31 Days of Halloween: Divinations


If a candle flame suddenly turns blue, there is a ghost nearby. If the candle then begins to smoke, the ghost is trying to communicate with you. Grab a piece of paper and hold it over the smoke (be careful not to set the paper on fire) Randomly move the paper around in the smoke while opening your mind to what the spirit is trying to say. A picture will form in soot on the paper from which you can divine the spirit’s message.

halloween divinations

People were warned not to sit under the Hawthorn tree on Halloween lest they be kidnapped and carried off by the little people. And anyone tossing a bucket of water out the window must be sure to yell “Seachain” as a warning to fairies and ghosts to move away lest they get drenched. You didn’t want to make them mad! One way to protect yourself from them (and the other frightening creatures that roamed this night) was to turn your pockets inside out – something that was certainly done by anyone brave enough to go to the crossroads this night. Crossroads are special places to witches. However, if one did linger there on Halloween long enough to listen to the wind, it was said that he would hear all the important events of the coming year whispered

Looking into a well on Halloween night was another way to see the future for the next 12 months.

Oatmeal and salt were placed on children’s’ heads to protect them from evil.

Walking around your home backwards and counter clockwise three times before sunset on Halloween warded off evil spirits and protected those who lived there.

halloween mirror
Mirrors have always been considered as portals to the shadow world. In a house where someone has recently died, all mirrors must be covered – lest the person’s soul becomes trapped inside. At midnight on Halloween, light two candles and gaze into a mirror. Brush your hair. An image of your future lover will appear behind you in the reflection.

The custom of bobbing for apples was originally another form of divination. Called “aipple dooking” in Scotland, a tub is filled with water and apples are floated on the surface. The first person to grab an apple with their teeth (no hands allowed!) would be the first to marry. They might then peel the apple and toss it over their shoulder to see who the person would be.


Another form of this game would be to hang the apple from the ceiling by a string. If a girl had several young men courting her and was undecided as to which she should choose, on Halloween she could take apple seeds, naming one for each boyfriend and stick them to her face. The last one to fall off was the guy she should pick.

Peel an apple so the skin comes off in one piece, then using your right hand throw it over your left shoulder. The shape it lands in is the initial of your true love.


If you have more than one suitor, designate some nuts for each of them and place them in a fire. The suitor represented by the first nut to pop is the truest. If you are in a relationship, burn nuts with your partner to see your love’s future. If they burn calmly together, you will both stay true. If one is engulfed by flames, the owner of that nut has the strongest feelings. If one cracks or explodes, the owner of that nut will be unfaithful.


Take a ball of yarn and toss it so it unravels. Begin to wind it up, and an apparition of your future lover will appear to gather the end. Or drop it out of an open window and ask the night who is holding the other end. The wind will whisper their name to you.

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