Trick or Treating

In the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Canada, it is customary for children to go trick or treating on the evening of October 31. They dress up in costumes, wigs, makeup, or masks and go from door to door (usually in groups of four or five). They knock on the door or ring the doorbell and cry “Trick or Treat”! The homeowner opens the door and drops a treat (usually candy or cookies) into the bag that each child is carrying. The “trick” part of the trick or treat cry is actually a threat to do harm to the homeowner or his property if a treat isn’t forthcoming. Small children, of course, have no intention of hurting the …

Black Cat Superstitions

Most people will not admit to being superstitious. Maybe that’s because the definition of a “superstition” is an unreasonable belief based on ignorance or fear, or both. Nobody wants to appear ignorant or fearful. Yet you will find well-educated, very successful people who will not walk under a ladder or who will bury the pieces of a broken mirror or who throw salt over their shoulders if salt is spilled. You’ll find people who, if a black cat crosses their path, turn around and go home or take another route to their destination. Black cats are somehow associated with evil, with witches, and even with illness. Black cats have been blamed for everything from a run of bad luck to …