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April News 2024

Greetings, foul friends!

Welcome to the most nauseating six months of the year; spring has firmly sprung, the days are getting longer, the weather is getting hotter, and evenings are getting brighter…

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March News 2024

Greetings, foul friends!

Once again, it’s time to sharpen the feather gifted to us by Poe the Raven and use it to scratch our thoughts in the Black Lodge’s journal…

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February News 2024

Greetings, foul friends!

If you’re reading this, let us congratulate you on surviving the time vortex that is January. You are stout of heart, and we respect that.

But wait! What fresh Devilry is this? No sooner have we escaped the vortex than we’re being thrown right back in! Who had an extra day on their 2024 bingo card?

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January News 2024

Welcome back, friends!

We trust that you had a pleasant (urgh, such a *cheerful* word) holiday season? We at the Lodge rang in the new year in our time-honoured traditional way – drinking lots of flavoured gin, eating wheels upon wheels of cheese, and burning an effigy of Mariah Carey to repel her for another 11 months. She always finds a way of returning earlier and earlier each year, though…

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December News

Welcome, friends, to the final Black Lodge journal entry of the year, and what a year it has been.

Black Lodge Potions are now available in more places than ever, our gins have won another prestigious award, and we’ve managed to break our shackles on more than one occasion (despite The Master’s best efforts) to meet you in person at events up and down the country. For all that and more, we are truly grateful.

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November News

Now that the spooky season is sadly behind us and we’ve all openly enjoyed watching effigies of a certain Mr Fawkes burn on huge fires (ahhh, just like the good old days), Brother G and Brother T have turned their attention to the upcoming end of year festivities.

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It’s our favourite time of year at the Black Lodge; Halloween!

That’s right, the spooky season has descended upon us once more, dear friends; even Bartholemew the Ghost, the Lodge’s resident harbinger of doom, has managed to crack a smile in recent weeks.

Well, there’s so much to be cheerful about, isn’t there? The weather’s getting colder, and the nights are getting darker, which gives us all the excuse we need to turn the gas lights down low, drink delicious Black Lodge Potions gin, and toast innocent children – sorry, marshmallows – over an open fire.

As we’ve lived through over 2,000 of them, we thought we’d give you mortals an overview of this wonderful season. What are the origins of Halloween? Why do we celebrate Halloween? What are some Halloween traditions? And, our personal favourite, what is the best Halloween gin recipe? 

So, pour yourself a drink, pull up your favourite instrument of torture, get comfortable, and let’s begin.

What are the origins of Halloween?

To answer that question, we have to go back over 2,000 years. Halloween has its origins in ancient Celtic festivals such as Samhain (pronounced “SAH-win”), a festival that marked the end of the summer harvest and the beginning of the winter. The Celts believed that the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds thinned on Samhain, allowing druids to communicate with deities and predict the future.

Why do we celebrate Halloween?

November 1st (All Hallows Eve) was an important date in the Pagan calendar. Not only did it mark the end of summer and the start of winter, but it also signalled the beginning of a new year and the day when the souls of the dead returned to their homes.

To welcome these spirits home and to ward off unwanted evil ones, the Celts built bonfires, sacrificed crops and animals, and wore animal heads and skins to disguise themselves from the evil spirits. Ah, what wonderful times they were!

What are some Halloween traditions?

Irish immigrants introduced Halloween to the United States in the 1840s. It quickly became popular, and by the early 20th century, people of all backgrounds celebrated it. The tradition of dressing up in animal skins to ward off ghosts died out long ago and was replaced with more ‘fun’ activities, including:

  • Trick-or-treating
  • Eating sweets and candy
  • Carving a pumpkin or Jack-o-lantern
  • Wearing costumes and make-up
  • Drinking Halloween cocktails (more on that later)
  • Bobbing for apples (it was much more fun when we were allowed to put razor blades in the apples)

Buy your new favourite Halloween tradition here.

5 fun Halloween facts to trick (or treat) your friends with

Here are five fiendishly fun Halloween facts to befuddle your friends with this spooky season!

  • Did you know that the Irish used to carve turnips and potatoes instead of pumpkins?!
  • During the Celtic festival of Samhain, it was tradition for poor children to go begging for food and money. Children would then offer to pray for the souls of their benefactors’ most recently deceased loved ones. At the time, it was called “souling”, and it was the precursor to the trick-or-treating we’re familiar with today.
  • Jack-o-Lanterns get their name from an Irish folk tale called Stingy Jack. Legend tells that Stingy Jack was doomed to roam the earth at night for all eternity after making a deal with the devil. To guide his way, he would light a coal in a carved-out turnip…
  • Americans spent a collective $10.6 billion on Halloween decorations in 2022!
  • The mask that Michael Myers wears in the original 1978 slasher classic Halloween was actually a mass-produced Captain Kirk mask. The film’s production designer shaved the mask’s sideburns off, removed the eyebrows, then dyed the hair brown, and voila – a movie monster icon was born!

What are the top ten Halloween costumes?

Traditional Halloween costumes such as vampires, witches, Frankenstein’s monster, werewolves, ghosts, pirates, pumpkins, and zombies are still universally popular, but since cosplay has become big business, they’ve had to take something of a back seat to a different type of Halloween costume.

Here are ten of the most popular non-scary Halloween costumes of recent years:

  1. Mario/Luigi
  2. Princess Peach
  3. Wednesday Addams
  4. Harry Potter
  5. Hermione Grainger
  6. Barbie/Ken
  7. Inflatable T-Rex
  8. Spider-Man
  9. Batman
  10. Superman

Personally, we at the Black Lodge miss the days when wearing a sack was a necessity to conceal the fact that you’d contracted the Black Death, but we’re old-fashioned that way. (If anyone fancies being locked in the stocks and having rotten vegetables pelted at them, drop us a line).

What is the best Halloween gin recipe? 

With the witching hour nearly upon us, we think there’s no better time than now to pass on our favourite Black Lodge Potions Halloween gin recipe .

This one is guaranteed to get your cauldrons a’ bubbling!

Meet the Black Lodge’s mad monks!

If you’d like to sample some of our traditional style or flavoured gins before you buy, then the Black Lodge’s mad monks will be appearing in person at a number of festivals near you in the coming weeks and months. Click here to sign up to our newsletter to see where we’ll be next, and make sure you stop by and have a Djinn and tonic with us. We promise not to bite. Well, not hard, anyway…  

Well, now, we think that wraps things up tighter than a mummy’s unmentionables for this month.

Enjoy yourselves on Halloween, and if you are drinking a Black Lodge potion, then please enjoy it responsibly.

Stay spooky,

Brother G and Brother T