Halloween Stories And Photographs

Life Stories And Lessons Learned

We create stories from our interactions with people, places and events. This image was taken at the Town Center in Sugarland during its 2012 Halloween celebration. I caught my son staring at the water fountain wondering where the water goes. It had the perfect ingredients to an exciting story.It had fun, mystery and thrill written all over it.

Everyday, we hear stories that captures our interest and imagination. Some stories make us remember our past and help us appreciate the people and places that touched our lives while others reminds us of the fears and heartaches we need to overcome. Some stories reflects our faith and the family traditions we cherished throughout the years while others gives us a glimpse of a fascinating, exciting world that is foreign and unfamiliar. Some stories brings us to places of adventures where dreams come true while others gives us a blank canvas all ready to be painted by our wild, colorful imagination. In most of these stories, we learn important life lessons. Lessons that teaches us to live more, love generously and laugh to our hearts content.

Stories From A Foreign City

Up until I move to America, Halloween is foreign to me.  As far as I can remember, my family together with our tons of relatives would celebrate All Soul’s Day on Nov. 2 with a whole day of celebrating and remembering the dead.  As soon as the rooster crows and break the city’s morning silence, everyone starts preparing the flowers, candles, photos of our dearly departed, snacks as well as the festive dinner that usually includes a sweetened sticky rice called “Biko” and some delicious “Pancit” noodles.

Anything that is unfamiliar and unknown can get scary. Our imagination goes into motion and everything around us particularly shadows of objects together with darkness becomes a perfect medium that triggers fear.

As a kid, I never had Trick or Treating but instead, me and my cousins would collect the melting, hot part of the candles and mold them into a ball. It was a way to socialize, play and yes, kill boredom. Back in those days, there’s no Nintendo, phone games, iPad or DVD. Toys were a combination of what’s around us, our ingenuity and wild imagination. Honestly, I thought it was one of the most fun, thrilling childhood traditions that I could remember. Perhaps it does sound foreign to others but in certain parts of the world, this is normal and much enjoyed throughout the generations.

A spinning skull filled with candies. We sat close to the source of the sweets and every 15 minutes we get a shower of candies. I told my son, “I’ll trade you 100 candies for a dollar.” After he finished counting, he told me excitedly, “Dad, you owe me 1 dollar and 76 cents.” I replied, “Since you’d been great, I’ll give you 5 dollars.” He smiled happily confirming that he agreed with my offer.

On All Soul’s Day, we not only remember our dead family and relatives but more importantly, we pray for their souls. I was taught since childhood that those who didn’t make it to Hell or Heaven goes to Purgatory. It is a dark, cold, sad, scary place where souls are given a chance to repent for the sins they made while still alive. Human prayers shorten their waiting time and helps them move one step closer to heaven.

This year, my son wants to be a ghost or a zombie. I had to ask him why. His reply, “It is cool dad!” I guess it’s a new trend in school. My wife tried to convince him to get a Ninja Turtle or Mario Brothers costume. I looked at her, smiled and said, “Luv, that’s not going to work. He does not want anything cute.”

Not only the living takes this day seriously. The dead also gets sentimental and makes their presence known for those who have forgotten or caused disrespect. I experienced a few events myself when I sensed a dead relative’s presence like scent of flowers, candles, perfume when there were none to be found.

My son thinks it’s funny when he wore this. I told him, “That is too much for you. That is too scary.” His reply, “But dad..,” as he returned the mask on the store rack.

We finally decided that this was the “one,” perfect, less spooky costume for him. Even then, I thought it was still scary. My son on the other hand made a huge grin and said, “This is so awesome. Boo!”

Haunted Stories

This is me before a major dental work-up. Ha, ha,ha!

One time, while playing cards and laughing with my cousins and sisters, we heard a loud knock only to find out nobody was there. The hallway was totally dark with no one in sight. I felt a gushed of cold wind as I opened the door. It happened twice in succession and we all investigated the entire house but found no one other than us. All the adult’s were still at the cemetery. We all stopped playing and offered a short prayer. The knocking stopped. It was a spooky, scary, supernatural event that my human logic can not explain.

