THE Rt Rev Dr John Inge stated in last week’s Bishop’s Diary that he would like to ‘reclaim’ Halloween as a Christian festival “...which is what it originally was.” Actually the festival was originally Celtic.

It was called Samhain, and was adopted by Christians around the 9th Century AD and renamed All Hallows Even, since they decided to celebrate All Saints on November 1.

The ghosts and witches are a hangover from ancient times, when it was believed that the souls of the dead were free to walk the earth on that night.

The ancient people wore masks and ‘guises’ to bring good luck and scare away any evil spirits.

None of these practices are evident in the later Christian tradition. I’m all for reclaiming our festivals from hype and marketeers, but let’s not forget their true origins along the way.

RUTH WILCOXON Belvedere Crescent Bewdley