The Iron Spider armor also has a secret override that can be activated by Iron Man in case of emergencies or if Spider-Man ever switches sides (which he does in Civil War #5). However, unknown to Stark, Peter was already aware of the safety measure and had bypassed it with his own override, Password Surprise. Perhaps most sinister, Stark discovered a way to give his own Iron Man armor a "spider-sense" based on Peter's, and the ability to give Spider-Man's sense red herrings.
In the recent Spider-Girl storyline "Brand New May", Peter has uncovered a lab, within it is a stasis tank containing an exact physical symbiote duplicate of Mayday Parker, with notes left behind by Norman Osborn suggesting she is the real Mayday, and not a clone. When protecting his nephew Normie from an exploding test tube, Peter is affected by the serum within much like Osborn was...and begins to develop erratic behavior. He ultimately overcomes an attempt by Norman Osborn to control his mind and defeats him with the aid of his daughter, her clone, and the spirit of his Aunt May.
"I had blinders on, I didn't want to see it," Luann said. She told Dorinda that Tom D'Agostino got worse when they got married. He was going out, meeting with old girlfriends—basically everything he was doing before he got married. "After a certain amount of time, everything the girls were saying was kind of true," Luann said. "Ultimately for me the last straw was the lack of respect…It didn't stop and I couldn't breathe…I was drowning. I suffered a lot, I really suffered a lot."
This distraction was all the Vulture needed to equip his suit and began attacking Spider-Man and the FBI. While Spider-Man saved the agents from the arms dealer's attacks, Vulture freed his men and urged them to escape. Another fierce fight ensued between the Vulture and Spider-Man, who used his Web-Shooters' combinations to enhance his fighting ability against the winged menace.

After suffering numerous defeats at the hands of Spider-Man, the Green Goblin vowed to destroy his foe once and for all. Using a special gas that blocks Peter's Spider-Sense, the Goblin followed Peter around and discovered his secret identity. Now knowing Peter was Spider-Man, the Green Goblin kidnapped him, and although he has the chance to kill Peter, the Goblin instead revealed his own secret identity. He was Norman Osborn, a ruthless businessman who was also Harry's father. Norman released Spider-Man from his restraints to defeat him in combat and prove his superiority. The Web-Slinger managed to defeat him and knocked him into some chemicals, resulting in Norman having amnesia and no recollection of both his and Peter's alternate egos.
Today's Halloween customs are also thought to have been influenced by Christian dogma and practices derived from it. Halloween is the evening before the Christian holy days of All Hallows' Day (also known as All Saints' or Hallowmas) on 1 November and All Souls' Day on 2 November, thus giving the holiday on 31 October the full name of All Hallows' Eve (meaning the evening before All Hallows' Day).[71] Since the time of the early Church,[72] major feasts in Christianity (such as Christmas, Easter and Pentecost) had vigils that began the night before, as did the feast of All Hallows'.[73] These three days are collectively called Allhallowtide and are a time for honoring the saints and praying for the recently departed souls who have yet to reach Heaven. Commemorations of all saints and martyrs were held by several churches on various dates, mostly in springtime.[74] In 609, Pope Boniface IV re-dedicated the Pantheon in Rome to "St Mary and all martyrs" on 13 May. This was the same date as Lemuria, an ancient Roman festival of the dead, and the same date as the commemoration of all saints in Edessa in the time of Ephrem.[75]
Español: hacer un disfraz de superhéroe, Italiano: Realizzare un Costume da Supereroe, Português: Fazer uma Fantasia de Super Herói, Français: créer un costume de super héros, 中文: 制作一套超级英雄服, Русский: сделать костюм супергероя, Deutsch: Ein Superheldenkostüm basteln, Bahasa Indonesia: Membuat Kostum Superhero, Nederlands: Een superheldenkostuum maken
The array of devices Batman carries have become more complex over time. The simple coiled rope and Batarang scaling equipment became a rocket-powered (or compressed air powered) grapple gun. The suit has also carried on different occasions a re-breather device, flash and gas grenades, explosives and a detonator, lockpicks, a signaling device for the Batmobile, electronic surveillance equipment (including video camera and monitor), a forensic kit for gathering crime scene evidence, a medical kit, a cache of money and, in early incarnations, a pistol in a holster. On any occasion where Batman anticipates encountering Kryptonians, he has also carried (in a lead case) a Kryptonite Ring, given to him by Superman as a weapon of last resort.

