Up, Roll Up!Come
here, there's nothing to be scared
come a little
closer,go on... go on... go on.. .BOO!
Welcome to the world famous Halloween Street
at Magic Alley and the Creaky Cauldron
Scare your self stupid for
31 days of non-stop nail-bating, spine-tingling, freak-adoring festivities as Magic Alley is transformed during the annual
Halloween Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon into the world famous Halloween Street. There's plenty
of activities for the little ones, mostly involving some sort of pumpkin.
Those of you old enough and brave enough,
can embark upon a number of weird and scary activities that will leave you curled up in the corner, sucking your thumb and
crying for your mum (unless you're a Ghostbuster, and if that's the case you probably don't want to spend your
free time with work-related activities)....
And if you're not old enough or brave enough - well we've got
activities for you as well... so what are you waiting for?
Come and join us at England's longest and most spectacular
Halloween Festival in Stratford upon Avon as Dr Thaddeus Bombay's Travelling Imagiscarium and the Master of the Macabre
reveal the magical and spooky Halloween Street and bring Halloween fun to the streets of Stratford once more!
Stratford Halloween Festival 2013 October 1st to October 31st inclusive
word on the street is out... The 8th Annual Stratford upon Avon Halloween Festival is gpoing to be bigger and better than
ever before. Keep checking back for details of events throughout Stratford as they get listed over the coming
weeks and months.
Don't forget this year we have something extra special planned at the end of the Stratford Zombie Walk So, if you want to be part - make sure you register by clicking the link above.
The History of Halloween from the Stratford Halloween Festival 2013
Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).The Celts, who lived 2,000 years
ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This
day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated
with human death.
Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of
the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the
ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of
the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people
entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during
the long, dark winter.
To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops
and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal
heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes.
When the celebration was over, they re-lit their
hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming
By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years
that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.
The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The
second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation
of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today
By the 800s, the
influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All
Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the
Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or
All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain,
began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.
Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make
November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades,
and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All
Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.
that all events are subject to availability. We reccommend that you book specific events including tarot and oracle card readings
well in advance to ensure that you will be able to do everything you wish whilst attending the Halloween Festival as there
will undoubtedly be queues for many events.