I am thoroughly convinced that October through December is hands down the best time of the year, and all of the fun kicks off with spooky season. There’s just something in the air that makes it so special. Candy, costumes, horror movies, pumpkin carving, and more is just some of the fun associated with this season. Although, how did all of these traditions start; what is the history of all of this?
Halloween originally began 2,000 years ago in European tribes to mark the end of the warm season and the start of the colder season. The colder season, at the time, was associated with darkness and death. Around the night of Halloween, tribes believed that ghosts of the dead returned to earth. Because of this association with darkness and death, Halloween did not come to protestant colonial America until later. This is because the church at the time had a hard time moving past the dark side of Halloween. Colonial America started to do Halloween celebrations with simple parties to mainly celebrate the new harvest. Later, Americans also began to dress up in costumes and trick-or-treat to ask for food or money. During this time, some young women even believed they could do tricks with certain items to reveal the name of their future spouse. This society was slowly getting more comfortable and accustomed to Halloween.
It wasn’t until the 1800s when Halloween was really integrated into American society. Community and parties were still the main theme in most of these celebrations. Trick or treating also became vastly popular again in the 1950s, where candy was given to kids so the neighbors could prevent tricks being played on them. Along with trick-or-treating, the tradition of carving pumpkins dates back to an Irish myth. People would carve scary faces into pumpkins to ward off Stingy Jack and his wandering soul from the myth (hints to the name Jack-o’lantern). Although there is no need to ward off spirits now, carving pumpkins continues to be a staple Halloween tradition. It is something fun to do with friends and gets everyone in the spirit.
Halloween in the present day consists of scary movies, parties, and fun costumes. This time of the year also makes tons of money for companies and franchises. Horror/thriller movies sales spike during this season. For example, since debuting on October 15th, 2021, the new Halloween Kills movie accumulated $50.4 million during its debut. This amount far exceeded the franchise’s expectations. Along with the Halloween franchise, Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Candyman, and other slasher films are readily watched throughout the season. Along with movies, candy sales also spike during this time. From trick-or-treating to parties, candy is a must. According to one source, One fourth of all candy sold in the U.S. is bought for Halloween. It is no secret that everyone loves this season. So, go out there carve some pumpkins, eat some candy, and have a Happy (and safe) Halloween!