The bringer of destruction and maker of doom, the feeble powers of any superhero are no match for the mighty Professor Chaos. A veteran of supervillainy with many foiled schemes behind him, few realize that he was once the lonely Butters Stotch, outcasted by society. Seeking vengeance on those who once wronged him, ten thousand dollars from a generous donor may be all he needs to defeat Coon and Friends once and for all...
Critics in the legal community dispute whether the "Super Hero" marks meet the legal standard for trademark protection in the United States: distinctive designation of a single source of a product or service. Controversy exists over each element of that standard: whether "Super Hero" is distinctive rather than generic, whether "Super Hero" designates a source of products or services, and whether DC and Marvel jointly represent a single source.[48] Some critics further characterize the marks as a misuse of trademark law to chill competition.[49] To date, aside from a failed trademark removal action brought in 2016 against DC Comics' and Marvel Comics' United Kingdom registration, no dispute involving the trademark "Super Hero" has ever been to trial or hearing.[50]
This version of Spider-Man, after being blamed by J. Jonah Jameson for his son's disappearance exploring another planet named Counter-Earth, designs a new costume with sonic weaponry and stealth capabilities using nanotechnology borrowed from Reed Richards. Traveling to Counter-Earth himself, he joins a group of human revolutionaries led by John Jameson himself in resisting the High Evolutionary and his tyrannical rule, in which humans are brutally oppressed and the half-human, half-animal Beastials form the social elite. He also battles Venom and Carnage, who traveled with Jameson to Counter-Earth and are plotting to infect the entire planet with symbiotes.[volume & issue needed] He is killed by Daemos of the Inheritors, along with the Knights of Wundagore and many other Beastials.[42]
Samhain/Calan Gaeaf marked the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or the 'darker half' of the year.[43][44] Like Beltane/Calan Mai, it was seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld thinned. This meant the Aos Sí (/iːsˈʃiː/ eess-SHEE), the 'spirits' or 'fairies', could more easily come into this world and were particularly active.[45][46] Most scholars see the Aos Sí as "degraded versions of ancient gods [...] whose power remained active in the people's minds even after they had been officially replaced by later religious beliefs".[47] The Aos Sí were both respected and feared, with individuals often invoking the protection of God when approaching their dwellings.[48][49] At Samhain, it was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter. Offerings of food and drink, or portions of the crops, were left outside for the Aos Sí.[50][51][52] The souls of the dead were also said to revisit their homes seeking hospitality.[53] Places were set at the dinner table and by the fire to welcome them.[54] The belief that the souls of the dead return home on one night of the year and must be appeased seems to have ancient origins and is found in many cultures throughout the world.[55] In 19th century Ireland, "candles would be lit and prayers formally offered for the souls of the dead. After this the eating, drinking, and games would begin".[56]
Following Bruce's seeming death at the hands of Darkseid, Dick Grayson reluctantly took up the mantle despite instructions Bruce left for him not to do so. Grayson made some modifications to the Batsuit to better suit his combat style. Having always hated capes, the first thing he disposed of when creating his Nightwing identity, he has substantially reduced its weight, presumably sacrificing the semi-established bullet- and fire-proof nature. A further modification was made, making it what Grayson calls a "paracape" acting like a parachute and able to slow down a rapid descent. The other noticeable change is made to the utility belt, which now sports a bat-shaped belt buckle and has mechanical compartments, as opposed to the fabric pouches Bruce had last been seen using.

