From seances to slumber parties for grown ups, here’s 10 creative ways to celebrate Samhain.
The temperatures drop, the Veil between worlds thins and magic sparkles like black glitter in the air.
Get out and make the most of this spirit-filled night.
Host a Pagan Dumb Supper
If you’re looking for a more elaborate or traditional way to celebrate your connection to those beyond, serve a dumb supper. This is a traditional wiccan tradition in which places are set for the deceased, and the living attendees eat in silence.
It probably sounds really bizarre, but it’s super surreal and it definitely creates a vibe.
Here are some detailed instructions on how to host a dumb supper.
Have a chat with your auntie. You know, the dead one.
If you believe in an afterlife, now is the prime time to send a message to someone you love on the other side.
Write a letter and burn it in the cauldron.
Or, simply talk out loud honestly about whatever you’re feeling or want to say.
Make your own candies.
Not only does homemade chocolate taste amazing, the pure ingredients are healthier than the junk found in store bought candy.
Bear in mind, making chocolate is a challenging cooking project. So if you’re doing this with kids, I recommend it for those 12 or older.
But however the candy turns out, the memory of making it lasts forever!
Try your hand at divination.
The “veil between worlds” is at its thinnest this time of year.
That makes it prime time for trying scrying, tarot cards or other divination systems.
Try something new and see what happens!
Visit a haunted house.
I don’t mean the cheesy, carnival-style haunted houses at the pumpkin patch.
Do some research. Find a local area or house that has a reputation for paranormal activity.
If it’s privately owned, get permission. But you might be surprised! Owners of haunted homes often love to talk about their experiences to investigators.
These areas tend to have high traffic around Samhain, so consider going with a group or even contact a local paranormal investigation team to see if you can tag along.
Read a good old fashioned ghost story.
If you’re hanging out with kids this year, gather everyone around a fire before they go trick-or-treating, or just get a pile of blankets, make a “tent” in the living room and use a flashlight in creative ways to tell the story.
If you’re a grown-up on your own, pick up a classic horror novel at the library in the beginning of the week and read it over several days to get you in the mood.
Make a list of new year’s resolutions.
Samhain is sometimes called “The Witches New Year” as it is the last Sabbat on the circle of the Wheel of the Year. I try to make one spiritual goal for myself.
It’s a great time of year to be witch. Rather than fighting the crowds at the gym in January, get a head start on everyone else and set some goals.
One year, I promised to acknowledge every Esbat (New Moon, Waxing, Waning & Full) with a simple ritual to keep me in tune with the cycles. One year I made a goal to write down at least one dream per week. And one year I promised to make a trip to Salem, Massachusetts.
Pick sometime easy you can stick to and see how it impacts your next Wheel.
Honor Your Ancestors
Many European folk practitioners consider Samhain the time of when the Veil Between Worlds thins.
This makes it a great time to show reverence to deceased loved ones and ancestors, who gather near the brink of this life and the next to hear messages from the living.
Consider one these ideas to honor your ancestors at Samhain.
Learn how to make your own hard cider.
There’s nothing like a cup of homemade hard cider in the colder fall months. Use Samhain to bless it with abundance for the coming year and enjoy it later in the season after it matures. Here is a tutorial on how it’s done.
Make soul cakes and leave them out for the dead.
If a dumb supper is too weird, or you’re a solitary and you’re looking for a smaller way to acknowledge those who have passed, try making soul cakes. Put a pagan twist on this Christian tradition by leaving them outside by the door or on your altar as an offering to the deceased.
Host a grown-up slumber party.
If you’ve got a coven you work with, or just some like-minded friends, this is your night. Enjoy it. Pick a house, pile in and open a bottle of fall wine. Do a ritual. Do a few.
Originally posted 10/22/2015. Last updated 10/19/2021.