweets includes several homemade alternatives to store-bought candies and treats. Spooky Disguises deals with the de rigueur Halloween costume. And while there aren't a lot of these included, the ones that are here are creative and fairly simple: many of them mostly consisting of materials found in the average child-inhabited home. Finally, the section called Festive Displays uses different autumn vegetables to create decorations to turn your home into a Halloweenie wonderland.
Linda L. Richards is the editor of January Magazine and the author of several books.