It’s that time of year again. The supermarkets are selling out of trick-or-treat-sized sweets and your eccentric neighbours have started covering their doorstep with fake spider webs and motion-activated ghouls.
(Or is that just me?)
Yes, Halloween is upon us and whether you love it or couldn’t give two witches’ hats about it, there’s never a more apt time to start digging up the past than on All Hallows Eve.
So to get this spooky party started, we crept through the UK and US records on Ancestry in search of the creepiest characters we could find.
For example, ever wondered if you had a witch in the family? Some are easier to find than others, such as Mary A Witch and Edwin Witch (a chemist’s apprentice) who can be found in the 1851 England census.
Over in Rhode Island, USA we have the Zombies, including Anna, Antoinxette and Mary Zombie, the brothers John and Clarence Goblin of North Carolina, and Jean, Otto, George and Mary Vampire, who can all be found in the 1930 US census.
There’s also a spot of paranormal activity occurring the 1851 England census thanks to Mary A. Ghost, who was potentially a long lost relative to Emma Ghost of South Dakota who can be found in the 1910 and 1920 US censuses.
Think your family are a bit batty? They’ve got nothing on the Bat family, listed in the 1851 English census alongside John Ashlin Skelton, who we assume knew a thing or two about finding skeletons in the family closet.
But of course, sometimes actions speak louder than words, as was the case for Henry Norman, Louis Harty Fowler and Gustave Reticke who identified as Professional Wizards in the 1881 England census. John Holden also had the magical job of being the Queen’s Magician and Wizard of the Wicked World in the same census.
Robert Hole and Gains. A Stone were no strangers to holes and headstones, considering they were both listed as undertakers in the 1880 US census and 1881 England census respectively. We’ll never know if good fortune befell Gertrude Hazelgrove but we hope she saw it coming, especially considering she was a gypsy fortune teller in the 1881 England Census.
So why not grab a handful of spooky treats and start searching for some fang-tastic finds in your family tree this Halloween. As they say, blood is thicker than water…