AO Magazine - October 2019

Ancient Origins IRAQ Tour

AO Magazine - October 2019

Today, the subject of ghosts is treated with fun and laughter – ghoulish costumes, stories told around campfires, and teenagers scaring themselves over a Ouija board.  But thousands of years ago, the supernatural realm was looked upon with both reverence and fear, and it played a central role in the cultural and religious practices of civilizations around the world.

In keeping with our name, Ancient Origins, we delve into the very beginning of Halloween traditions – have you ever wondered why on October 31, people carve out pumpkins, wear costumes, or go door-to-door begging for sweets? The roots of these practices go back thousands of years to the Emerald Isle of Ireland and the ancient pagan festival of Samhain.

In this issue, we dig deep, unearthing ancient beliefs about malevolent phantoms, corpse brides, and ancestor spirits. We dare to enter Loftus Hall, whose historic walls have seen invasion, capture, plague, famine, and personal tragedies, and which today has earned itself the title of ‘Ireland’s Most Haunted House’.

We learn from Medieval England that there is more than one way to keep a dead body from coming back to life! It was a time when the very real belief in zombies led people to decapitate, burn, or otherwise mutilate corpses to prevent them from rising from their graves.

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