Both major publishers began introducing new superheroines with a more distinct feminist theme as part of their origin stories or character development. Examples include Big Barda, Power Girl, and the Huntress by DC comics; and from Marvel, the second Black Widow, Shanna the She-Devil, and The Cat.[32] Female supporting characters who were successful professionals or hold positions of authority in their own right also debuted in the pages of several popular superhero titles from the late 1950s onward: Hal Jordan's love interest Carol Ferris was introduced as the Vice-President of Ferris Aircraft and later took over the company from her father; Medusa, who was first introduced in the Fantastic Four series, is a member of the Inhuman Royal Family and a prominent statesperson within her people's quasi-feudal society; and Carol Danvers, a decorated officer in the United States Air Force who would become a costumed superhero herself years later.
The very first super hero that man could have related to had to be an animal simlar to that of Godzilla. Back in the day when we were still walking around on fours and threes, great beasts would rome the forests and we would look to them with our sticks and rocks in hand and think, Now there is a super hero with great powers. This is of course was prior to Gods and Cartoons.
That's where we come in. We can help you to look like almost any kind of superhero you want to be. If you have a particular favorite character, chances are we have a costume for him/her. We have officially licensed costumes for most of the major DC and Marvel Comics characters. Plus, we have independent or spoof characters such as Ace & Gary, Kick-Ass, Duffman, Hellboy and the Watchmen.  
Spider-man meets a strange individual named Ezekiel, whom knows that he is truly Peter Parker, and warns him of a powerful enemy whom will try to kill him, known as Morlun. Peter follows Ezekiel and tries to find out why he knows so much about him. Ezekiel tells Spider-man that he is part of a "Spider-Totem", witch is why his enemies all are animals as well (Rhino, Lizard, Doctor Octopus, Vulture). Spider-man does not care much about these strange stories, but is happy with the help that Ezekiel provides when he finally encounters Morlun. He barely defeats Morlun, and struggles back home after the fight. He lands on his bed, with a torn-up Spider-man costume and falls asleep. It is at this time that aunt May enters the room and sees Peter as Spider-Man. The secret is finally out! Aunt May walks away and uses a full day to comprehend the facts before she finally confronts Peter with it. Peter tried to talk his way out of it, but finally sees that it is no use and then told his aunt May about why he became Spider-Man. It was during this time that Peter and Mary-Jane again renewed their relationship and their marriage-vows. Marry-Jane returned to live with Peter and the two where a happy couple once more.
In this new design, the bodysuit is made of hardened kevlar plates on a titanium-dipped fiber and is broken into multiple pieces of armor over a more flexible bodysuit for greater mobility. The cowl of the Batsuit, which previously had been attached to the shoulder and neck, is now a separate component inspired by the design of motorcycle helmets, allowing the wearer to freely swivel and move his neck without moving the rest of his upper torso.. Also, a strong electric current runs through it that prevents anyone except Bruce Wayne from removing it, further protecting his identity. But this cowl was later shattered by Bane, a man of great strength.

Jump up ^ Hörandner, Editha (2005). Halloween in der Steiermark und anderswo (in German). LIT Verlag Münster. pp. 8, 12, 30. ISBN 9783825888893. Der Wunsch nach einer Tradition, deren Anfänge sich in grauer Vorzeit verlieren, ist bei Dachleuten wie laien gleichmäßig verbreitet. ... Abgesehen von Irrtümern wie die Herleitung des Fests in ungebrochener Tradition ("seit 2000 Jahren") ist eine mangelnde vertrautheit mit der heimischen Folklore festzustellen. Allerheiligen war lange vor der Halloween invasion ein wichtiger Brauchtermin und ist das ncoh heute. ... So wie viele heimische Bräuche generell als fruchtbarkeitsbringend und dämonenaustreibend interpretiert werden, was trottz aller Aufklärungsarbeit nicht auszurotten ist, begegnet uns Halloween als ...heidnisches Fest. Aber es wird nicht als solches inszeniert.

