Friday, October 26, 2012

Trick or Treating in a Haunted Garden Halloween Blog Party

Welcome to my dark corner of the Haunted Garden! 

If you're new to my blog; I'm a paranormal and gothic romance author. I have two stories currently published with the Black Rose line of The Wild Rose Press. Black Rose books are steamy romances filled with mystical creatures like vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters and demons. Mine have witches, too!

October is the perfect time of year to curl up with a mug of hot apple cider and a steamy paranormal romance novel that will curl your toes and leave you gasping! But, with Halloween around the corner, the ghosts and goblins will soon be out to play. Do you have treats ready to hand out to those who knock on your door on the night of the 31st? You don't want any nasty tricks to spoil your evening of reading pleasure!  

I've been doing some research about Halloween traditions. You know the kind....trick or treating, dressing in costumes, carving pumpkins. Just where did all of these traditions come from, and how did they become a part of Halloween?

With too many to name here, I'll just pick a few of my favorites to share.

Trick or Treating
As children, what was more exciting than getting candy simply handed to you by everyone in the neighborhood? All with the simple magic words of ''Trick or Treat!" Turns out handing out treats on the night of All Hallow's Eve has a long history beginning with the religious practice of 'souling'. 'Souling' or 'guising' was an old custom originating in the British Isles where the poor would dress in masks and costumes to hide their identities and were allowed to beg for food called soul cakes (oatcakes or bread containing currants) or other handouts such as apples, nuts, or coins. After the 'soulers' received their gifts, they would offer prayers for the family's deceased relatives. If they were refused their 'treats', then they would retaliate with a prank or 'trick'. 

Carving the Pumpkin
This custom is over 2000 years old! Yes, you read it right! This started in Ireland where hollowed-out turnips were carved with faces to be used as lanterns. They were used to scare away evil ghosts and spirits while lighting the road for travelers on Halloween night. Eventually the pumpkin became the popular choice for these lanterns.

Bobbing for Apples
Dating from ancient Roman times, it was believed that the first young, unmarried person to take a bite out of an apple floating in water or hanging from a string would be the next to marry. Apples have other uses on Halloween, as well. An apple buried under the ground on the last day of October will attract unicorns, and if you eat an apple before going to bed on Halloween night you won't suffer any illnesses during the next 12 months. 

Haunted Hayrides/Houses/Corn Mazes
These forms of entertainment take place in many locations and contain monstrous creatures and special lighting and effects that are used to scare, shock and amuse the customer. The history for these haunted attractions is unclear, but the earliest record dates back to 1915. During the 1960's and 1970's haunted attractions were run by organizations and became quickly popular. The experience of being frightened draws people to these events every October.

What is Your Favorite Halloween Tradition?
To celebrate Halloween with my readers this year, I'm offering a chance to win a copy of my e-book, THE WITCH AND THE WOLF. Just leave your email address and a comment telling me about your favorite Halloween tradition. This contest runs from October 26-31. A winner will be randomly selected and notified on November 1.

Lord Jeremy North's curse is to become a werewolf during every full moon, turning into a bloodthirsty monster that kills with no remorse. When he finds a woman nearly frozen upon his doorstep, his sense of honor compels him to help her, even at the risk he might kill her himself.

Lillian Merriweather hadn't planned to get caught in a blizzard while traveling the English countryside. Nor had she planned on finding refuge in a house full of secrets. But Lillian has secrets of her own. And what she's running from is not far behind...

For other chances to win The Witch and the Wolf be sure to check out

To read an excerpt or purchase my books, please visit The Wild Rose Press. To learn more about my books, check out my website, Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter

Don't forget to stop by the other blogs participating in this Haunted Garden Hop for chances to win cool Prizes!


  1. Hi Tricia. Fellow Blog Hopper stopping by to say 'Hi' Great post, and fascinating to hear about the origins of some of these old traditions. Here in the UK it's only really been the last few years that Halloween has really 'taken off'. I like to dress up on the night of Halloween when the little ones come 'trick or treating' and hand out sweets to them.

  2. Hello, Thanks for sharing the great post..
    I agree with some of the one you posted about :)


  3. Great lesson on the foundations of Halloween. I'm smiling because kids who trick or treat do like to go to the 'rich' homes because they might get a full-sized Snickers bar rather than a bite-sized one :-) The poor begging from the rich continues. Rolynn

  4. Growing up in the UK it was traditional to sing a song, tell a joke, or do something related to your costume before the candy was handed over. I recall having to meow like a cat for my brother who was too shy back then. Fun times!!

  5. Enjoyed the post!! Traditions-costume parties, Jack-o-lantern carving, haunted attraction visits, scary storytelling, and now my girlfriends and I get together and have a Witch Tea party. We wear a witch hats and enjoy a pot luck, tea and good company.

  6. Hey Tricia.

    Excellent post. I never knew that about pumpkins. Leave it to the Irish to find an alternate use for gourds. (are pumpkins gourds?) I have a feeling some of my ancestors were in on that. ;-)


  7. Oh I love wolves, supernatural and real. Happy Halloween!

  8. i love to see the children dress up for halloween i have a coupleof years to wait for my one month old grandaughter to dress up but i cant wait
    happy halloween everyone

  9. Really enjoyed reading your post. Traditions at my house are dressing up for the trick or treaters that come around.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  10. I'm not much of a Halloween person but loved your post!

  11. I love costuming (my hipster daughter calls it cosplay).

    I have a real thing for costumes and you should see what I wear around the house...Halloween is an excuse to wear my every day clothes out in public. ;)



    PS I own and LOVE your books...but you already know that. <3

  12. My favorite Halloween tradition is carving pumpkins. At our house that involves power tools. Maybe this year, we'll have to try a turnip :D

  13. We don't tend to celebrate Halloween much here in New Zealand, but bit by bit I see that changing. In fact, my four-year old daughter was out with me in the vegetable garden and looked down at our pumpkin plants with dismay. They're only at the green-leaf stage, so she has a long wait to carve out a homegrown one! :0)

    clarksnelson at

  14. Used to love to when my son was younger to take him Trick or treating now he is older don't do that anymore. So just we just watch scary movies.


  15. I love seeing all the kids dressed in their costumes and enjoying all the fun with them, whether going to a festival or trick or treating.

    Enjoyed your post and thanks for the giveaway!

  16. Your book looks so intriguing. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

    I have multiple things I love about Halloween but my favorite is probably reading and sharing spooky stories. I also love decorating and picking just the right pumpkins (because one is never enough!).

    maeclair (at) maeclair (dot) com

  17. Your book looks so intriguing. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

    love decorating and picking just the right pumpkins (because one is never enough!).

  18. This is cool to know Tricia! Thanks for doing the legwork. lol I love haunted houses even if they do scare me!

    Your book sounds exciting and I love that cover. :)

  19. Unfortunately, Halloween is not celebrated in my country.

    You book sounds great.

    thanks for the Hop Stop.

    Adila (from Azerbaijan)