Saints, Souls, and Haints: Eggs

Eggs hard-boiled 2From Memoirs of the American Folk-lore Society, Volume 4, published in 1896, by the American Folklore Society, folk beliefs about Halloween from early America. Most U.S. Halloween practices came from Scotland.

311. On Halloween put an egg to roast before the fire and leave the doors and windows open. When it begins to sweat a cat will come in and turn it. After the cat will come the man you are to marry, and he will turn it. If you are to die unmarried, the shadow of a coffin will appear. Chestertown, Md.

312. On Halloween go upstairs backwards, eating a hard boiled egg without salt, and looking in the glass. You will see your future husband in the glass, looking over your shoulder. St. John, N. B.

Note: for the next two weeks, I’m working on a couple of intensive writing projects, so “Gherkins & Tomatoes” will of necessity be brief, with a look at “Haints, Saints, and Souls” in honor of the ancient traditions of Halloween, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day. “Haints” comes from a slang term used for “ghosts” in the American South.


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