214. McGonigal’s Pub Party & Halloween’s Celtic Roots

Halloween’s origins date back more than 2,000 years and are traced to the ancient Celtic New Year Celebration in Europe, called Samhain, on November 1st. On Samhain eve, now called Halloween, spirits were thought to walk the earth as they traveled to the afterlife surrounded by demons, fairies and other creatures.*  American Folklife Center records at the US Library of Congress say Celts often wore costumes and masks to confuse spirits and avoid being possessed.

Celebrating the Celtic Origins of Halloween

Samhain (SAH-win) is an Old Irish word that translates roughly as “summers end”. This painting, by Irish artist Daniel Maclise, is called Snap-Apple Night.  It dates back to 1832 and depicts a Halloween party in Blarney, Ireland with children bobbing for apples and adults playing divination games.

Irish Halloween Party Painting from 1832

So it’s fitting that one of the biggest bashes in Barrington this Halloween weekend is going down TONIGHT, October 30th, at McGonigal’s Irish Pub.

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213. Time Travel at Barrington High School

Great Scott! Barrington High School’s film department has been at it again.  They just released their new mini-movie today and it’ll have you saying “Hello McFly”.

New Film Just Released by Barrington High School Film Department

The movie was filmed in downtown Barrington and depicts a student who travels back in time. The mission?  To change his teacher’s “Bah Humbug” Halloween attitude.  I give it two thumbs up!

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212. "F" Word Luncheon Featuring Famous Chef

The Barrington Area Council on Aging (BACOA) is hosting a luncheon to celebrate the “F” word next week. I’m serious. This is not a joke. WAIT!  No…It’s not THAT “F” word. Though that would be a pretty colorful luncheon, now wouldn’t it? The “F” words they’re celebrating are these: “Festive Food for Family & Friends.” And the featured guest is a superstar pastry chef, cookbook author, TV personality and famous Chicago restauranteur. How Fabulous!

Pastry Chef, Restauranteur and Cookbook Author Visits Barrington

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211. Bubbles, Bon Bons & Brie

Earlier this week I promised that I’d follow up with some fun Halloween activities going on this weekend for adults in Barrington and there’s one event happening tomorrow night that sounds simply sinful.  It’s called “Bubbles, Bon Bons and Brie” and you’re going to DIE when you hear the details. Skull Lollipop anyone?

Skull Lollipop at Anna Shea Chocolates

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210. "Guess Where Wednesday" & Last Week’s Winner

Two ghosts were recently spotted in Barrington, they were caught on camera and they’re our mystery photo of the week!  This one might require a little deductive reasoning, but I’m confident that the ghost busters and sweet tooths among us will be able to put two and two together.  If you can guess where in Barrington this mystery photo was taken, there’s a great prize for the winner this week.

Mystery Photo Contest in Barrington

We’ll get to this week’s prize in a minute. But first, let’s talk about last week’s winner. Just moments ago my babysitter drew the winning name and it is…

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209. Scare Up Some Halloween Fun – FOR KIDS

There are a TON of Halloween events happening in Barrington this week and this is one time when I’m going to do my best to share ALL of the GORY DETAILS.  Today, I’m focusing on Halloween events for kids, just because I love this picture of a Barrington dad all dressed up and holding his devil baby.

Halloween at the Barrington Park District

This picture is from last year’s Barrington Park District Hallween Egg Hunt, which is just one of many Halloween happenings this week in Barrington.

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208. High School Heart Exams & District 220 Checkup

There are two “Firsts” happening in Barrington this week. One will help keep Barrington teens healthy. The other will help protect the health of Barrington’s schools.  Barrington School District 220 is hosting their first ever Town Hall Meeting to get the community’s input on school issues. And, for the first time, Barrington High School is offering FREE heart screenings this week to help check athletes and other students for serious heart defects.

Heart Exams at Barrington High School

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207. The Legend of White Cemetery and Cuba Road

Halloween is just one week from today and, with all of the tombstones, ghouls and eerie jack-o-lanterns decorating homes throughout Barrington, I can’t help but be reminded of the more sinister side of the holiday. After all, Halloween’s namesake, “All Hallows Eve”, is a night when unclean spirits presumably try to upstage the celebration of saints on November 1st, “All Saint’s Day”.  Which leads me to the story of what ghost researchers suspect to be one of the most haunted cemeteries in Illinois. It’s called White Cemetery, it’s located right here in Barrington and, at first glance, it looks like an ordinary resting place.

Haunted Cemetery in Barrington

But I’ve found at least one photo of what some believe is a ghostly figure among the graves in the cemetery, which I will show you in just a minute…

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206. Sip’n Sample at the Barrington Taste Fest & Expo

Once a year in Barrington, dozens of area chefs come together and prepare their specialty dishes for us all to sample under one roof. It’s the perfect place to be for local foodies or indecisive folks like me who have a tough time picking one restaurant for our occasional evenings out. Give your kitchen the night off on Thursday, October 28th, and head out to the 7th Annual Barrington Taste Fest & EXPO for a local sampling of the savory and the sweet at the “Social Event of the Season”.

Barrington Chamber of Commerce Taste Fest and Expo

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205. Barrington Trick-or-Treat Dress Rehearsal

Halloween isn’t until next weekend, but here’s a great way for your kids to break in this year’s costumes before the big night.  There’ll be trick-or-treaters out and about at one Barrington hot spot tomorrow afternoon.

Halloween Fun at The Ice House Mall in Barrington

Photo Courtesy of Kidz Parties Plus More

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