In the nineteenth century, The Galoshans Book was a chapbook printing of a short play based loosely on the legend of Saint George and the Dragon, more traditionally performed by mummers. Children would dress up and travel from house to house performing their interpretation of this play, it is from this that we derive the term “going galoshans”.
In recent years, the tradition of referring to Halloween as "Galoshans" has been revived in Inverclyde, with local school Aileymill Primary taking the lead. It has also been the inspiration for an arts festival. You can read more about the history of the tradition on the Tales of the Oak blog.
In 2016, Magic Torch received funding from Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland to help revive the tradition of performing the Galoshans Play. I wrote a new version of the play which includes characters for the myths and legends of Inverclyde as the main characters, including Auld Dunrod, Granny Kempock and Captain Kidd.
Over 6000 free copies of the play were distributed to local primary schools last year, but if you didn't get one, fear not - you can still download it for free.
And of course Halloween is the ideal time to enjoy some of my spookier stories on the blog, or purchase some of Magic Torch's award winning spooky books and comics featuring scary stories from Inverclyde and beyond...
I've a few new seasonal stories to share with you later in the month, including a spooky story based on the Galoshans play itself.