This film is part of Free

Halloween Hubble Bubble

Children of a Devon primary school try to explain what happens on All Hallows Eve.

Current affairs 1968 5 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Halloween comes from All Hallows Eve, or the evening before All Saints Day on November 1 followed by All Souls Day on November 2 and traditional commemorations of the dead. Mexico holds large public festivals to celebrate the Day of the Innocents and the Day of the Dead. In the UK hollowing out vegetables may have pagan origins and apple-bobbing is thought to remind people of the medieval dunking used to determine if a woman were a witch or not. What would you do if you met a witch?

Punky lantern processions with carved mangelwurzerls and hollowing out pumpkins have long been traditional. As in Mexico, it is believed the spirits of the dead come alive to walk among the living and so the living dress to assimilate in order to come to no harm. The celebrations were banned under the protestant Puritans in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but are today the focus of ghoul costumes, ghostly happenings and retelling of horror stories for a true fright night! These primary age children recite Shakespeare's Macbeth and the three witches song of Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble. Hubble Bubble, Toil and Trouble was popularised by Disney.