Episode 66

Halloween in Finland with Bella de Graves

This week we wanted to join the Halloween madness and that’s why Matt talks with Bella de Graves, a Finnish artist, about Halloween in Finland.

In general, Halloween dates back to ancient times and particularly back to the Celtic pagan communities that used to celebrate the harvest season called “Samhain” before the arrival of winter. During that period it was believed that dead people might travel to the real world or that people would travel to other realms and portals.

Bella had her first encounter with Halloween as a celebration 15 years ago while browsing the internet. Everything creepy is something that fascinates her. During this time of the year particularly, she enjoys watching horror movies like “Adam’s family” or “Nightmare before Christmas” and celebrating it with her friends by throwing parties and dressing up as creepy characters.

Bella together with Matt discusses horror movies, costume shops and creepy places in Finland, experiences overall related to this celebration while being in Finland. They talk about the Halloween tradition in Europe of visiting graveyards, which in Finland is not the case during Halloween, but only during Christmas.

Both point out that there is an audience keen on Halloween in Finland, due to commercial ads, Halloween products showing up in the market, however, still, it is something that needs a bit of time to become more of a “thing” on a Finnish scale.

As the holiday is dedicated to remembering the ones departed, creepy stories associated with ghosts are quite a common element of Halloween. In Tampere, where Bella lives, there are various “ghost stories” that have been created through the years, as one of the largest military conflicts was held in that city during the Finnish Civil War. One of these stories is about the ghost of a boy soldier that died on the battlefield of Tampere and whose ghost is still hanging around in the city.

Due to the COVID situation, Bella has not arranged a special party this year, as she usually does with her friends, however, she is looking forward to that special eerie feeling of the day!

Original photo by: Alexandra Sleaze