Monday, October 31, 2016

History of Hallowe'en

[Reposting an item we first put up here ten years ago.]

On Hallowe’en 1885, Toronto got more than a few overturned privies. The Monday edition of the Globe reported that police constable Jenkinson, making his rounds at Parliament and Gerrard late Hallowe'en night, had discovered a nude female body hanging from a meat hook outside a butcher shop. “Great ghosts!” the Globe reports him as saying.

The Globe writers, on behalf of Victorian decency, seems to have been genuinely horrified.“Suppose a delicate lady had to pass an exhibition of this kind. The result would have been terrible.” A good deal of disgust was directed toward the Trinity medical students, who were suspected of being the malefactors, based on their past history of Hallowe'en stunts. They denied all culpability, though the body -- and two others found outside the school building -- had indeed been stolen from the med school morgue.

Later, an assistant at the butcher shop and some of his cronies were arrested at the scene. But on November 19, city police magistrate Denison freed them, saying, “I’m afraid we haven’t got the right persons. I wish we had.” 

"Who perpetrated the Hallowe’en Outrage?" asked the Globe.  Could Great Unsolved Mysteries of Canadian History take this one on?
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