During the Abraxas Saga,[28][29] a team of Avengers-esque super heroes called the Law Enforcement Squad appeared in Earth-616. They were headed by an intelligent version of the Hulk who was not Bruce Banner. Joining this strange version of the behemoth were the World War II-era heroes Red Raven, Bucky, Namora and The Whizzer (Bob Frank). Other members included a heroic version of the Spider-Man villain The Rose, Doctor Druid, Living Lightning, the Shroud and a male Captain Universe.[volume & issue needed] (The membership of the Law Enforcement Squad paralleled the membership of DC Comics' Justice Society of America.[original research?] Captain Universe was the equivalent of DC's Starman.[original research?])
Spider-Man also has incredible durability to blunt trauma as his body is much tougher than that of a normal person. He can withstand such levels of damage and punishment that would kill non-super powered individuals. For example he has frequently taken blows from characters with high levels of superhuman strength (Hulk, Venom, Rhino, Puma, Green Goblin etc) without sustaining significant injury. He has also survived the force of having a building collapse on him multiple times. This durability extends to falling from great heights. For example, he was once knocked through three buildings by Mr Negative before falling multiple stories to the ground, yet still remained conscious. His durability to blunt trauma also extends to explosive forces, and he has taken explosions with the force of a hand grenade and recovered nearly instantly in a recent fight with the Juggernaut. In the Sins Past Storyline he tanked a building destroying explosion, but was significantly weakened afterwards. The toughness of Spider-Man is such that he often rolls with the blows of punches thrown by non-powered foes to avoid injuring them- when he once decided to tense his abdominal muscles against the blows of a trained boxer, the boxer broke his wrists. Scorpion once described Spider-Man's body "as being as hard as concrete".
Born to Richard and Mary Parker in Queens, New York, Peter Parker lost his parents at a very young age when their plane went down overseas while they were on a mission as government spies. He was raised by his aunt and uncle (May and Ben Parker) who, along with his teachers at Midtown High School, thought he had a bright future due to his affinity for science. However, Peter struggled with bullies and being teased for his introverted nature (sometimes referring to him as a "professional wallflower") and interest in science that pegged him as a teacher's pet.
At Yale, every residential college has a “master”––a professor who lives in residence with their family, and is responsible for its academic, intellectual, and social life.  “Masters work with students to shape each residential college community,” Yale states, “bringing their own distinct social, cultural, and intellectual influences to the colleges.” The approach is far costlier than what’s on offer at commuter schools, but aims to create a richer intellectual environment where undergrads can learn from faculty and one another even outside the classroom.
Reconnaissance Drone: In addition to altering the suit's size, the spider emblem on his chest is capable of detaching from its socket, utilizing a miniature propulsion engine from its tail section that allows it to fly through the air independent of Spider-Man's control. It has a tracker mode which allows it to fly onto a target and relay its position to the Spider-Man Suit, allowing Parker to follow targets through the interface of his Web-Shooters.
After Peter had his aunt returned, he decided to stop being Spider-man for good. He started living in a new apartment with his aunt May and wife Mary-Jane. All of New York was wondering where Spider-Man could have gone after his seemingly final battle with the Green Goblin. He would not even react to messages send by Peter's good friend the Human Torch. Peter had found a job at a science-center where he did good work and stayed out of the superhero life, although it turned out that was harder then it seemed. It was at this time that a seemingly new Spider-Man appeared on the scene. It turned out that this was Mattie Franklin, a participant in the Gathering of the Five, whom got the gift of Power. She acted as Spider-man and later as Spider-Woman, when Peter finally accepted that he was needed as Spider-man and returned to the life as a superhero.

