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Monday, October 31, 2016

Greetings Infomaniacs,

Halloween, celebrated on Oct. 31, originally started as nothing more than an autumn harvest festival. Today, the holiday is associated with ghosts, costumes and, of course, candy. It has long been thought that Halloween is the one day of the year the dead can return to earth.

Enjoy!

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WHO SAID IT?

QUOTE: "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."

HINT: (1890-1937), American author who achieved posthumous fame through his influential works of horror fiction.

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RANDOM TIDBITS

Halloween was actually a Celtic holiday. It was originally called Samhain meaning "end of summer". In ancient Celtic Ireland, October 31st marked the official end of summer.

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Halloween is the number two holiday in terms of commercial success. It's no surprise that Christmas is number one. Over four billion dollars is spent annually during the Halloween season. The majority of that money is spent on costumes, candy, parties, and decorations.

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Often used as symbols of bad luck, black cats grace many Halloween decorations. The black cat's bad reputation dates back to the Dark Ages, when witch hunts were commonplace. Elderly, solitary women were often accused of witchcraft, and their pet cats were said to be their "familiars," or demonic animals that had been given to them by the devil.

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Medieval folklore also described bats as witches' familiars, and seeing a bat on Halloween was considered to be quite an ominous sign. One myth was that if a bat was spotted flying around one's house three times, it meant that someone in that house would soon die.

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The stereotypical image of the haggard witch with a pointy black hat and warty nose stems from a pagan goddess known as "the crone," who was honored during Samhain. The crone was also known as "the old one" and the "Earth mother," who symbolized wisdom, change, and the turning of the seasons.

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The pagan Celts believed that after death, all souls went into the crone's cauldron, which symbolized the Earth mother's womb. There, the souls awaited reincarnation, as the goddess' stirring allowed for new souls to enter the cauldron and old souls to be reborn.




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*** Weekly Mind-Scrambler ***

A natural state, I'm sought by all.
Go without me, and you shall fall.
You do me when you spend,
and use me when you eat to no end.

What am I?

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Be sure to put "Winner" in the subject line.

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WHO SAID IT?

QUOTE: "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."

ANSWER: H.P. Lovecraft.

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