My maternal grandmother was born at the turn of the century (that was the last century, of course). She died at 68. But we always said she died prematurely (her siblings typically lived into their 90s).
Anyway she was Polish and Austrian. And she had a lot of unique practices, especially religious ones.
Every All Souls’ Eve (that’s the night following Hallowe’en for you non-catholics;)), she had a weird one. On a table she would place a fresh white linen, a prayer book, a rosary and a lit candle. It was meant for the spirits that would be freed of their bonds for just that night.
My mother told me as a girl she was terrified to go into the room (she said she imagined ghosts leafing through the prayer book). Naturally as fate would have it, the bathroom was off the kitchen-- right where the candle, etc. was!
Anyways, not surprisingly my mother and siblings were terrified of that night. And so was my grandmother. While she was in her empty nest state of life, my mother or her sister had to spend the night with her.
Funny story (kind of). One time my mother called my grandmother and said she was sorry she didn’t have a chance to spend the night with her that year. My grandmother was shocked. She said you mean the night had already passed!
Anyways, I just have to ask. Do any of you have grandparents or anyone else who performs this weird ritual and who is afraid of All Souls’ Eve? You know it’s not Hallowe’en when the spooks really roam the earth.