It seemed that Spider-man was finally back on track, with his name cleared and his life finally looking a bit better than it had in recent months. Norman Osborn however kept being a disturbing presence to Peter and Mary Jane. He started a ritual known as the Gathering of the Five, with one person getting Ultimate power, one got death, one got insanity and so on. Norman thought he gained power, but it turned out that it was insanity that he got. He attacked and kidnapped Peter. While he was captive, Peter got the shock of a life-time. His aunt May was standing in front of him, alive and well. After Spider-man broke free and defeated Norman Osborn, seemingly for good, as he was taken to a mental hospital, Peter learned that it was in fact aunt May he found. Not a clone, not a hoax. Norman had apparently kidnapped May years ago, and had an actress surgically look like aunt May and play her part while she was dying. This was why 'aunt May' knew about Peter being Spider-Man, she was hired by Norman Osborn to play her! Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four assured Peter it was his aunt. Peter saw this as a sign and stopped being Spider-Man altogether, finally living a good life with his aunt May and his wife Mary-Jane.


Not until 2000 would Spider-Man return in his own game. Spider-Man made his triumphant video game return in 2000, with not one, but two games, as a character in a fighting game and a special guest appearance that year. Spider-Man for the Game Boy Color was published by Activision and met with moderate success. Later that year Spider-Man, developed by NeverSoft, for the PlayStation was released. The game was met with critical and commercial success. The game was ported over to the Nintendo 64 the following year, but lacked the full motion cut scenes due the systems hardware. Spider-Man was also one of the playable character in the arcade game Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (which later was released on the Sega Dreamcast, Sony PlayStation 2, Xbox). In September of that year, Spider-Man made a special appearance in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 as a hidden character. In 2001, sequels to the successful Activision titles were released. Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro for the PlayStation and Spider-Man 2: Sinister Six for the Gameboy Color. Spider-Man made an early appearance on Nintendo's new handheld system, the Gameboy Advance with Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace. Spider-Man was also featured as a guest character in the fighting game X-Men: Mutant Academy 2.
The toy's instructions are also somewhat crazy as they go through the entire transformation sequence, then end with a picture of Spider-Man transformed a totally different way from the waist down (resembling the picture on the back of the card). This was likely done because transforming him the correct way makes it impossible for him to stand without splaying his legs far out to the sides. The instructions also fail to note the step wherein his legs extend slightly to reveal double-jointed knees.
It was during the 1930s, about the same time as trick-or-treating, that Halloween-themed haunted houses first began to appear in America. It was in the late 1950s that haunted houses as a major attraction began to appear, focusing first on California. Sponsored by the Children's Health Home Junior Auxiliary, the San Mateo Haunted House opened in 1957. The San Bernardino Assistance League Haunted House opened in 1958. Home haunts began appearing across the country during 1962 and 1963. In 1964, the San Manteo Haunted House opened, as well as the Children's Museum Haunted House in Indianapolis.[178]

Two years have passed, and Peter Parker struggles to cope with the demands of life as a college student, a Daily Bugle photographer, and a crime-fighting superhero. But it hasn’t gotten any easier. Condemned by the press, tormented by secrets he can never reveal, forced to give up the girl of his dreams—at times the lonely burden of Spider-Man seems almost too great to bear... and the temptation to give up grows stronger by the hour.


An African-American woman acting as the newest Captain Universe joins the Avengers[22] in the fight against Ex Nihilo, his sister Abyss, and the Builder named Aleph on Mars. Captain Universe vaporizes Aleph when he does not agree to stop transforming or destroying planets.[23] She is revealed to be Tamara Devoux, a woman who remained in a coma for ten years after a car crash. During a talk with Nightmask, she translates his language and announces that not only is the universe dying, but the White Event is coming.[24]
Peter becomes desperate to save May. He makes a deal with Mephisto who offers to save his aunt and restore the secrecy of his identity in exchange for erasing Peter's marriage to MJ. Mephisto gives the couple One More Day to decide (hence the title of the story) and Peter reluctantly agrees. He then wakes up in the house of May who is alive and well with no recollection of the deal. This marks the beginning of the Brand New Day era, in which Harry Osborn is alive and Spider-Man meets new friends and foes. He fights new villains including Mister Negative, Screwball, the Spider-Mugger, Menace who is the girlfriend of Harry, Kraven's daughter Ana Kravinoff in the story Kraven's First Hunt, the New Vulture in 24/7, teams-up with Anti-Venom to fight Norman Osborn's Thunderbolts in New Ways to Die and is accused of murder during the Character Assassination story. When the Secret Invasion took place, Spider-Man helped his fellow heroes in fighting off the invading Skrulls.
