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their spirit remains or comes to visit. ceremonies. In Mexico, Los Dia de And what of the bat? Well, Samhain
Skeletons: Halloween would not los Muertos abounds with skeletons bonfires drew in the local moths,
be complete without the leering in various guises. Skeletons are made which provided a feast for the bats
skeletons and skulls! Many ancient from sugar, chocolate and bread and that would dart around the fires
people preserved the heads or are displayed on altars in the home. in a feeding frenzy. The belief that
skulls of their ancestors, which were Vampires and Vampire Bats: witches could turn themselves into
painted and displayed at rituals and The legend of the vampire appears bats came from the time when
to be an amalgamation of various innocent women were burnt at the
superstitions rolled into one. Belief in stake and the bats, attracted by the
vampires first appears in the writings moths, were said to be the spirits of
of the ancient Babylonians where it the witches escaping as their bodies
was thought that the dead could were engulfed by the flames.
rise and walk the earth, taking blood
from the living in order to survive. With all its symbolism, stories and
Up until the 20th century vampires cultural celebrations, Halloween is
were depicted as ugly beasts rather the perfect time to remember our
than the humanoid creatures we dear departed relatives, look forward
now imagine (due to stories such as to the future and have a brilliant
Dracula and Anne Rice’s magnificent party all at the same time!
books). The association of the
vampire lifestyle gives it a logical
connection to Halloween and its
illustration by www.askeyillustration.co.uk celebration of the dead (or undead!).
0 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2009
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