Happenings & History of Halloween


Taylor Couch, Staff Writer

Halloween has a long and complicated history, so long, in fact, I can’t fit it all in this article. But I can give a brief historical overview of some of my favorite Halloween traditions. First, haunted houses originated as a way for parents to distract their bored children from holiday pranks. They were held in household basements where children would travel from home to home for a good scare. Another is the act of carving pumpkins, which dates back thousands of years to the Celtic festival of Samuin, or Samhain. This festival marked the end of the Celtic year and the beginning of harvest and it was used as a time to honor the dead. This ties into visiting a pumpkin patch because you go to pick out a pumpkin to carve. Corn mazes originated in Annville, Pennsylvania. They are a way farms gain tourist attraction, over time the farmers put a twist on it to gain more tourists in the fall season. Hayrides originated with people getting rides on the loaded hay wagons back to the barn for unloading. Trick or treating originated in Celtic times. During some Celtic celebrations of Samhain, villagers disguised themselves in costumes made of animal skins to drive away phantom visitors; banquet tables were prepared and food was left out to placate unwelcome spirits. In later centuries, people began dressing as ghosts, demons and other malevolent creatures, performing antics in exchange for food and drink. This custom, known as mumming, dates back to the Middle Ages and is thought to be an antecedent of trick-or-treating. Finally, my personal favorite is watching Halloween movies. I recommend the two Hocus Pocus movies, the Scream franchise, Carrie, and Coraline.

Make sure to check out the Tinley Park High School Safehouse on Wednesday October 26th from 5pm-7pm. Dress up and bring a trick or treat bag. Entry is $1 or 1 food item. Enter at door S6 in the back of the building. All donations will be brought to Together We Cope. It is open to the public and sponsored by Interact Club.