Halloween Haunts History

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HHS Goblin flyer that teacher's use to give each other gifts.

The sound of fun-sized candy wrappers being poured into a bowl, the exciting cheers of kids as they skip ahead with plastic jack o’ lantern buckets, and the noises that eerie decorations make as they come to life under the moonlight. These things are associated with the holiday that rolls around at the end of October: Halloween.

 

Halloween has more recently been known as a holiday where friends and family huddle around a huge bonfire to hand out candy to little ones. However, Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, had a completely different start.

 

Halloween goes all the way back to pagan times, and is one of the oldest holidays celebrated, originating in the British Isles.

 

The holiday started with an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain that started around 2,000 years ago. The celebration included people making huge bonfires and wearing costumes of animal heads and skins to ward off evil spirits.

 

The day of November 1st marked the end of summer, an important time of harvest, and began the time of coldness and winter, which was associated with death and decay.

 

October 31st is the day the Celts believed the boundary between the living and the dead opened, letting the dead come back to revisit earth.

 

However, the holiday didn’t become common in America for a long time. Since the majority of northern colonies in America had Protestant beliefs, the holiday was found more in southern colonies.

 

The first citywide Halloween party that was official took place in 1921. Halloween finally showed up on official calendars, along with All Saint’s Day.

 

In the 20’s and 30’s, the holiday started to become more like today’s vision, and became  more community centered with having parades and large bonfires. People began to know what the day was and it’s meaning.

 

Early celebrations started  with having masquerade parties, and the holiday blossomed to become more community centered. With bobbing for apples, dressing up, and handing out candy, the 2nd most celebrated holiday in the United States was in full swing.

 

History is always writing and rewriting itself as the years go by. With everyone having different traditions, continuing to celebrate this historical holiday will help the spirit of Halloween flourish for future generations to come. 

Emrel Woody
Pumpkin decoration on Mr. Burgess’s desk