Monthly Archives: October 2017

Happy Halloween from the Storage Inn of EHT!

Which Witch is Which? A Brief History

It’s Halloween here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and along with the falling leaves , and dropping temperatures come our yearly Trick or Treaters. Whether they are our self storage customers, or neighborhood families, it is always great to spend time with visitors to our storage facility. We see all sorts of costumes, from current and topical, to the traditional monsters, witches and goblins. So in the spirit of Halloween, we thought it would be fun to give you a brief history of a most time-honored Halloween symbol… The Witch!

Images of witches have appeared in various forms throughout history—from evil, wart-nosed women huddling over a boiling cauldron to a nose-twitching, suburban housewife. The real history of witches however, is dark and, often for the witches, deadly!

Early Witches

Early witches were people who practiced witchcraft— They used “Spells” to call upon spirits for help or to bring about change. Most witches were thought to be pagans doing the Devil’s work. Many, however, were simply natural healers whose choice of profession was misunderstood.

One of the earliest records of a witch is in the Bible within the book of Samuel. It tells the story King Saul who sought the Witch of Endor to summon the dead prophet Samuel’s spirit to help him defeat the Philistine army. Additional Biblical passages caution against chanting or using witches to contact the dead.

Witch hysteria really took hold in Europe during the mid-1400s. Witch hunts were common and most of the accused were executed by burning at the stake or hanging. Between the years 1500 and 1660, up to 80,000 suspected witches were put to death in Europe. Around 80 percent of them were women thought to be in cahoots with the Devil and filled with lust.

The book Malleus Maleficarumwritten in 1486—was essentially a guide on how to identify, hunt and interrogate witches. It labeled witchcraft as heresy, and gave Protestants and Catholics the authority to flush out witches living among them. For more than 100 years, the book sold more copies of any other book in Europe except the Bible.

Witches in the New World

As witch hysteria decreased in Europe, it grew in the New World. Probably the best-known witch trials took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. The Salem witch trials began when two girls claimed to be witches and accused many of their neighbors of witchcraft. Ultimately, around 150 people were accused and 18 were put to death.

In 1730, a satirical article written by Benjamin Franklin brought to light the ridiculousness of some witchcraft accusations. It wasn’t long before witch mania died down in the New World and laws were passed to help protect people from being wrongly accused and convicted.

Modern Day Witches

Modern-day witches of the Western World still struggle to shake their historical stereotype. Most practice Wicca, an official religion in the United States and Canada. Wiccans avoid evil and the appearance of evil at all costs. Their motto is to “harm none,” and they strive to live a peaceful, tolerant and balanced life in tune with nature and humanity.

There you have it – a little witch history.  Well, it’s time for me to go. I have a Halloween party to attend – I’m going dressed as… (wait for it…) a self storage manager – BOO!!!

 

 

For the Love of Doughnuts!

It’s mid-October here at The Storage Inn self storage in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and the place is abuzz with activity. Folks are scurrying about the parking lot, in and out of their rental units and our office, but mostly they’re excited to get their free donuts! That’s right – its Customer Appreciation Day, and that means free coffee and donuts for our great customers! We offer many perks to our customers here at The Storage Inn, including free use of a moving truck, free WiFi, fax, and copy service, but our customers simply love their monthly free coffee and donuts! All of this activity made me wonder, where did donuts come from, and why do Americans love them so much? So I put on my detective hat, and did some research…

A Brief History

The “doughnut” came to Manhattan under the Dutch name olykoeks, or “oily cakes” . In mid-19th century New England, a ship captain’s mother named Elizabeth Gregory made her son fried dough with nuts in the middle (dough/nuts) to take on his long journeys. Her son lay claim to putting the hole in the middle by eating the nuts out of the center, possibly to skewer it onto the ship’s wheel as he was steering. Others claim the hole was made to get rid of the soggy, undercooked center.

Donut Trivia

Doughnuts vs. Donuts? “Doughnut” is actually proper, but “donut” is acceptable.If you look in older dictionaries, you’ll only find “doughnut.” However, the Merriam-Webster dictionary now lists “donut” as a variant of “doughnut.”

– January 12th is National Glazed Doughnut Day.
– The first Friday in June and November 5th are National Doughnut Day.
– June 8th is National Jelly Filled Doughnut Day.
– September 14th is National Creme-Filled Doughnut Day.
– National Doughnut Day was officially established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to raise much-needed funds during the Great Depression.
– In the U.S. alone, more than 10 billion doughnuts are made every year.
– The largest doughnut ever made was an American-style jelly donut weighing 1.7 tons, which was 16 feet in diameter and 16 inches high in the center.

 

– Per capita, Canada has more doughnut shops than any other country.
– Adolph Levitt invented the first doughnut machine in 1920.
– The US doughnut industry is worth 3.6 billion dollars.
– The Guinness World record for doughnut eating is held by John Haight, who consumed 29 donuts in just over 6 minutes.

So there you have it – A brief history, and some fun facts about America’s favorite… donuts!

Well, it’s very busy here, and all this talk about donuts reminds me I best do my quality control – freshness check on our free donuts. Just a bite or two should do the trick!

 

What is Indian Summer?

It’s the first half of October here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and the place is jumping! This probably has something to do with the unusually warm weather we’ve been experiencing?!

One of our customers, Damon, strode into our storage supplies store and proclaimed, “October, and it’s actually hot outside!”  to which I replied, ” Indian Summer!”

Damon, who also happens to be a school teacher, told me that I was, in fact, incorrect, and that Indian Summer only occurs after the first frost of the year. “Still hot though!” he exclaimed as he walked out of the office and back towards his storage space.

Hmmmm – I wondered if he was actually correct about the frost thing, so I checked it out, and found some interesting facts about “Indian Summer”.

Indian summer is defined as a period of unseasonably warm, dry and calm weather, usually following a period of colder weather or frost in late Autumn.

The Origin

Indian summer was first recorded in Letters From an American Farmer, in a 1778 work by the French-American soldier turned farmer, J. H. St. John de Crèvecoeur.

“Then a severe frost succeeds which prepares it to receive the voluminous coat of snow which is soon to follow; though it is often preceded by a short interval of smoke and mildness, called the Indian Summer.”

There are many references to the term in American literature to refer to any late flowering following a period of decline. John Greenleaf Whittier wrote of “The Indian Summer of the Heart”, and Oliver Wendell Holmes mentions “an Indian summer of serene widowhood” in his story The Guardian Angel.


Why “Indian”?

The English already had names for this phenomenon including St. Luke’s Summer, St. Martin’s Summer or All-Hallows Summer, but eventually these terms disappeared and were replaced by indian summer.

Why Indian? Well, no one knows but, as is commonplace when no one knows, many people have guessed. Here are three of the more commonly repeated guesses…

When European settlers first came across the phenomenon in America it became known as the Indian’s Summer as Native American tribes would wait for a warm spell in the autumn to harvest their crops including pumpkins, gourds, and fall vegetables.

It originated from raids on European settlements by Indian war parties, which usually ended in late autumn, after “Indian Summer”.


Native Americans were considered untrustworthy by many white settlers, spawning terms such as “Indian giver”. The aforementioned late-summer heat was considered a “false summer”, thus the term “Indian” summer.

Well, who knows if any of these theories are correct? What I do know is that both the staff, and our self-storage customers here at The Storage Inn will be enjoying the warm days ahead! I think I’ll spend a couple next week in shorts and flip-flops, turn the ball game on the radio, sit on my back deck and have a cold beer – Indian Summer Rules!