Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Pagan festival, Samhain (pronounced Sah-win) which falls on 31st October.
Launceston Life met with Kathy Wallis who, in 2021, was made a Bard of the Gorsedh Kernow for her contribution to Cornish culture, traditions and community.
We asked Kathy to tell us her favourite spooky story and for a traditional spell that may have been regularly practised in Cornwall, and perhaps still is!
Kathy said: “Well my favourite story is not necessarily just for Samhain, but it is about ghosts!”
Nancy, the daughter of a squire, wanted to marry William, who worked on the farm. William often approached Nancy’s father and would say: “Please, I’d love to marry your daughter.” Her father said ‘no’ every time. Eventually he said: “If you can give her a life with money and land, then you can marry her.”
So, William decided to go to sea to make his fortune and Nancy said she would watch for him every day, from the top of the cliffs. While Nancy waited, she began to plant a garden. One night, William returned and from Nancy’s Garden, they followed a moon beam to William’s ship. But William’s ship was wrecked only days before and William lost at sea. …And if you go to this part of Cornwall, somewhere along the Fowey cliffs, you can still see Nancy’s Garden.
Allen Apples Spell
“Take an Allen apple
Peel it in one continuous peel
Throw it over your shoulder
And it will give you the first initial of the person you’re going to marry!
But if you take an Allen apple and put it under your pillow…
You’ll dream about them!”