WITCHES, PUMPKINS, AND GRINNING GHOSTS: The Story of the Halloween Symbols by Edna Barth

WITCHES, PUMPKINS, AND GRINNING GHOSTS: The Story of the Halloween Symbols

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Following the pattern set by her well received books on Easter and Christmas customs, Edna Barth reviews the history of the various ""symbols"" associated with Halloween -- which has ""more ancient beginnings"" than any other holiday. The section on witches begins with prehistory but concentrates on the medieval worship of the homed god, presenting the generally accepted argument that witchcraft originated in a Stone Age religion, but in a tone a bit too patly authoritative. We could carp on other specifics -- such as the limited history of trick-or-treating -- but in general these capsules on cats, bats and owls, broomsticks and cauldrons, ghosts and jack-o'-lanterns, which touch on ancient myth, modern literature, and still extant rural folkways, are informative about subjects with more certain popularity than lilies, rabbits, and painted eggs.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1972
Publisher: Seabury