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Ghouls and ghosts

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 10:52 UK time, Friday, 29 October 2010

Halloween is thought to have its roots planted firmly in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced 'sow 'inn') - a time when Celts celebrated the end of summer and the beginning of winter.

Silhouette of a witch and a cat in a stained glass window pane

They believed that during this time, the boundaries between the living and the dead were very thin thus allowing spirits (both good and bad) to roam freely amongst the living!

Huge bonfires featured heavily during the festival and livestock were often driven between two roaring fires in order to cleanse and protect them over the forth coming year. There was also plenty of fortune telling feasting taking place.

There is plenty going in Wales for Halloween this year. Here's a quick list of events which we know about.

The National Trust have plenty of events happening all over Wales.

Chirk Castle is renowned for its ghosts and unexplained occurrences - including a lady dressed in black Victorian costume on the Grand Staircase, ghostly footsteps in the Long Gallery and plenty of reports of people being touched by invisible hands....

The 'Haunted Happening' runs from 12-4pm and kids dressed in fancy dress costume get in for free.

Powis Castle has a children's ghost trail in the gardens. Find out what goes bump in the night and get some spooky face painting done.

There's a Halloween activity trail in Bodnant Gardens so keep your eyes peeled for ghosts amongst the bushes and try to solve a Halloween word puzzle as you go.

Aberconwy House is a medieval merchant's house in Conwy and plays host to a bat hunt between 29 - 31 October. On 31 October at 3pm you'll be able hear plenty of spooky tales about Conwy and the house itself.

Plas Newydd Country House on Anglesey hosts some spooky fun on Saturday, 30 October and kids in fancy dress get in for free.

Llancaiach Fawr Manor was recently named one of the most haunted buildings in Britain and serious ghost busters can now go on a candle lit ghost tour from October through till March 2011.

If you live in Porthcawl then why not join a Halloween Ghost Talk & Walk starting at the Swan Inn at 6pm on Sunday. £2 per person.

For more haunted buildings and Halloween events in Wales check out the Visit Wales blog.

Send your best pumpkin carving pics to me here at wales.nature@bbc.co.uk and I'll feature the best ones in this blog next week.

Don't forget Halloween is on Sunday, 31 October and marks the end of BST so the clocks will go back an hour - meaning we'll have lighter mornings for a few more weeks.

Right, I'm off to find a mirror to chant "Candyman" five times into...(don't do it!)

Ghostly Gull


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