Second wave, third wave, permanent wave. Writing something about Halloween in 2020 is either cynical or very suitable, as the whole year was a horror year due to Covid-19. And this will go on – spooky enough ??? … not even close.

A test of various masks was published on Swiss television on September 13th. Although there is no certification for everyday masks, the Suisse Ministry of Health published recommendations for Switzerland, but unfortunately only very few products are acceptable from medical point of view (one out of 10). Anyone who understands a bit „Suisse-German“ will undergo a certain shudder. Because …  if this is a problem in meticulous Switzerland, where many pharmaceutical companies producing with the highest world-standards are based, the material available on the German market should not be rated any better. In the case of fabric masks, e.g. the splash protection or the permeability reprimanded/ flopped. A few minutes that are worth it:  https://www.srf.ch/news/panorama/labortest-schutzmasken-im-haertetest-die-meisten-filtern-ungenuegend

It gets really scary when it is stated elsewhere that masks are an effective measure in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Yes, maybe, IF they work, are worn correctly, changed regulary, and placed properly  and so on … many doubts. https://deutsch.medscape.com/artikelansicht/4909379

This year, however, the classic Halloween events are either canceled or take place in such a reduced mode that participation needs to be carefully considered. And in general you can feel the price increases everywhere in the entertainment branch, i.e. everyone who still organizes and sticks to events tries (understandably) to make up the noticeably loss of sales. No wonder, because the official requirements for a limited number of guests – besides controversial benefits – result in personnel and cost-intensive measures. As a consequence, most events are only offered while sitting or in conjunction with a menu. In Stuttgart (Wagenhalle) on October 31rd. e.g. a Mexican show troupe that performs the “Dia de los Muertos (= Day of the Dead)” as a musical revue offers tickets (including food) for EUR 195.- or EUR 392.- per person (!). Well, not my intention …

There are of course enough haunted PLACES where Halloween takes place all year round. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween. Here is a small selection respectively virtual trip to Germany, Romania, Poland, Greece and Mexico:

While Europe is more the home of mysterious sagas, legends or ghosts, witches and vampires, the (nocturnal) visit of cemeteries in Latin America (especially Mexico) as a cult of the dead is legendary and is celebrated very lively and real every year.

The hotspot of myths in GERMANY is and remains the “Brocken” (with 1,141 meters the highest mountain in northern Germany/ the Harz region), also known as the Blocksberg. Since the middle of the 17th century it has been the main meeting place for witches and other fiends. This became known through literature, namely  Goethe’s “Faust” (1808/1832) and the figure of Mephistus, long before “Harry Potter”.

Especially on the night from April 30th to May 1st, people and mythical figures meet during the Walpurgis Night in remote places to dance. If there is still fog, the weak light of dusk bathes the landscape in a mystical glow and makes shadowy figures appear like the “Brocken Ghost“. Understandably, such puzzling natural phenomena always panicked the residents.

The journey continues to ROMANIA, more precisely to the Carpathian Mountains for the horror stories of Count Dracula, an allegedly blood-sucking vampire. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schloss_Bran

The setting of the novel by Bram Stoker is Bran Castle in Transylvania (around 30 km from Brasov / Kronstadt). Those walls are the historical role model of the fictional cruel character of Prince Vlad III. Draculea, however, has probably never set a foot in the castle.

I visited the supposed haunted castle once in 2006. Yes, the thick walls and crooked castle corridors are oppressive. Much more I remember a batman colony and a large bearskin, a hunting trophy of the ex-dictator Ceaucescu. This socialist regime and its secret service “Securitate” was without question at least as bad and has terrified the people for decades.

But Romania has even more horror to offer: The Hoia Baciu Forest (not far from Cluj-Napoca) is considered the scariest forest in the world. The forest was named after a shepherd who once disappeared there with his 200 sheep without a trace. The trees and plants of the forest grow unnaturally crooked and there are numerous images of paranormal occurrences. The scenery is somewhat reminiscent to the English Dartmoor; saying “hallo” to detective Sherlock Holmes. The center of all calamity is a perfect circle in the middle of the forest, in which nothing grows and which was definitely not manipulated by human hands.

In West Pomerania / POLAND there is an uphill road section on which balls and even cars are still rolling downwards. Here magnetic fields, a gravitational anomaly and optical illusion should be the cause. https://www.dw.com/de/polen-geheimnisvoll-rastplatz/av-17195594

The “cemetery of the nameless” in Vienna-Simmering, AUSTRIA certainly also has a special position in the horror cabinet. For me a real place of the unfortunate. A total of 104 people who drowned in the Danube are buried here. 61 of them could not be identified to date.

Due to a biological phenomenon, there is pure cobweb spooke at regular intervals at the Lake Vistonia in Aitoliko in Northern GREECE. Tiny spiders (only 2 centimeters tall) then cover everything on the banks with a white film over a length of 300 meters. However, these little crawlers are (supposedly) harmless to humans (only in German language). https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinne

However, the most spectacular place for me is: MEXICO. I lived and worked in Mexico City for 1.5 years and can well remember the festivities for the “Dia de los Muertos”. By a  cherished tradition on October 30th. I then wear my skeleton dress with black leggings and  glitter booties – it looks stylish and is comfortable. The “Day of the Dead” is one of the most important Mexican holidays and its customs have qualified as UNESCO World Heritage since 2003. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_der_Toten

Basically, the „Day of the Dead“ isn’t a Mexican version of Halloween. Although the two days are related, they are very different from each other in their traditions and atmosphere. Halloween is traditionally considered a dark horror night and calamity, while the „Día de los Muertos“ extends over three days in an explosion of color and life-affirming joy. The whole purpose is to show your love and respect to deceased family members. All over Mexico, people put on colorful costumes, organize parades and parties, and meet at the graves with gifts to common eating and drinking. Sugar skulls and skeletons as well as pulque (sweet fermented drink made from agave juice), atole (warm porridge made from cornmeal with cane sugar, cinnamon and vanilla) or hot chocolate should not be missing.

The “Día de los Muertos”, which originated a few thousand years ago in the cultures of the Aztecs, Toltecs, Nahua and other indigenous peoples, is a celebration of life that is now celebrated throughout Latin America.

At this point, basically, the circle closes as regards our November holidays such as All Saints ‘Day and All Souls’ Day.

Further details can be found at: https://www.topagemodel.de/2018/10/27/mystische-3004-3110-0111-daten/

Since I’m not really in party mood incl. masking (I see enough masks every day), this year I prefer to study the life of the bats. In upcoming November, when they move to their hibernation quarters or no longer leave their “hanging upside down” position in sheds or caves because of the cold, I will assist  in the population census together with an expert from a nature conservancy organization. And of course I hope to find out more details about them (only in German language). https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flederm%C3%A4use

Under the keyword “bats” or “NABU” you will certainly find contact addresses in your area. The large “flying foxes” with widths of up to 70 centimeters are only found in Asia (e.g. the Philippines) and love naturally fermented fruits. On the other hand a “horseshoe bat” is only the size of a finger.

Even if these nocturnal animals helped to trigger the Covid-19 pandemic (since they are carriers but themselves immune to this virus), this species cannot be condemned. Rather, it is humanity and overpopulation that triggers such health-endangering risks through disorderly/ unsanitary handling including the consumption of such creatures.

Petra
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