As we all now know, Halloween is actually called Rübengeisterschnitzen (gourd ghost carving) and was invited by witches in the small Black Forest towns of Hausach and Gutach near Freiburg many centuries ago.

Long before Americans came along with their globalized plastic Jack-o’-Lanterns and commercialized everything and ruined all the fun for everyone all over the world, Black Forest witches were dispelling evil spirits here locally during the autumn harvest by carving gourds and putting candles in them, for instance.

Of course afterwards these same witches would also randomly sacrifice unfortunate trick-or-treaters and drink their blood (The trick’s on you, junior!) and then attack neighboring villages with their burning gourds of death, killing and destroying anyone and anything they could get their wicked little smeary fingers on.

But hey, tradition is tradition and should be respected. So to get even or something, a traditional Black Forest village museum has now been set up to commercialize everything and ruin all the fun here, just as it was originally meant to be. Without all the human sacrifice and bloodletting, versteht sich (of course).

PS: Security Level Orange! As you know, everybody’s very nervous around here these days. But sometimes nervousness pays off. Two sharp-eyed Germans were able to blow the whistle on masked robbers parked in front of a bank in a suspicious looking car. Congratulations.

Come visit me at Observing Hermann…

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