The following activities were a common feature of Halloween in Ireland and Britain during the 17th–20th centuries. Some have become more widespread and continue to be popular today. One common game is apple bobbing or dunking (which may be called "dooking" in Scotland)[165] in which apples float in a tub or a large basin of water and the participants must use only their teeth to remove an apple from the basin. A variant of dunking involves kneeling on a chair, holding a fork between the teeth and trying to drive the fork into an apple. Another common game involves hanging up treacle or syrup-coated scones by strings; these must be eaten without using hands while they remain attached to the string, an activity that inevitably leads to a sticky face. Another once-popular game involves hanging a small wooden rod from the ceiling at head height, with a lit candle on one end and an apple hanging from the other. The rod is spun round and everyone takes turns to try to catch the apple with their teeth.[166]
Jump up ^ "BBC – Religions – Christianity: All Hallows' Eve". British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). 2010. Archived from the original on 3 November 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2011. All Hallows' Eve falls on 31st October each year, and is the day before All Hallows' Day, also known as All Saints' Day in the Christian calendar. The Church traditionally held a vigil on All Hallows' Eve when worshippers would prepare themselves with prayers and fasting prior to the feast day itself.
Parker appears in numerous What If? universes. Among these are realities in which he is a member of the Fantastic Four; in which he was not bitten by the spider but some other supporting cast member was; in which he chose not to go into superheroics; in which he joins with Wolverine and takes up black ops work; and in which he becomes a mutated spider creature.
After finally freeing himself of a circular orbit in an imploding dimension the superhero known as Quasar returned to the site of a major battle between himself, Doctor Strange, The Thing, Thor and the evil Elder God Set. Shocked to find his comrades dead, Quasar screamed into the Heavens as a glowing red light consumed him. It changed him and infused him with the powers of Captain Universe. After merging the Uni-Power with his own Quantum Bands; Quasar took Doctor Strange's Eye of Agamotto and left the imploding dimension.
In 2012, the 50th anniversary of Spider-Man and 10 years since the first Spider-Man movie, a reboot of the Spider-Man movie franchise was launched. The Amazing Spider-Man saw then-unknown British actor Andrew Garfield step into the role, with a supporting cast that included Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, Rhys Ifans as Curst Connors/The Lizard, Dennis Leary as Captain George Stacy, Sally Field as Aunt May and Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben. Directed by Marc Webb, the film was the first Spider-Man movie to be filmed in 3D, and featured a new, heavily modified costume design that proved to be highly controversial among the fans.

Spider-Man has the proportionate strength of a spider, thus allowing him to press 10 tons without effort and much more when under stress. His attacks are so strong; they could kill a normal person- Spider-Man has to pull his punches or kicks when not fighting foes with similar or higher strength levels to avoid fatalities. His strength also extends to his feet, allowing him to leap great lengths and attain a heights of much greater three stories with one powerful jump. Spidey's strength has made him capable of going toe-to-toe with opponents including Doctor Octopus, Venom and Rhino. He has even held his own against powerful heroes such as Iron Man and the Hulk. It's also shown that Spider-Man can break free from Doctor Octopus's nearly indestructible arms albeit with much effort, although this was due to the Sinister Six suit enhancing his strength. Spidey's strength and durability also give him incredible stamina allowing him to exert himself beyond the limits of humans as his body produces less fatigue toxins. He was able to fight Morlun continually for many hours, and has stated an ability to hold his breath for at least twice as long as non-enhanced humans. After his encounter with the Queen, Spider-Man's strength had been increased to the point where he has become able to lift over 15 tons without effort and after the Other story arc he was able to lift at least 20 tons without effort. During that time, he wore an Iron Spider costume designed for him by Tony Stark which increased his strength further allowing him to lift over 25 tons without effort. He has stopped wearing the Iron Spider costume after the Civil War and his enhanced strength was erased by Mephisto after the One More Day storyline. Spider-man's best strength feats tend to come during periods of emotional duress- for example in a fight with Iron Man 2020, where when a boy was injured mid fight, an enraged Spider-Man jumped up to his flying height and hit him with such force the foe was sent flying hundreds of feet into a building, which was destroyed on impact. Another instance was when he lifted a segment of the Daily Bugle, after the building was attacked by the Green Goblin. In both cases, he didn't have any enhancements from the Queen or the Other.