As I prepared him for his Trick and Treat event, one woman who passed our way had to go back and looked closely why the head mask was facing towards the back. She got spooked!

 We all forgot our departed grandma’s Birthday twice and on both occasions she showed up and made herself visible to my brother-in-laws. Back then they were just courting and had no idea who my grandma was. One saw her sitting on a rocking chair in a dark corner of our house while the other one saw her in his dream. Both gave the same description of a woman with the long white chair in a flowing white gown. They both verified who she was when my sisters showed them her photograph. They both gave the same scared, surprised reaction when they said, “That’s her!”

Stories And Photographs

We take photos almost everyday. We do it for various reasons. I do it to freeze the beautiful memory for as long as I can. To remember the story behind it and perhaps even discover a story I may have missed. Photographs are priceless. They serve as a time capsule that transport us back to those moments when we’re happiest the most.

Tonight, my wife and son went Trick or Treating. I missed most of the event since I had to go to work but she sent me photos and videos that made me feel that I was there myself, sharing the fun and excitement of the event.

This week’s Image of Life is titled “Stories And Photographs.”

Thank you once again for sharing your day with me. May this post inspire you to embrace and see the amazing images around you.

Thanks to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge called Foreign, Ailsa’s Travel Theme called Spooky and Jake’s Sunday Post called City for the added inspiration for this post. 

 Today, discover the world of these blogger friends. 

Indira of  http://amaltaas.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/weekly-image-of-life-celebration/

The Guat of  http://thewishfactor.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/weekly-image-of-life-celebration/

3rdculturechildren of  http://3rdculturechildren.com/2012/10/29/weekly-image-of-life-celebration/

Cathy of  http://cpgutierrez.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/celebration/

Helen of  http://citylifepicture.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/weekly-image-of-life-celebration/

Deepa of  http://perceptionsofareluctanthomemaker.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/a-village-celebrates/

Patricia of  http://lifeofaministermom.com/2012/10/31/weekly-image-of-life-celebration/

Amy of  http://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/happy-halloween/

Seraphim at  http://seraphim6.me/2012/10/31/spooky-celebration-eat-drink-and-be-scary/

Marianne of  http://eastofmalaga.net/2012/10/30/the-day-of-the-dead-a-celebration-of-life/

For those who wish to join in this week’s challenge, here’s a link and the widget. Have a great time making wonderful memories.


All images taken using an iPhone 4 camera with Camera + App.

About Island Traveler

Just A Dad With A Dream. Check out our new family adventures at beachandtrips instagram .
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87 Responses to Halloween Stories And Photographs

  1. scrapydo says:

    Lovely merge into the three! I do not like these scary things. We had some here


  2. Dear Island Traveler,
    I love the way you speak from your heart, while sharing stories of your life and family. It warms our hearts as well!


    • Thanks Naomi. Sometimes, if not most of the times, I get carried away and my “emotion” brakes doesn’t work. I’m glad you and my blogger friends appreciate them. I believe blogging is about expressing who we are and what are hopes are. They may even contain pain and heartaches but that is what life is. Honesty is one way to set ourselves free from fear and inhibitions. Thanks for a generous response.


  3. Indira says:

    Hi friend, Naomi is right, you speak from your heart that’s why your stories your love for your family touches us. thanks for giving us new challenges every week. Thanks for sharing this post. Have a nice week.


    • Thanks Indira. Honestly, you guys inspire me as well with your celebration of love, hope, faith and joy with your family and friends.Life is not easy. We have so much trias along the way but its because of them that we are able to rise up and go on. Have a great weekend my friend.


    • Thanks Indira. It is a joy to share life’s blessings, of love and happiness shared among friends and family. Good things should be spread around the globe so people despite of the trials we face will have reasons to smile and feel hopeful. I had my share of hardships , even now but I find inspiration in what is good around me and that somehow keeps me going.


