Spirited Tales: A Halloween Invitation

And now, we approach some of my favorite days of the year, days I love as a Halloween traditionalist. I have always been more interested in the mysteries of Halloween. Horror movies of the blood and gore sort and tales of axe murderers: none of this stuff interests me. These, along with sexy nurse costumes and other such frivolities, are the unfortunate things we have attached to Halloween in recent decades. As a Halloween traditionalist, my role is to help you tune into the old ways of celebrating––ways that have their roots in the older spelling of Halloween, the one with an apostrophe: Hallowe’en. This version does a better job of reminding us that the holiday’s original name was All Hallows Eve. Say it and already the mystery increases tenfold.

One of my great pleasures each Halloween, for many years now, is to write a gently ghostly story and send it out to the world via email. It’s the Convivio Dispatch for Halloween. This year’s Halloween Dispatch will go out in the next night or two to subscribers of the Convivio Dispatch, which is a different animal from this blog. If you’d like to make sure you receive the Halloween Dispatch, please subscribe right here. On that same subscription page, you will also find a link to the Halloween Dispatch from two years ago. One of my readers liked it so much she sent it off to Nowhere Magazine, and they published it there, which was awfully nice.

If you’d rather get just this next Halloween Dispatch without subscribing, let me know in the comments below. Leave your email address and I’ll send it. Or email me directly at mail@conviviobookworks.com to say you’d like the story. But don’t be afraid to subscribe… the Dispatches from Lake Worth are very few and far between, and you’ll meet an interesting cast of characters from our hometown and beyond. (This year’s story takes us all the way to Finland.)

I wish you a fine Halloween, filled with good spirit and mystery, and not so much of the other stuff.


We’re popping up at quite a few local South Florida venues in November!

Florida Day of the Dead Celebration
Saturday November 2 from 2 to 11 PM
Downtown Fort Lauderdale
We’ll be near the stage at Huzienga Park on East Las Olas, where the procession and the festivities begin. We’ll be in a tent with a pop-up shop of traditional Mexican handicrafts for Dia de los Muertos from about 2 to 7:30 PM. (Once the procession leaves and heads over to the west side at the river, we’ll start packing up, so it’s an early night for us!)

Dia de los Muertos Lake Worth Beach
Saturday November 2 from 3 to 9 PM
Hatch 1121 and Downtown Lake Worth, west of Dixie Highway
Our hometown celebration of this day means a great deal to us. It’s beautifully community focused. Find us in our usual spot in the courtyard at Hatch 1121 with a pop-up shop of traditional Mexican handicrafts for Dia de los Muertos, Christmas, and everyday. We’ll be there for the full length of the celebration. (Face painting, by the way, begins at 1:30 at City Hall, and then there’s a procession to Hatch before 3.)

Sankta Lucia Festival & Julbasar (Christmas Bazaar)
Saturday November 23 from 11 AM to 3 PM
First United Methodist Church
625 NE Mizner Boulevard in Boca Raton
Our pop-up shop will focus on traditional European advent calendars and advent candles, plus handmade Christmas ornaments and decorations from Sweden, as well as our full line of Shaker herbs & teas and more. It’s a beautiful event, complete with a Lucia with a wreath of candles on her head! Brought to you by SWEA, the Swedish Women’s Educational Association.

Harvest Makers Marketplace
Sunday November 24 from 10 AM to 4 PM
Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton
We’ll be transitioning toward Christmas with a pop-up shop of traditional German advent calendars and advent candles from England, plus handmade Christmas ornaments and decorations from Germany, Sweden, Italy and Mexico and our full line of Shaker herbs & teas and more. Plus there’s live music almost all day: The Lubben Brothers from 11 AM to 1 PM, Rio Peterson from 1 to 4 PM. It’s going to be a good one!


Image: Jack O’Lantern pair, on the front porch, last Halloween. Seth’s is on the left; mine is on the right. That’s pretty much how our lanterns look each year.


5 thoughts on “Spirited Tales: A Halloween Invitation

  1. Maggie von Grote says:

    Nice Jack O’Lanterns! I, too, like a nice, gently-ghostly Halloween with good spirit(s) – 70 proof would be ok 🙂 !!
    I look forward to this year’s ghost story from Finland. (I think I am still subscribed?)
    Hope to see you at one of your upcoming events.
    Happy Halloween to you and Seth!

  2. Paula Gourley says:

    I’m with you! Hallowe’en it is, and always will be. Histories and mysteries, wonder, chill and a little shiver with the changing season, changing light. Looking forward to reading your story!

  3. John Cutrone says:

    Turns out the Convivio Dispatch for Halloween can be shared through a link (something I did not know until it was published). Here’s the link: https://mailchi.mp/c7c69833d2f1/convivio-dispatch-lost-in-the-mystery

    Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

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