The Goreys: A Halloween Vlog

Ahh, I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been busy studying hard for my math term test tomorrow! For those who are interested, I’ve finally learnt how to do fractional exponents without a calculator. And I’ve finally grasped all the log and ln rules… I didn’t even know what “ln” was till about a week ago.

Aaaanyways since I don’t have time for a proper post, here is a YouTube channel I found called “The Goreys” doing a video a day for the month of October! It seems pretty interesting. I’ve embedded the first one talking about Halloween lore, and a brilliant one about jack-o’-lanterns. I promise once I’ve finished passed my term test, I shall actually write a proper post. Until then, enjoy the videos :)

-Alex

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Carving and Costumes

I call him Vambear.

The last of the Halloween posts! Woo! This one’s about my jack-o-lantern and my costume.

I started with the Phineas and Ferb-themed pumpkins three years ago, when a friend of mine sent me a picture of a Phineas jack-o-lantern someone had carved. Inspired by the idea, I decided to replicate it. It was quite an endeavour, seeing as how I had only a power drill and a standard kitchen knife to work with, but it didn’t turn out half bad! Kind of sad when I had to put him on the curb though (and yet he kept smiling…).

Phineas Pumpkin

The next year was Ferb, of course. I also upgraded to a battery powered pumpkin saw, so the carving was much easier.

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This year, to complete the infamous trio, I carved a Perry pumpkin. For the other two, I’d had a reference image of other people’s designs. This year, I had to create the Perry design all out of my own imagination. It was a rather fun challenge. The only issue I had with this pumpkin was the thinness of the outer line of his eye. It got reaaaally shrivelled by the end of the night, and happy pumpkin Perry turned into sad pruney Perry. Ah well, it wasn’t too bad.

Perry Pumpkin

But the pumpkins were just the tip of the iceberg. Two years ago, I decided I would be really ambitious and start making elaborate costumes. In 2012, I chose to be Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter. I had to transform this:

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into this:

I don’t usually sew, but I pulled out all the stops creating my costume.

Notice the three pairs of scissors strewn about the table… Yeah, I was serious.

The end result? This:

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It was a long haul to get the costume done, but I loved every second of it. So I decided I would try again this year. Having just played The Last Story, I wanted to be Syrenne for Halloween. So I modelled my costume after my favourite set of armour for her:

Syrenne front

Again, it was a rather complicated affair, with plenty of wig modelling from my convenient skull prop, so I could cut the wig to the right length…

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Much tamer this time–just one pair of scissors. Although, I did have to bring out the sewing machine manual, and that got pretty intense.

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But in the end, I was super happy with how it turned out. Now I just have to resist the temptation to wear the costume like regular clothes…

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(Haha, don’t you love the farmer’s tan? :P)

So that wraps up yet another Halloween. I hope it was great for you guys, and here’s looking forward to the next one!

How was your Halloween? Did you carve a pumpkin or dress up?

May the power and the magic of the Halloween season be present in all your days.

-Alex

Lucky Lanterns

pumpkin on doorstep

Pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns are well-known and beloved symbols of Halloween, and are a lot of fun to carve and put out on the doorstep to light up the street. But something that I didn’t know is that pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns have a spiritual symbolism and a long history. They weren’t always the way they are today!

  • Turnip torches: the original lanterns used on Halloween night in Ireland weren’t pumpkins at all–they were turnips carved with faces and used as lanterns to scare away ghosts and spirits. In Scotland, they originally used thick cabbage stems and made those into the lanterns. It wasn’t until later that pumpkin were used as the preferable choice.
  • A squash named Jack: the name “jack-o’-lantern” likely comes from the old Irish folktale about a vile man named Jack. When the Devil first came to claim Jack’s soul, Jack tricked the Devil and escaped his fiery fate. Then later, when Jack eventually died, the Devil was still bitter about being tricked and refused to let Jack enter Hell. Instead, he threw Jack a coal, which Jack then put in a turnip to make a lantern to light the way for his soul, which was trapped eternally on earth. Thus, “Jack of the lantern”, or jack-o’-lantern.
  • Remember the wisps?: do you know those cute little will-o’-the-wisps from Brave? They have sometimes been called jack-o’-lanterns, because they resemble the lights of wandering spirits, just like Jack.
  • Spirit wards and beacons: many jack-o’-lanterns are used to scare away evil ghosts and spirits, but some of them are also used as beacons, lighting the way for the spirits of lost loved ones who are looking to return home for Halloween night.
  • A bit of pumpkin luck: old tradition states that, in order to imbue a jack-o’-lantern with the magical energy needed to ward away evil spirits, the pumpkin must be planted on Good Friday. When you carve your jack-o’-lantern, you should use a knife with a white handle, not a black one, because black is a colour of bad luck. And next time you visit the pumpkin patch, take care not to point at any growing pumpkins–this is an unlucky gesture and will cause the pumpkin to rot.

As you can see, there’s a lot more to pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns than just a fun activity to make Halloween a bit brighter. Indeed, it’s a practice that involves magic, lore, and whole lot of luck.

Do you carve jack-o’-lanterns?

May your pumpkin lanterns always bring you good luck and protection on Halloween night.

-Alex

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Have anything Halloween or villain related that you’d like to share? Send me a link in the comments or at valourborn@gmail.com. I’d love to check it out!

All information in this post was gathered from “The Pagan Book of Halloween” by Gerina Dunwich.