      • Indira says:

        Yes dear, when you share sorrows they become less and happiness doubles with sharing. Keep inspiring us. God bless you and your family. Hardship makes one strong and then we don’t take happiness for granted.


  4. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Ahh I bet your boy had an amazing time!


    • He did. He get to do trick or treating twice but the last one, he get to play with other kids which I think added more to the excitement. He could hardly wake up for school the next day. Thanks.


  5. Marianne says:

    What a lovely article. Well written and heart-felt.

    Here in Spain we don´t really celebrate Halloween, though is gradually creeping into the calendar. Today (November 1st) is All Saints Day and Spanish families will go to their local cemeteries to honour their dead and celebrate their lives. I wrote a post about it the other day, which you might be interested to read



    • Thanks Marianne. This is a beautiful and inspiring celebration. I too grew up witnessing this festivity where we honor our dead, pray for their souls, remember and celebrate the legacy they left behind. My grandma used to ask us pray novenas during this event. Most of which I can’t even understand cause they were in Spanish. But I did appreciate how she valued her faith and tried to share it to us and my siblings.


  6. john tugano says:

    Happy Halloween bro.Everything that is new/foreign is somehow frightening but when were used to it, its then that we find courage.


    • That’s true Bro. It’s only when we overcome our fear and pursue our dreams no matter how foreign they are or brough us even to foreign lands that we feel feel totally free and fully satisfied. We can’t live a life having so many “what if’s.” Thanks for sharing.


  7. cocomino says:

    Happy Halloween. If my daughters see them, they will cry. 🙂


    • Happy Halloween too. Some of the kids I know are also scared of the spooky masks but I also see a lot of kids into the ghosts and supernatural stuff that really surprises me. Thanks.


  8. Pingback: WEEKLY IMAGE OF LIFE: STORIES AND PHOTOGRAPHS « Francine In Retirement

  9. fgassette says:

    A broad challenge this week. I hope my entry lives up to challenge. Here is mine: http://wp.me/p23TG1-1zF



    • That is one impressive post Francine. Life revealed itself in the most honest and beautiful way through your lens. Each one does tell a story, most of which I believe you shared in your amazing posts but looking at them all over again also shares another story that the reader interprets and applies in his/her own life. Thank you for sharing a post that moves our hearts everytime. God bless you always….


    • lifeofaministermom says:

      Love this post from you Francine! It really inspired me this week!!


  10. likeitiz says:

    Awesome photos of Halloween! I knew you’d indulge us! Thank you!


  11. Each season there are unique ways to store and recall our most precious memories. Again you have helped us return to our past to see the present in a better way. Your images are priceless examples of how children can become someone or something else and with permission of adults. For that alone these holidays are joyous for little ones and older ones too.


    • Thanks Sally. We parents help our kids reach their dreams and make them believe that they can be whoever they hope to be. My parents taught me that, now I’m sharing to my son what they gave me.


  12. ahhh…you just took us back! we used to live in the area and seeing images of sugar land town center took us back! thanks for the ping back.


  13. MikeP says:

    Well….living in Jersey at this moment in time…”Halloween” has been postponed or canceled altogether. I love your backstory on ‘All Souls..’ Its weird having never missed a long standing event from childhood through adulthood.


    • I hope and pray you and your family are safe from the effects of hurricane Sandy. I was watching the news and I am reminded of hurricane Ike and its devastation. I called my sister who lives in the East coast and she’s worried about loosing electric/gas power and it had been cold lately. Thanks for sharing.


  14. Dear Island Traveler,
    I love your life. There seem never to be a dull moment. Your pictures are so so interesting that it makes me jealous half the time i am here. Keep enjoying your life.
    Live: Laugh: Love!


    • My friend Nita, my life ain’t that grand I just try my best to make it us fun and happy as I can. Everyday, life gives me a new trial and challenge. Sometimes they wear me down and bring down my spirit but I look around me and I have the two sweetest smiles in the world, giving me comfort. I try to venture into events of adventure where fun, excitement and joy is a possibility, thus these posts. Yes, let’s all live, laugh, love as much as we can. Life is too short not to do so.


