November 2nd, “All Soul’s Day”

Perhaps it’s being caused by climate change, global warming, or the current mild weather being experience here in Ireland. Either way, it appears that some ghosts, phantom ghouls and wandering souls are reluctant to return to that place of departed spirits, as I experienced and photographed, while passing a local graveyard tonight. [Thank goodness the gate was locked.]

In earlier times people would dread being out late on the eve of November 2nd, “All Soul’s Day” as ghosts were said to be observed in the most isolated of places, especially in rural graveyards.

People would remain at home and would refrain from going out after dark, thus avoiding walking on or indeed with the dead.

So deep was the belief that households would sit around a blazing fire, relating stories about their memories of ancestors, before retiring early to their beds.

However, going early to bed would not take place before leaving the house ready for any visiting dead. The door on this night would remain unlocked in rural areas; while in larger towns and cities a window was left open instead, and for obvious reasons. A big fire was put down before going to bed and hot ashes (Irish -gríosach) were never raked out on that night.

No water could be thrown outside on All Souls’ Day, as they could be accidently throwing it into the faces of invisible wandering soul’s.

If people gave money to a poor man calling to their door on All Souls Day, the householder could expect great luck within the next 12 months.


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