Halloween originated with Samhain, the ancient Celtic festival of bonfires and costumes meant to ward off roaming ghosts. It was the time of the year when the veil between the living and the dead lifted so spirits could walk on Earth. (Celts appeased them with treats.) Later in Ireland and Britain, on All Hallows Eve, Christians prayed for protection from evil in the world.
November 1 is All Saints Day, meant to remind us how we’re supposed to live. On November 2 , All Souls Day, people pray for the dead trapped between heaven and hell.
Throughout the Middle Ages, this three-day period was celebrated. The Pagan tradition of appeasing the spirits of the dead remained, including the practice of lighting candles for souls waiting to go to heaven.
To remember the departed, many cultures prepare meals for the souls of the dead, light candles or leave flowers on relatives’ graves. Each celebration touches on cultural beliefs about the spirit world, honoring the dead.
Day of the Dead in Mexico combines the ancient Aztec custom of celebrating ancestors with All Souls’ Day. Celebrated on November 1 and 2, Day of the Dead is joyful inthat it helps people remember the deceased with candlelit altars so spirits can find their way back to their relatives. The altars are set with the deceased’s favorite foods — in case they’re hungry — and personal items they favored. Papier-mâché skeletons and small plastic or clay skeletons represent Day of the Dead.
Halloween and Christmas have always been my favorite holidays, and creating the series RETURN TO JENKINS COVE with Rebecca York and Ann Voss Peterson added some fun Halloween scare via ghosts into the Christmas season. By why is Jenkins Cove haunted? Why can’t the ghosts move on …
Christmas… Ghosts… Mystery… Romance…
Something evil lurks in the charming town of Jenkins Cove. When Sophie Caldwell devotes a room in her B&B to communicate with spirits, dangerous secrets rise to the surface, and the lives of three couples will never be the same.
But why is Jenkins Cove haunted? Why do the ghosts remain behind? What justice must be served before they can move on?
Christmas Delivery (Return to Jenkins Cove Book 3)
Haunted by ghosts, Jenkins Cove will now have to deal with Simon Shea who has “returned from the dead” seeking revenge…only to reconnect with Lexie Thornton, the girl he loved, and the daughter they conceived thirteen years ago.
Excerpt from Christmas Delivery:
The fog was lighter here, the chill greater, and once past the fence’s wooden gate, which had been left open, Simon realized where he was. The cemetery. Why had the spirit brought him here?
Following the curving redbrick path lined by boxwood on both sides, Simon kept track of the mop of pale hair, which appeared on the other side of the hedge, then lost him altogether. When he came to the open area dotted with gravestones and markers, Simon only half hoped he would actually find him again. He gazed around, past a couple of large willow oaks and a magnolia tree in the center of the graveyard, then spotted the ghostly figure at a far gravesite, touching the stone that identified its occupant.
Again, he looked up with hollow eyes and gestured that he should come.
Reluctantly, Simon did. Not wanting to cross anyone’s grave — he’d had enough of that in his former life — he stayed on the brick path, keeping his gaze locked on the figure still summoning him.
One minute the fog seemed to circle the kid, the next he seemed to fade away into the mists. “Wait! Don’t go!” But the demand came too late. He was already gone. And Simon was moving to the headstone he’d touched, had obviously wanted Simon to see.
A deep, arctic cold suddenly surrounded Simon and then the breath was knocked out of him as he stopped in the spot where the wraith had disappeared. Looking down, Simon understood why Lexie believed he was dead and buried. The headstone bore his name and the dates of his birth and of his supposed death on Christmas Eve thirteen years before.
Not a man who easily believed in what he couldn’t see, Simon had no doubts about who had led him here. Or who was buried in his grave. He was certain the kid he’d seen shot had taken his place. Thirteen years ago and his ghost still wandered, unable to rest, Simon thought. How many ghosts inhabited this area? How many souls were denied eternal rest?
Of one thing he was certain. The boy he’d seen shot had been buried in his stead. How had they pulled that one off? They looked nothing alike. A closed coffin, then? How had he supposedly died so that no one would have raised the alarm? Who had been in on his supposed death? More questions that needed answering. Another reason for him to stay undercover awhile.
Did ghosts seek retribution? he wondered. Considering the evil that had stalked the town unchecked, probably not.
But now the town had to deal with him.
99c each through November 7
Christmas Spirit by Rebecca York
Christmas Awakening by Ann Voss Peterson
Christmas Delivery by Patricia Rosemoor
Christmas Spirit …Christmas Awakening …Christmas Delivery
Each of these stories are complete novels, but only the full series will get to the bottom of all the ghostly happenings in Jenkins Cove.