Halloween- Supper For the Dead

Posted: October 20, 2013 in spirits, spirituality, witchcraft, witches
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Doorbells ringing.
Impatient knocking.
“Trick or treat.” Cute little ghosts and goblins and witches standing at your threshold, holding out bags to be filled with sweets.
While this is the image most conjure in their minds regarding All Hallows Eve, October 31st holds a very different, very sacred meaning to the hearts of many others.
Amongst other names…
Samhain (sow-en) to the ancient Celts and many modern Pagans
Shadowfest to the Strega

As the veil between the living and the dead lies at its most fragile, it is the opportune time for seances, scrying, and magic.
It is time to honor the God and Goddess.
But most of all, it is time to remember our ancestors.
We walk upon their bones every day. Their blood flows within us.
It was they who reaped and sowed, toiled in fields, built shelters, dared to dream and travel to new lands, survived and fought against slaveries and holocausts, and every day injustices.
Halloween is a night to say, “Thank you.”

And one does not have to be of any particular religion or spiritual practice to do so.
One of the most lovely traditions is to host a Dumb Supper. This may be done solo, or with friends and family in attendance.
If one wishes to host one, there are no rules. One may wish to call upon a few specific loved ones who have passed away, or their whole lineage. A general guidelines one may wish to follow would be to remember that the supper is for those who have gone before. Therefore, you may wish to cook your grandmother’s favorite meal, or dishes belonging to their ethnic background. Prayers belonging to the religion they practiced might be recited. Their favorite flowers bought. Their favorite pieces of music played.
The meal is served backwards….yes, dessert before the main course! Some even set the table in opposite fashion. In any event, once the food is served, the supper is enjoyed in silence, hence the name.

Once everyone is done, the remaining food is left overnight for the spirits to partake of their essence.
Afterwards, enjoy a night of magic filled with family, love, and remembrance.


  1. rita kowats says:

    Lovely! Thank you for this. It saddens me that our fear keeps that veil wrapped so tightly around us, when the spirits give so much comfort, protection, and insight.

  2. Thank you, Rita! So very true what you wrote.

    I hope you have a wonderful Halloween in whatever way you celebrate it.

  3. Ken (from Absolute Write) says:

    … neat way of celebrating the holiday!
    Suitable music is a very nice touch.

    There’s a seance in Pirandello’s “Late Mattia Pascal.”
    Fairly intense, if recollection serves correct.
    Apologies for yet another recommendation 😉

  4. Heya Ken!

    oooh….I must look into that. Thank you. And don’t be silly. Keep the recs coming. 🙂

  5. I’d never heard of the Dumb Supper before. Thanks for sharing this. There’s always so much unusual and interesting information on your blog.

  6. Thanks, Marian! Hopefully I can keep the interesting little nuggets coming.

  7. I think the Dumb super can be catchy, I like the idea. With the music playing it would so sadden the heart. Interesting out take for Halloween and I like it!

  8. hi Lora!

    Yes, I really liked the one I held last year. I always feel close to the loved ones who are no longer here, and this was a a nice way (I felt) to honor them.

    Music can produce very powerful emotions. Sad, yes, for some. But also by bringing back wonderful memories.

  9. […] Tweet of the Day: Halloween- Supper for the Dead […]

  10. Jenifer says:

    What a wonderful idea, the Dumb Supper. I have been missing my late grandfather a lot these days. It would be nice thing to do to remember him. Thanks for sharing that information — very interesting, all of it!

  11. Thanks, Jenifer! And for stopping over at my blog. 🙂

    Yeah, I think it’s sweet. Plus it something that transcends cultures and religious/spiritual backgrounds. Who doesn’t enjoy nice meals? *grin*

  12. Stephen Thom says:

    How interesting. Something had not really thought about beyond trick or treat etc. This is very cool, what is ‘scrying’? I can google it. It makes me want to know more about these types of rituals/traditions etc. I like the way your weave graceful/poetic prose into these informative/life(not the right descriptive words, am sorry) pieces. Ps. Do you have more of your fiction pieces on this blog? 🙂

  13. Hi Stephen!

    Scrying is is a form of seeing images in transluscent things such as mirrors, water, crystal balls. They’re generally used for “remote viewing”. For example, if you lost an item, looking into a crystal could help you focus your mind to better be able to see with your mind’s eye where it is. Or to see a place you haven’t been before. It’s generally used for “real time” things, rather than divinatory tools such as tarot which more often are used to show possible future events.

    I hope that makes sense!

    If you have any other questions, please let me know.

    Thank you so much for your words about my writing. Always means a lot to me. I do have one short noir story up at my old blog http://gypsyscarlett.wordpress.com/short-story-melusina-and-the-honor-amongst-thieves/

    It’s a much older piece from about eight years ago.

    I’d love to share more on my blog, but my first novel is being shopped around by my agent, and I’m in the midst of writing my next novel, so all my creative energies are going toward that. The first novel is gothic horror. The one I’m working on now is a supernatural horror dealing with reincarnation.

    One day when I’m between novels, I do hope to write some short horror pieces just for this blog.

  14. p.s. I should add, that since the Melusina story is a noir, the writing style is obviously different than my horror works.

    Oh, and it was written under a different name. Tasha Harlow is my horror pen name. 🙂

  15. Stephen Thom says:

    Thanks for directing me to the story! It was really cool, hard-boiled, hints of Raymond Chandler with your own style. You do a great job with dialogue (which I find so tricky)and little touches sprinkled around to lift the writing to a high level. The general noirish tone is fantastic and really suits you. Hope to read more of your stories, all the best with the novel for now. 🙂

  16. Thank you so very much, Stephen. Chandler? You’ve made my day! 🙂 And I truly appreciate the support.

    btw, have you ever seen the noir film,, Nightmare Alley with Tyrone Powers? It takes place in a carnival. I think it might also enjoy it.

    • Stephen Thom says:

      I’ll youtube it!…I watched a Hitchcock film where a random travelling carnival show up halfway the other day…lots of bizarre story potential…also watching lots of these Alfred hitchcock presents hours on youtube…so be good to break out the pattern, thanks for the suggestion 🙂

  17. Oh, I’m a huge Hitchcock fan, and did also enjoy his show. Thank you for telling me that it’s on youtube.

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