Halloween is usually regarded as the creepiest festival of the modern year, a celebration of witchcraft, phantoms and images of fear which comes down to us from a remote and murky pagan past. Some see it in much more positive light as the ancient Celtic New Year and feast of the dead, called Samhain, a time when the veil between the human and superhuman worlds, and those of the living and the dead, grows thin enough for contact to be made between them.

Join Ronald Hutton for an evening which is intended to explain how such differing views of it have come to be held. He will also offer suggestions regarding how traditional each is, and so propose answers to the fundamental question of how old this festival really is, whether it should still be celebrated, and if so, how?