Your Auntie May with the good church hat may have been right when she warned you that Halloween was all about spirits and sex. Mostly though, it’s more Casper rather than The Shining, with rituals dedicated to protection, purification, and good crops. And a lot of sex.
We all expect to see ghosts and ghouls when we look a little closer at the traditions of Halloween’s past, but it may surprise you just how much sex the jack-o’-lanterns of the last few hundred years have been audience to. Here are a few interesting tidbits on the sexual history of Halloween.
Witches And The Splintery Truth About Early Magical Dildos
When witches pop up in art throughout history, they are more often than not having decidedly unchaste fun with devils in the moonlight. Clothes, it would seem, were totally optional. Less well depicted is the origin of the witch’s broomstick.
Apparently when a witch is flying high on her broomstick, she might also just be high. It was believed that these women would put together a special, hallucinogenic ointment and slather up their broomstick handles before taking to the sky. Of course, the best way – as we know – to make sure your broomstick ointment absorbs properly is to mount the handle in a manner that is definitely going to compromise your promise ring.
There are two historical accounts of this practice. In 1324 Ireland’s first accused witch, Lady Alice Kyteler, had fled the country. It was thought that she had murdered her husband with sorcery. When historian Raphael Holinshed explained some of the evidence they found in her home he said “n rifleing the closet of the ladie, they found a pipe of ointment wherewith she greased her staffe[broom handle], upon which she ambled and galloped through thick and thin.”
The other source comes from the 15th century manuscript “Quaestio de Strigis” (An Investigation of Witches) by Jordanes de Bergamo. In this book Bergamo states “certain days or nights they anoint a staff and ride on it to the appointed place or anoint themselves under the arms and in other hairy places.”
Apples: The Universally Forbidden Fruit
As if the sexy cats, sexy nurses, sexy witches and general lingerie at Halloween parties weren’t enough, we seem to have thrown apples in there to really hammer home the message. Apples are pretty notorious in their own right, what with having initiated Eve into the Sisterhood of Any Pants At All and their persistent tie to fertility imagery, but throwing them in a bucket of water and bobbing for them is its own kind of sexy.
The “Bobbing for Apples” party game has its origins in the apple trees Romans brought with them when they invaded Britain. A common game back then involved apples tied to strings and suspended from trees, which the young unmarried girls would bite for with their hands behind their backs. First girl to get the apple could start planning her wedding.
Almost Every Deity Associated With Halloween Loves Sex
Those apples the Romans brought to Britain were their representation of a fertility goddess called Pomona, and she got around. With other gods like Silvanus and Picus after her, she instead married Vertumnus after what must have been a pretty wild night and one hell of a batch of hard cider.
Then there’s this guy
He’s called Priapus, and yes, that’s his giant erection hanging out all casually right there. Deities like Priapus and Pomona are connected to harvest festivals through their ties to fertility and produce, although hopefully not both at once. Those harvest festivals were some of the precursors to our current day Halloween holiday.
Your Great-Great-Great-Great Grandparents Were Pretty Freaky
Speaking of sexy bats, mermaids, R2D2s, and librarians (wait, aren’t they sexy all year round?); who started this whole flesh-bearing costume thing? Well chances are, someone somewhere down the roots of your family tree was using Halloween as an excuse to get nookie or dress like a girl.
As far back as 2,000 years ago, in festivals that grew and evolved into what we now celebrate with candy and threatening cases of eggs, dressing up was as fancy as smearing yourself with ashes from the fire to disguise yourself against evil spirits that could be roaming. It only took a few hundred years before we made this dirty, and by the 9th century it wasn’t uncommon to send out your boys all fabulous and dressed up as girls to beg for gifts.
Even after the festival got co-opted by the Catholic Church, boys would still be going in drag to celebrate, and specifically would be in costume as virgins for religious ceremonies. Later still, in the 18th and 19th centuries, with such tight controls on when and where you could make eyes at the boy next door using Halloween as an excuse to show some ankle and cleavage was the sure-fire way to land a husband.
Witches Always Wanted The D
By now you must be thinking the 31st of October is a pretty good time to be young and single. That is, until junior gets kidnapped and kept as a pet by your friendly neighborhood Witch. Yes, by ‘junior’ I mean your dick.
Apparently not content with just counting out their number of partners on their fingers like the rest of us, witches were said to use their evil powers to physically take it from you for their archives. They might even have fed it and kept it safe and happy on their phallus tree, as you do.
In the 15th Century With Hunting guide “Malleus Maleficarum” by Heinrich Krame one case study is shown where a witch supposedly has been seen by many to take penises and feed them oats. “What shall we think about those witches who somehow take members in large numbers—twenty or thirty—and shut them up together in a birds’ nest or some box, where they move about like living members, eating oats or other feed? This has been seen by many and is a matter of common talk. It is said that it is all done by devil’s work and illusion, for the senses of those who see [the penises] are deluded in the way we have said.”
One man who lost his penis was supposedly told by a witch to climb a tree and choose a new one. These phallus trees, as they are known, were actually fairly common from the 13th to the 16th Century at least in European art according to the historian Johan J. Mattelaer.
There’s probably a joke to be made in here somewhere about using protection for your Johnson when you’re getting some this Halloween, but we will keep it to ourselves for now because you never know if the Bride of Faust herself is out to haunt your manhood.
So when you’re at your Halloween shindig this October, if you’ve got 4 Princess Leia’s, an apple tank, and a broomstick, you might just have wandered into an orgy.