Magic and Mystery Abound this week on Come By The Hills!

Shell out! Shell out! There are witches in the air! It is the eve of All Hallows Eve, and on this night before the big night of costumes and candy, Come By The Hills will be exploring some of the deep Celtic roots of this frightening and fun festival. I'll be taking you into the world of elves and fairies, ghosts and witches, myth, magic and mystery, where the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest and strangeness abounds.

I have always loved Halloween for its creative costuming possibilities and of course for the candy, but once I learned about some of the ancient wells of myth and memory from which this modern night of fun and frolic has sprung, I liked it even more. Halloween seems to have had its beginnings as a tribal harvest festival which heralded the coming of winter. Nature was going underground for a time, and so people would burn fires and perform rites of divination to ward off the coming cold and to see how things might look at the return of spring.

As Christianity crept across Europe, this time of year became associated with praying for the souls in Purgatory and it was this which gave birth to the idea of people going from house to house to beg a soulcake and carrying about with them turnips with candles in them as a lantern to symbolize a soul in need of prayer.

In recent years, Neopagans have claimed Halloween as one of their feasts and have rather melded some of the ancient Celtic customs of Samhain as it was called with the idea of All Souls Day and have created a night when the dead are honoured and when divinations are done for the coming year. I'll say more about this on the show, but suffice it to say that I have always loved this time and I hope that you will find tonight's show as enjoyable as I do.

I'll have the usual segments of course, all presented with a Halloweenish twist, and I promise you a night of treats rather than tricks. So, if you're up for a bit of magic and mystery, join me tonight at 8:00 PM Eastern for three haunting and haunted hours of the best in Celtic music from around the world, or else catch the show on the replay on Friday morning at 4:00 AM Eastern, that's 8:00 AM for this week only in the UK and Ireland. Come By The Hills this Halloween, if you dare!