(Courtesy of www.hauntedbay.com)
As I was driving home from work one night last week, I was surprised to see a rather large bonfire high up on a hill overlooking the dark, windy road I was driving along. It was just after 9 p.m. and I could see and smell the smoke as I approached the lower hillside. I could see the tips of the flames almost licking the spindly branches of the oak trees overhead, and I suddenly felt a surge of excitement rush through me as I immediately thought of Halloween. It was the last thing I expected to find on my way home at such a late hour of the night. I slowed down slightly as I approached the side of the hill to get a better look. I wanted to stop my car and walk up the hill and really take it all in. I wanted to feel the warmth of the fire surround me. My imagination went wild with images of costumed partygoers dancing and laughing around the fire. I imagined music playing, and the scent of burning oak, along with brightly burning pumpkins. I wished I had a camera with me to capture the scene. Even though it is far from October, the sight of a roaring fire in the pitch blackness, and the smoke that permeated the chilly night air made it feel as though Halloween were near. It was wonderful.
This sight reminded me of an article I had seen some time ago on the Haunted Bay website about the ancient tradition of Halloween bonfires. It had a picture of an awesome bonfire lighting up the night, with a full moon glowing in the background (see picture above). I wanted to jump into that picture and join the small crowd of onlookers. I love the idea of gathering around a huge bonfire on a cool Halloween night. I didn't realize this was actually a tradition on Samhain going back years. It was believed that the fire would ward off any evil spirits.
I decided that one of these years, I am going to have myself a bonfire on Halloween. I have never been able to do this before, but somehow it seems as though it would be the perfect way to top off a Halloween celebration. Maybe I'll even dance around the fire in my costume, singing praises to the Harvest moon, as they did in ancient times. That sounds like my idea of a perfect Halloween night!
To read the full article, go here: http://www.hauntedbay.com/history/bonfire.shtml