Samhain: The Fearsome Things 1.4

Not all the fearsome things stayed outdoors, however. People took great care to prevent faeries from absconding with human children or livestock on Samhain night. Cradles and animals received a sprinkling with holy water or parents might hang a Parshall, a special type of cross, above the child’s bed. Parents placed a dead ember from the fire or iron in an infant’s cradle. Older children might have oatmeal or salt placed on their heads. In addition, some families put food outside for the faeries, in hopes of deterring them from helping themselves to other living creatures around the property. The Irish had a remedy for confrontation by faeries or malevolent spirits on Halloween night: should one confront you on a darkened road, throw some dust from under your feet at it. Then, run.