Spider-Man's plight was to be misunderstood and persecuted by the very public that he swore to protect. In the first issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, J. Jonah Jameson, publisher of the Daily Bugle, launches an editorial campaign against the "Spider-Man menace." The resulting negative publicity exacerbates popular suspicions about the mysterious Spider-Man and makes it impossible for him to earn any more money by performing. Eventually, the bad press leads the authorities to brand him an outlaw. Ironically, Peter finally lands a job as a photographer for Jameson's Daily Bugle.[9]:212
From at least the 16th century,[5] the festival included mumming and guising,[6] which involved people going house-to-house in costume (or in disguise), usually reciting verses or songs in exchange for food.[6] It may have originally been a tradition whereby people impersonated the Aos Sí, or the souls of the dead, and received offerings on their behalf. Impersonating these beings, or wearing a disguise, was also believed to protect oneself from them.[7] It is suggested that the mummers and guisers "personify the old spirits of the winter, who demanded reward in exchange for good fortune".[8] F. Marian McNeill suggests the ancient pagan festival included people wearing masks or costumes to represent the spirits, and that faces were marked (or blackened) with ashes taken from the sacred bonfire.[5] In parts of southern Ireland, a man dressed as a Láir Bhán (white mare) led youths house-to-house reciting verses—some of which had pagan overtones—in exchange for food. If the household donated food it could expect good fortune from the 'Muck Olla'; not doing so would bring misfortune.[9] In 19th century Scotland, youths went house-to-house with masked, painted or blackened faces, often threatening to do mischief if they were not welcomed.[6] In parts of Wales, men went about dressed as fearsome beings called gwrachod,[6] while in some places, young people cross-dressed.[6] Elsewhere in Europe, mumming and costumes were part of other yearly festivals. However, in the Celtic-speaking regions they were "particularly appropriate to a night upon which supernatural beings were said to be abroad and could be imitated or warded off by human wanderers".[6] It has also been suggested that the wearing of Halloween costumes developed from the custom of souling, which was practised by Christians in parts of Western Europe from at least the 15th century.[10][11] At Allhallowtide, groups of poor people would go door-to-door, collecting soul cakes – either as representatives of the dead,[12] or in return for saying prayers for them.[13] One 19th century English writer said it "used to consist of parties of children, dressed up in fantastic costume, who went round to the farm houses and cottages, signing a song, and begging for cakes (spoken of as "Soal-cakes"), apples, money, or anything that the goodwives would give them".[14] The soulers typically asked for "mercy on all Christian souls for a soul cake".[15] The practice was mentioned by Shakespeare his play The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593).[16][17] Christian minister Prince Sorie Conteh wrote on the wearing of costumes: "It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints' Day, and All Hallows' Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognised by any soul that might be seeking such vengeance, people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities".[18] In the Middle Ages, statues and relics of martyred saints were paraded through the streets at Allhallowtide. Some churches who could not afford these things had people dress as saints instead.[19][20] Some believers continue the practice of dressing as saints, biblical figures, and reformers in Halloween celebrations today.[21] Many Christians in continental Europe, especially in France, believed that on Halloween "the dead of the churchyards rose for one wild, hideous carnival," known as the danse macabre, which has often been depicted in church decoration.[22] An article published by Christianity Today claimed the danse macabre was enacted at village pageants and at court masques, with people "dressing up as corpses from various strata of society", and suggested this was the origin of Halloween costume parties.[23][24]
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