On the third and final day with the Shamrocker Bus Tour, one of the few stops we made was at the historical Loughcrew. Loughcrew is an old burial grounds site, placed at the top of a large hill. The tombs date back to 3300 BC. The walk up was steep and tiring, but the view was absolutely worth it.
At the top of the hill, there are a rocks everywhere and one in particular resembles a chair. Legend says that if you sit on the “chair” and make a wish, it will come true. Going a little ways into the tombs was surreal. There were drawings carved into the sides and different passageways connecting to the center. I even noticed a painted rock inside one of the passageways. Conor, the tour guide, mentioned that the painted rock is an offering that someone placed there for the spirits.
Conor went into further detail about the tombs. He said that people believe the passageways are portals into other worlds. He said that once a year spirits, demons, and faeries come through the portal and interact with humans. Some of them can be harmless, but others try to lure humans back to the “other world” or afterlife. And the only way for humans to stay safe is to disguise themselves as a spirit, demon, or faerie. Conor said that the one day the spirits get to come back is October 31st and that this is how Halloween came to be.
All of my life, Halloween seemed like a weird concept for a Holiday and I just believed that it started out of nowhere. But learning about how it actually originated (according to the Irish) was super interesting. Media today in the U.S. makes Halloween all about the parties, the outfits, and even the candy. No one ever talks about the actual fear that started this holiday in the first place. Knowing this information gives me a whole new perception on Halloween.