By Penny Clift
Halloween. The one night of the year when it is perfectly fine to become a fiend or a monster.
All kinds of monsters, witches, princesses, superheros, animals and even pop stars ring our
doorbells demanding a treat. The penalty for not producing the requested treat? Why a trick of
Halloween celebrates all the things which bring us fear. It celebrates the bump in the night, the
shadow at the corner of your eye, the unknown and unseen things that make us look over our
shoulder. Let’s face it, we love to be scared out of our wits as long as it is all in good fun.
Halloween is second only to Christmas in popularity. Halloween sales are a booming business.
But how did it all begin?
Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic holiday known as Samhain. It marked the
end of harvest and the beginning of winter. The Celts believed this seasonal transition was a
bridge to the world of the dead. On October 31st they celebrated Samhain. The dead were
believed to return on that night to create havoc. People dressed in costume so the spirits would
believe them to be one of their own. People would leave gifts of food on their doorstep as an
offering, so the dead would pass them by. They lit candles so their loved ones could find their
way back to the land of the dead.
In the 9th century All Souls Day was celebrated on November 1st. It was a day to honor the
dead. The night before was All Hallow’s Eve. This eventually became known as Halloween.
When settlers came to America they brought different European ethnic versions of the holiday.
The European version of Halloween was intertwined with Native American customs which
resulted in a unique American version of Halloween.
often mischief involved in the “play parties”.
When Irish immigrants began arriving in the 19th century, once again traditions mixed. The Irish
and English versions of Halloween gave us dressing in costumes. People went house to house
asking for food or money. This eventually became our current tradition of trick or treat.
Every October 31st, neighborhoods everywhere prepare for trick or treaters, plan Halloween
parties, decorate their homes and yards in ghoulish fashion, make up some unique Halloween
At Halloween Hints you will find everything Halloween. Stay and enjoy a good ghost story,
movie recommendations, Halloween recipes, party themes, costume ideas, yard decorating
ideas and haunted house help. You can even share your scary story with us. We welcome