Andrew Maxwell's Hallowe'en Hoolie

Episodes

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20141031 (BBC7)
20161029 (BBC7)
Comedian Andrew Maxwell sets out to show that the feast has its origins in these islands.

The Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell loves Hallowe'en. That's why he's determined to reclaim it from the Americans. Forget pumpkins, fake fangs and plastic paraphernalia, the origins of Hallowe'en lie in the Celtic feast of Samhain.

Andrew hears from Professor Ronald Hutton about the ancient roots of this celebration which marked the threshold between summer and winter. He quizzes the folklorists Steve Roud and Doc Rowe about the British customs that have grown into trick or treating and fancy dress.

One of America's leading historians of Hallowe'en, Lesley Bannatyne, traces the transformation of traditions as they crossed the Atlantic from Ireland to the New World, and describes how 21st Century Americans have taken Hallowe'en 'haunting' to a whole new level.

The storyteller Clare Murphy frightens the wits out of Andrew with her eerie account of a faerie changeling, and the psychologist Claudia Hammond explains the science behind why so many of us love scary stories.

Along the way Andrew tucks into curiously hard 'soul cakes', seeks to predict his guests' fortunes with charms hidden inside barmbrack, and indulges in a spot of spectre-hunting in a London pub said to be haunted by Dick Turpin.

Prepare to be spooked by otherworldly BBC radio archives, including The League of Gentlemen's Ghost Chase.

Producer: Moy McGowan.

Made for BBC Radio 4 Extra and first broadcast in 2014.

The Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell loves Hallowe'en. That's why he's determined to reclaim it from the Americans. Forget pumpkins and plastic fangs, the origins of Halloween lie in the Celtic feast of Samhain, don't they? Well, as he discovers, the answer isn't clear cut!

Andrew's investigation involves historians, folklorists, a psychologist, a storyteller, curiously hard cakes, ghoulish root vegetables and the ghost of Dick Turpin.

Prepare to be spooked by otherworldly tales along the way.

Produced by Moy McGowan.

20141031 (BBC7)The Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell loves Hallowe'en. That's why he's determined to reclaim it from the Americans. Forget pumpkins and plastic fangs, the origins of Halloween lie in the Celtic feast of Samhain, don't they? Well, as he discovers, the answer isn't clear cut!

Andrew's investigation involves historians, folklorists, a psychologist, a storyteller, curiously hard cakes, ghoulish root vegetables and the ghost of Dick Turpin.

Prepare to be spooked by otherworldly tales along the way.

Produced by Moy McGowan.

2014103120161029 (BBC7)
20201031 (BBC7)
The Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell loves Hallowe'en. That's why he's determined to reclaim it from the Americans. Forget pumpkins, fake fangs and plastic paraphernalia, the origins of Hallowe'en lie in the Celtic feast of Samhain.

Andrew hears from Professor Ronald Hutton about the ancient roots of this celebration which marked the threshold between summer and winter. He quizzes the folklorists Steve Roud and Doc Rowe about the British customs that have grown into trick or treating and fancy dress. One of America's leading historians of Hallowe'en, Lesley Bannatyne, traces the transformation of traditions as they crossed the Atlantic from Ireland to the New World, and describes how 21st Century Americans have taken Hallowe'en 'haunting' to a whole new level. The storyteller Clare Murphy frightens the wits out of Andrew with her eerie account of a faerie changeling, and the psychologist Claudia Hammond explains the science behind why so many of us love scary stories. Along the way Andrew tucks into curiously hard 'soul cakes', seeks to predict his guests' fortunes with charms hidden inside barmbrack, and indulges in a spot of spectre-hunting in a London pub said to be haunted by Dick Turpin.

Prepare to be spooked by otherworldly radio archives, including The League of Gentlemen's Ghost Chase.

Produced by Moy McGowan.

The Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell sets out to reclaim Hallowe'en from the Americans.

Comedian Andrew Maxwell sets out to show that the feast has its origins in these islands.