Halloween kale casting and fortune-telling in Mid Yell.

Date 1958
Track ID 34989
Part 1

Track Information

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Halloween kale casting and fortune-telling in Mid Yell.

Gangs go out at night on Halloween and cast [throw] kale through the doorways of houses, then run away. People usually notice a few kale stalks gone from their yards the next morning. At the time of recording [1958], kale casting only continued in the far north of Shetland. Neepy [turnip] lanterns were commonplace, however, with a candle inside a hollowed-out neep with a carved face.

For years, the oldest member of the Mid Yell WRI [Women's Rural Institute] would tell fortunes at the annual Halloween party by slowly breaking an egg into a glass of water. The white of the egg would form all sorts of figures in the water, which could be read.

Item Notes

Kale casting was a common winter prank on the West Side of Shetland until the 1980s.

Recording Location

County - Shetland

Parish - Tingwall

Island - Shetland Mainland

Village/Place - Scalloway

Item Location

County - Shetland

Parish - Yell

Island - Yell

Village/Place - Mid Yell


English, Scots





Source Type

Reel to reel

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