Countdown to Halloween

Scottish Highlands

Halloween is coming and all of the little ghosts and goblins are in countdown mode. Unlike the scholars that debate on the origins of this auspicious day, children, of all ages, focus on the important “stuff” – the parties, candy and costumes that come every October 31st.   

As we head into the final week before Halloween, a few thoughts come to mind….

My favourite Halloween poem will come as no surprise.  From the pen of William Shakespeare, Macbeth – the scene of a cavern, with a boiling cauldron in centre stage: Song of the Witches

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,

In the caldron boil and bake;

Eye of newt and toe of frog,

Wool of bat and tongue of dog,

Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,

Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,

For a charm of powerful trouble,

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.


Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Cool it with a baboon’s blood,

Then the charm is firm and good.



    • A very interesting thought! You made me curious so I did some investigations. It seemed that when Shakespeare wrote Macbeth, there was a good deal of interest in witchcraft. James I had recently come to the English throne. He had published a book in 1597 called “Demonology.” And in 1604, witchcraft became a capital offence. Rather sobering….


    • Ah!!! It is my favourite as well! Lady MacBeth – she was remarkable!

      “Macbeth:”‘If we should fail?”
      Lady Macbeth: “We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking place, And we’ll not fail.”
      William Shakespeare, Macbeth