Thursday, 26 October 2017

HYPNOGORIA - The Origins of Halloween: the Story So Far...

In an epic length show, Mr Jim Moon traverses the centuries in search of the origins of Halloween. Along the way we'll investigate the festival of All Hallows, the pagan rites of the Celts at Samhain, uncover the truth about trick or treating, the genesis of the jack o'lantern, and discover all manner of folk charms and rituals for Halloween night!

DIRECT DOWNLOAD - The Origins of Halloween 

It's Halloween once more, and Mr Jim Moon brings you another epic show delving into the long history of this autumnal festival. In this episode, we ransack the shelves of the Great Library of Dreams to trace the history of Halloween in popular culture, from the poems of Robert Burns, through the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Walter Scott, and into the heyday of the Victorian ghost story.

DIRECT DOWNLOAD -  The Origins of Halloween Part II 

As Halloween approaches Mr Jim Moon delves once more into the history and the mysteries of this ancient holiday. In this chapter we take a trip back to the start of the 20th century to discover how Halloween parties evolved and see how the spookiest night of the year was portrayed in the brave new worlds of radio and film. 

DIRECT DOWNLOADThe Origins of Halloween Part III 

In a bonus extra chapter this year, Mr Jim Moon uncovers the birth of the horror genre and discovers when Halloween first properly became scary! We take a look at early Halloween horrors in the pages of the pulps, and then discover how the macabre radio shows of the 1930s and 1940s would make Halloween night their own... 

DIRECT DOWNLOADThe Origins of Halloween Part IV

Continuing in our annual series on the history of the spookiest night of the year, Mr Jim Moon takes at a look Halloween in the mid-twentieth century. We talks about the works of Ray Bradbury, the horrors of EC comics, and the Disney classic retelling of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad (1949).

DIRECT DOWNLOADHYPNOGORIA 74 - The Origins of Halloween Part V

Find all the podcasts in the HYPNOGORIA family here -

HYPNOGORIA HOME DOMAIN - Full archive, RSS feed and other useful links






solar penguin said...

I'm about the same age as you, and I don't remember any "Penny For Halloween" when I was a kid, never mind "Trick or Treat". ET was definitely the first time I'd ever heard of anything like that.

Maybe it was a small town/rural thing? People would know each other, so it maybe would be considered safe for kids to knock on people's doors. In London and other big cities, you could never know whose door it was...?

Jim Moon said...

there is a Ramsey Campbell short tale called the Trick which was written in the 1970s that is specifically about trick or treating and that is set in the heart of Liverpool! I certainly remember in the early 70s that the shops at the end of October stocking scary masks and other bits of costuming, and greengrocers putting out piles of large turnips to carve. However rather than urban/rural, I suspect the divide might be more North and South.

Also in the UK with having Guy Fawkes Night so near, I think the focus changes year by year, with one tending to be celebrated more than the other depending on which of them falls nearest a weekend that particular year. Certainly I think there is alot of overlap between the two festivals - MR James makes an intriguing reference to a spooky face being at first mistaken for a November 5th mask for example.

Plus some areas have their own (and stronger) local traditions of community bonfires that some areas do not. And folklore is always local first!
Just out of interest, where you more familiar with the tradition of making a guy and the whole "penny for the guy" tradition?

solar penguin said...

Yes, definitely did "penny for the guy". Autumn wasn't complete without that. Guy Fawkes and Bonfire night was the outdoor celebration, while Halloween was a smaller indoor one.

Good point about North/South. IIRC the North of England maintained a lot of Catholic sympathies after the Reformation, so maybe All Hallows' Eve remained a bigger thing up there?

Jim Moon said...

Very possible! particularly in places with a big Irish community! Plus given the strong Scottish roots of the modern Hallowe'en, I suspect it thrived anywhere with the Scots had settled too.

Although that said, there appears to be a strong tradition of celebrating Mischief Night right across England - a tradition of tricks without the asking for treats as it were. But with a lot of local variations - Mischief Night fell various the night before Halloween, a week before, or even the night before Bonfire Night