31 Days of Halloween – October 14

In the days before photography and when the vast majority of the population could not afford to have their portrait painted, there were limited ways to remember loved ones who’d passed on. The memento mori tradition most likely began with mourning rings, small bands that may have had the name of the deceased engraved inside. They quickly became more intricate.


From Ruth Edna Kelley’s The Book of Halloween, a description of a Victorian Halloween: In 1874, at Balmoral, a royal celebration of Hallowe’en was recorded. Royalty, tenants, and servants bore torches through the grounds and round the estates. In front of the castle was a heap of stuff saved for the occasion. The torches were…