Reported by Madison Odriscoll
Over 30 countries celebrate Halloween, and one of them is America. But when was Halloween created? Over 2,000 years ago people at the Celtic festival of Samhain started the tradition. It was said to have started to mark the beginning of winter. This was in ancient Britain and Ireland. Trick or treating started in the 16th century in Ireland and Scotland. And they’d have to put on a show to be able to get treats.
Halloween came to the United States in the 1840s. They would trick farmers and get treats. Some tricks included placing farmers’ supplies on their barn roofs, uprooting vegetables from the ground, and pushing down outhouses. But the United States didn’t start celebrating Halloween until 1920. This started in Anoka Minnesota. People would dress up, go to parades, and they would play tricks. Tricks would include, painting their animals, stealing their cow or horse, switching street signs, and tying strings of tin cans to vehicles.
People wore costumes because people believed that supernatural beings, or the dead, roamed the earth at this time. People started wearing costumes in 1585, Scotland started this. But America started doing this in the mid 1800’s. Candy was also introduced at this time in America. This was a big deal, because of the economic factors. It made it easier for factories because of the popular giveaway.
Some people might wonder, why is Halloween called that. It was originally called ‘All Hallow’s Eve’. Hallow which means saint or holy. It’s the day before All Saints Day. This is the season of Allhallowtide that includes, October 31st (Halloween), November 1st (All Saints Day), and November 2nd (All Souls Day).
Pumpkins started becoming a trend in Ireland. Ireland started carving demonic faces out of turnips to frighten away Jack’s wandering soul. The name came from a tale the Irish told. When they moved to America, they started carving Jack-o-lanterns.
Haunted houses started in 1915. One of the first haunted houses was the Orton and Spooner Ghost House in Liphook, England. Haunted houses started showing up for the trick-or-treat aspect during the great depression. It was to distract the young people who would vandalize and harass people.
In all, the festivals, costumes, ghosts, candy, and even haunted houses – Halloween is full of surprises! More will come, and a lot will go just like the tricks did. But in all, Halloween will always be a spooky experience!