All Hallows Eve, or Halloween as we know it, originated some 2,000 years ago, when Celtic people in Europe celebrated the end of the harvest and the start of a new year in a festival called Samhain (pronounced "sow-win"). People dressed up in costumes, lighting bonfires and going door-to-door to ward off spirits, which is the origin of Halloween costumes and trick-or-treating. It was believed that on that day, the souls of the dead returned to their homes. Halloween is considered one of the oldest holidays in the world and is celebrated across many cultures to this day. Because of the proximity to harvest season and traditional associated festivals, over time, the jack – o – lantern was born, as an extension of warding off the confused spirits.
Here in Winslow, we have several spooky ways you can partake in learning more about spirits of the region. Did you know there is a little girl who died in the late 1800’s near the train tracks downtown, when her brothers where attempting to flatten pennies on the rail. One of those copper coins ended up not getting smashed but instead shot out under the weight of the train, and hit her in the head, killing her instantly. It is said today, you can still see her wandering along the desert flowers near the train tracks, laughing and giggling in her dress and bonnet. More recently in 1992 there was an explosion in downtown Winslow, caused from an old gas line. This exposed an old still and porcelain bathtub, the remnants of a lucrative prohibition set up from the 1920’s, where 104 proof whiskey was regularly purchased by locals and others traveling through the area. It also explains the sometimes seen, staggering, overall clad figure, shuffling down the sidewalk or occasionally hear clinking glassware when visiting the area.
There are a number of other haunted areas of town, sixteen total, which you can experience yourself on the Fictional Ghost Tour, developed collaboratively with the Winslow Library and Old Trails Museum. You can pick up a map from the Winslow Public Library and use the QR codes you will find at each location to learn more. Additionally, you can download the future history app and follow the tour with images and audio HERE: https://www.future-history.eu/de/content/future-history-my-app