The Samhain Parshell

The Parshell is an important Irish craft as it is the cross which keeps the evil spirits away from your door on Samhain (Halloween) and keeps the barn animals safe the year round. While you want to welcome the good spirits that walk the earth at Samhain you want to be sure to guard against the bad spirits or the spirits of your enemies!

1. Two sticks- 1-2  feet long and about 1/2 inch diameter at most.
2. Tape or string to tie the sticks together.
3. Wheaten straw, similar plant material or green, purple and tan colored paper twists.

1. Fasten the two sticks together securely at  right angles to form a cross using tape or string.
2. If using twists, untwist it and flatten it out but not too flat-it should resemble corn stalk/husk.
3. Attach twist or stalks to underside of one of the sticks or if using straw: wedge it under one and over the other stick starting in the center.
4. Moving clockwise weave the twist or straw over one stick and under the next going around the cross. Stop before you get to the ends of the sticks as a few inches of stick should be exposed.
5. If using twists try to use two or three colors attaching one to the next as you go.

On October 31st,  make the Parshell and place it over the front doorway on the inside. The powers to ward off ill-luck, sickness, witchcraft, and evil spirits only lasts one year. You can only make a new one on Oct.31. When you take the old one down you must take care to shout: Fonstarenheehy.

Source: Kevin Danaher, The Year in Ireland