  15. */-)ndr¡X* says:

    I love your work as always my friend, thanks a lot for sharing with us.
    I like a lot reading your posts and watching your photos.
    Excelent work!! 😉
    Have a great day and Happy Halloween! but instead as a Mexican tradition I shall say “Happy Day of the Death” 😀


    • Yes, it is the day we remember and pray for our dearly departed. Happy Halloween too. I appreciate the positive feedback. That made me happy….event without the holidays. Have a wonderful weekend.


  16. Cara Olsen says:

    “In most of these stories, we learn important life lessons. Lessons that teaches us to live more, love generously and laugh to our hearts content.” Such wisdom in this proverb. And I do love all the photos, in themselves, they tell wondrous stories.



  17. jakesprinter says:

    Great Creepy photography my friend ,Thanks for sharing 🙂


  18. Anna Marie says:

    I enjoyed hearing about your traditional childhood celebrations of all souls. Your writing reflects your love of life and family and is inspiring.


  19. Pingback: SUNDAY POST: WONDERFUL « mywordwall

  20. Imelda says:

    IT, I will never get Halloween either. It will always be Undas in my mind. There was one thing you did not mention – pangangaluluwa.

    I also have dreams of deceased relatives sometimes – often near their death anniversaries. The dreams are my reminders to pray for them.
    Finally, I got to join your party again. 🙂


  21. dearrosie says:

    ooh I love the photos and what a wonderful mix of your family memories and ghostly encounters. Does your grandma still visit in the rocking chair if you forget her birthday? The cold wind in the dark passage when you were playing cards with your cousins must’ve been so scary. Clever idea to say a prayer.


    • I’m not sure. I need to ask my mom if there’s any recent visits. I did tell my grandma and grandpa before they died to please not show up on me cause I do have fear with ghosts. Till today, they never showed themselves on me. Yes, the knocking episode I will never forget. That room has a dark winding narrow staircase with an opening that leads to the attic. Everytime I pass there alone , I always felt a presence. Today, the room is abandoned and I bet someone from the other side already lives there. I do believe that spirits do exist and not just from our imagination. Thanks for sharing.


  22. Pingback: Stories, Photographs and the Challenge to Write « Comments from Cathy

  23. Cathy G says:

    Here’s my post! Wish me luck! …and than-you as always for a great topic! 🙂


    • Mija and her story through your eyes and heart just moved me. Inspirng, tender, beautiful. You are blessed with a wonderful and close knit family. A priceless treasure in this world. God bless you and your love ones always.


  24. Patti Kuche says:

    I love the fun of NY’s Halloween Parade (cancelled this year . . .) but I will forever be an outsider looking in, and wondering what it is really all about! Great sense of fun in your shots IT!


  25. Sartenada says:

    I enjoyed very much Your post. What comes to Halloween here in Finland, it is known today quite well and its popularity is growing among young generation. Halloween has superseded our own tradition in Finland called:


    That short article is in English. There is also a link telling

    When a turnip turned into a pumpkin.

    I beg my pardon giving these two links, but I think that may have some interest and give a point of view from this corner of the world.


    • Kekri is a beautiful and fun celebration. Thanks for sharing a wonderful tradition. if not for your link, I wouldn’t have known. Every culture have something exciting to offer and this totally made me say, “wow, that is way cool!” Thanks.


  26. gourmandchic says:

    Really enjoyed your blog!!! The pics were great and the kids were so cute…


  27. Pingback: Weekly Image of Life: Stories and Photographs « The Wish Factor

  28. The Guat says:

    Great shot. The first picture is very cool. Truly captured the theme. Here’s my take on this week’s challenge. For those of you enjoy awesome cars, take a look.



    • Love the cars and the people who drives them. How they choose to embrace the “Happy Days” in the present truly inspired me. The stories they tell and the lessons they share are priceless. Something we all need to think about in today’s busy, stressful environment. Thanks for a wonderful entry.


