Pokémon Mythology and the Origins of Halloween

This class is an exploration of the origins and mythology of Halloween, using the Pokemon anime and games.

We all know the typical Halloween decorations: bats, ghosts, candles, pumpkins…the list is long and varied. But how did all these themes come together to represent Halloween? Where did all these traditions come from? And are some Pokemon also inspired by these same traditions and myths? We’ll explore the origins of Halloween alongside the spookiest creatures of the Pokemon world. We’ll compare and contrast these spooky Pokemon with their historical inspirations from Celtic and Irish folklore.

What you’ll learn

  • Explain the purpose of the Celtic New Year – Samhain..
  • Recall some of the basic beliefs of the Celtic people regarding spirits and their purposes..
  • Describe which modern Halloween traditions and costumes originated with the Celtic people..
  • Tell how their favorite spooky Pokemon relate to common Halloween decorations and traditions..

Course Content

  • Introduction –> 1 lecture • 1min.
  • Pokemon and Halloween –> 4 lectures • 45min.

Pokémon Mythology and the Origins of Halloween

Requirements

  • None.

We all know the typical Halloween decorations: bats, ghosts, candles, pumpkins…the list is long and varied. But how did all these themes come together to represent Halloween? Where did all these traditions come from? And are some Pokemon also inspired by these same traditions and myths? We’ll explore the origins of Halloween alongside the spookiest creatures of the Pokemon world. We’ll compare and contrast these spooky Pokemon with their historical inspirations from Celtic and Irish folklore.

 

This introductory class will touch on the following topics and their connection to both Halloween and Pokemon:

  • The Celtic origins of Halloween
  • Why Samhain was such an important holiday, and its similarities (and differences) as compared to Halloween.
  • The Grim Reaper (and the Celtic version, the Ankou), and how Duskull might be inspired by this figure from folklore.
  • Candles and Halloween – why do we use candles as decorations during this holiday?
  • Ghosts and Ghouls (banshees, sluaghs, will-o-wisps, poltergeists, possessed objects, and dilas) and the Pokemon inspired by them.
  • How trick-or-treating began – its origins with Samhain, and some loose connections to the Pokemon world.
  • The history of witches (and their association with potions, wands, bats, and black cats) and related Pokemon.
  • The tale of Stingy Jack and the jack-o-lantern (and how this was the inspiration for Pumpkaboo and Gourgeist)