Black Petals Issue #101 Autumn, 2022

Mars-News, Views and Commentary

Editor's Page
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
BP Artists and Illustrators
Dig Deep, the Therapist Said: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Dinner Club: Fiction by Mark Jabaut
God of the Winds: Fiction by Scáth Beorh
Head Pot: Fiction by Spencer Harrington
His Deadly Muse: Fiction by Roy Dorman
Patrick Hatrick: Fiction by Bruce Costello
Squawking Chimes: Fiction by Robert Pettus
The Courier: Fiction by Billie Owens
The Midnight Sonata: Fiction by David Hopewell
The Wolves are Coming: Fiction by Mauri Orr Stone
Abduction: Flash Fiction by Laura Nettles
I'm Your Garlic:Flash Fiction by Ron Capshaw
Ho/Ma:i - (Ho-maaa-ee): Flash Fiction by Rani Jayakumar
Mona Wants to Die, but She Lets the Weather Decide:Flash Fiction by Riham Adly
The Cookie Crumbles: Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
The Right Knife: Flash Fiction by David Barber
A Devilish Matter of Disinvitation: Poem by Carl E. Reed
Abhor the Light!: Poem by Carl E. Reed
Shadow House-A Writer's Retreat: Poem by Carl E. Reed
Accursed Personae: Three excerpted Poems by Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler
Remember When We Watched "Kill Bill" Together: Poem by C. Renee Kiser
I Die, You Die: Poem by Joseph V. Danoski
Northbound Train: Poem by Joseph V. Danoski
The Haunted Liquor Cabinet: Poem by Joseph V. Danoski
The Candlelight Killer: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Wooden Soldiers: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
The Curse of Verse: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
When a Star Dies: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker

October, 2022—Chris Friend

© 2022 Chris Friend

One of the antecedents to modern Halloween was the old world Catholic holidays of All Saints Day (Nov. 2nd) which was a day set aside for offering prayers to release the souls who were in purgatory. Modern opinion holds that Halloween’s origins as a festival of the dead have their origins in the more ancient pagan festival of Samhain (SOW-unn) but the idea of it being an evening of the wandering ghosts can be found in many of the folk beliefs in many Catholic countries, such Ireland.

All Souls Day was established in the 9th Century by the Odilon, the abbot of Cluny and was generally established in the 10th century. According to one legend, a wandering pilgrim traveling through the holy land heard the cries of those souls in purgatory and went to Rome to establish All Souls Day as a day for the faithful to hold Masses and offer prayers for those souls trapped in limbo. With time it became customary to offer small oatmeal cookies known as 'soul cakes' in exchange for prayers to help the dead find peace.

In this we find the seeds of the modern custom of trick or treating. It was customary for processions of people dressed in black, ringing dismal bells, to call upon the other villagers who have stayed indoors to remember those souls waiting for release.

In Naples the custom was to throw open the doors to the crypts and allow people to enter the vaults in order to visit their deceased family and friends who were placed there. These crypts housed many skeletons dressed in special robes and placed in special niches. In Salerno we find the laying out of food for the pleasure of the shades so they, too might partake in the feast. On this night the faithful would spend the night in the church leaving the feast for the shades. When they returned home in the morning there would be not even a morsel. Likely the food was consumed by the many beggars wandering out and about on this night. Likely the beggars carried off whatever left overs they could not consume in order to not insult the dead.

© 2022 Chris Friend


Chris Friend,, of Parkersberg, W.Va , who wrote BP #85’s poem, “Demons Play Flutes”; BP # 84’s poems, “The Sentinel” and “Psalm of Mithra”; the BP #81 poem set, “Angel of the Bereft,” Beauty’s Sleep,” & “Dark Trinity”; the BP #80 poem, “The Temple of Colors”; BP #79 poems, “The Marquis” and “My Bloody Valentine”; the BP #78 poem, “The Old Yule Goat”; BP #77’s 4-poem set: “At 50,” “Owls,” “Vintage Halloween,” & “Xmas in the Doll Asylum”; BP #76’s 4-poem set: “Hag Fairy Communion,” “Love’s Sepulcher,” “Night Wanderer,” & “St. Andrew’s Feast”; 2 poems for BP #75, “Angel of the Pagan Dead” and “Churchyard Watcher”; BP #72’s 2-poem set, “Ed Gein” & “Sour Puss”; and the 2008 poem, “All Hallows’ Eve,” writes and illustrates our “MARS News” column. He did a cover for Black Petals back in 2000 for the fall issue, and has been around ever since. BP keeps up two websites for him and prints his column in the issue quarterly. Chris has a gallery at and was featured artist in Kurt Newton’s Ultimate PerVersities (Naked Snake) [Jan. 2011].

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