  29. Tammy says:

    You captured the festivities really well. Thanks for sharing.


  30. adinparadise says:

    Love that first photo too. Children have very inquiring minds, don’t they? i so enjoyed your whole post. That back-to-front head mask is such fun. 🙂


  31. eof737 says:

    You did the subject proud. That first shot with your son in it is sufficiently scary. 😉


  32. eof737 says:

    Thank you for checking in during the Hurricane… your kind wishes were appreciated! 🙂


  33. Pingback: Exquisite carvings that tell stories of beauty, valour and life | perceptionsofareluctanthomemaker

  34. deepa says:

    Great photos! Halloween is foreign to India too, but fast catching up now. Here’m my story for the week:http://perceptionsofareluctanthomemaker.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/exquisite-carvings-that-tell-stories-of-beauty-valour-and-life/


    • Wow! The carvings and the legend are all amazing. It’s like being in another world and time. Thank you and best wishes to you and your family. I hope and pray for you and your family’s good health and speedy recovery.


  35. cassbee says:

    Interesting — Day of the Dead, All Souls Day, or Dia de los Muertos was a foreign concept to me. I’ve been making an “ofrenda” for the past five years or so now, but until I moved to Chicago and met some friends who celebrated, I had no idea what it was. I love it — it is a new take on death, and not as sad or indefinite.

    I have pictures from the gallery at the National Museum of Mexican Art here is Chicago, I will post them soon.


    • Thanks Casbee. Until I move to America this was how we celebrated the day of the dead. To remember them , offer a prayers and just get in touch with our living relatives as well. The Dia de los Muertos we don’t have but I think it has a similar concept only I think it’s for more fun and colorful. I do appreciate Halloween too except I do miss the past traditions as well as the family I left behind.


  36. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman says:

    Thank you for sharing your tradition of All Souls Day…we actually call it All Saints Day and honor those who are now saints in heaven. It is not so much of a celebration – I think I like the celebrating part better, I agree with cassbee it makes death not as sad or indefinite.


    • It does make death not so sad or indefinite. That there’s hope and joy in the afterlife. That ghosts are not there to scare us but rather asking for our prayers.Thank you for sharing and best wishes to you and your love ones.


  37. Madhu says:

    Looks like your little son had a grand day 🙂 His backward mask is truly spooky!


  38. mariannegv says:

    I love to know different traditions, so I thank you for your interesting information. In Mexico people also celebrates November 1 and 2: All Souls Day (Day of the Dead) and All Saints.


  39. Lisaman says:

    Oh my your dentist does have a load of work to do…hahaha


  40. lifeofaministermom says:

    Even though my family doesn’t celebrate Halloween, I appreciate all the opportunities each family has to come together, celebrate, and even reflect on those who have lived this triumphant life before them. With each one of your posts I think about how blessed you and your family are, and how fortunate your son is to have such an enriched childhood!! For us,Thanksgiving is one of these special times, and our flight is booked! Seeing my mom and extended family, wil be a treasured experience indeed! http://lifeofaministermom.com/2012/11/07/weekly-image-of-life-stories-and-photographs/

    Have a wonderful day IT!

    God bless you!!



  41. Pingback: Weekly Image Of Life: Stories and Photographs « City Life Picture

  42. Thank you my friend for sharing generously. I am excited for you. Visiting your parents in Georgia and introducing your beautiful daughter and loving husband. This is the essence of Thanksgiving. Being around your family who shares your joys and pain, and yes, over a delicious turkey and more. I will be joining my sister in Connecticut which I have not see for 6 years in person. I will see his two year old boy for the first time too. I can’t wait. God bless you and your family. Have a safe journey.


  43. My friend, that is so romantic and inspiring. Congratulations to you and your husband. Celebrations like this moves me knowing love is real and that it can last despite of all the challenges in life. I bet you and your hubby have so many beautiful stories to tell and this is just one of the many magical moments you shared together. I wish you both all the love, joy, peace and great health. Thanks for sharing this priceless photo.


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