- Ιαν• 14•19


Halloween is one of the most popular holydays that has unfortunately, over the course of time, lost its meaning. All Hallows Eve, as it is one of its names, is celebrated on October 31, which is the eve of All Hallows Day. All Hallows Day is a Christian festival celebrated in honor of all the saints, known or unknown. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time of the year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.

It is widely believed that many Halloween traditions originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain (Gaels are an ethno linguistic native to northwestern Europe, they are associated with the Gaelic languages) and that Samhain itself was Christianized as Halloween by the early Church. Some believe, however, that Halloween began solely a Christian holiday, separate from ancient festivals like Samhain. The festival Smahain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the «darker half» of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31 October to 1 November, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset. This is about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice.

Halloween Activities

à    Tick-or-treating:  is a Halloween ritual custom for children and adults in many countries. Children in costumes travel from house-to-house, asking for treats with the phrase «Trick or treat». The «treat» is usually some form of candy; candy corn, “Reese’s” butter cups, Hershey kisses, “SweeTarts” ropes. The «trick» refers to a threat, usually idle, to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given.

In North America, trick-or-treating has been a Halloween tradition since the late 1920s. In Britain and Ireland the tradition of going house-to-house collecting food at Halloween goes back at least as far as the 16th century, as had the tradition of people wearing costumes at Halloween. In 19th century Britain and Ireland, there are many accounts of people going house-to-house in costume at Halloween, reciting verses in exchange for food, and sometimes warning of misfortune if they were not welcomed. While going house-to-house in costume has remained popular among Scots and Irish, the custom of saying «trick or treat» has only recently become common.

The activity is prevalent in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Puerto Rico, and northwestern and central Mexico. In the latter, this practice is called calaverita (Spanish for «sugar skull»), and instead of «trick or treat», the children ask “¿me da mi calaverita?” («can you give me my sugar skull?») where a calaverita is a small skull made of sugar or chocolate.


à    Halloween Costumes:  are costumes worn on-or around Halloween. An early reference to wearing costumes at Halloween comes from Scotland in 1585, but they may pre-date this. Wearing costumes and mumming, another name for trick-or-treating, has long been associated with festivals at other times of the year, such as on Christmas. Halloween costumes are traditionally based on frightening supernatural or folkloric beings. However, by the 1930s costumes based on characters in mass media such as film, literature, and radio were popular. Halloween costumes have tended to be worn mainly by young people, but since the mid-20th century they have been increasingly worn by adults also. The wearing of costumes at Halloween may come from the belief that supernatural beings, or the souls of the dead, roamed the earth at this time.


The most expensive part of Halloween is costumes. Just under 70 percent of           Americans will spend $3.2 billion on them. The top five costumes for adults were a witch, vampire, zombie, pirate, and Avengers character. The top five for children were princess, superhero, Batman, Star Wars character, and witch. More people, especially millennials, are buying costumes for their pets. Twenty percent will do so, up from 16 percent in 2017. The most popular pet costumes characters are pumpkin, hot dog, bumble bee, devil and cat (for dogs).


à    Carving Pumpkins to Jack-o’-Lanterns: Jack-o’-Lantern is a carved pumpkin, turnip, or other root vegetable lantern, associated with the holiday of Halloween and named after the phenomenon of a strange light flickering over peat bogs, called will-o’-the-wisp or jack-o’-lantern. Its name is also tied to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack, a drunkard who bargains with Satan and is doomed to roam the Earth with only a hollowed turnip to light his way. That’s why Jack-o’-lantern’s are a yearly Halloween tradition that came to America from Irish immigrants.

In a jack-o’-lantern, the top of the pumpkin or turnip is cut off to form a lid, the inside flesh is scooped out, and an image — usually a monstrous or comical face – is carved out of the rind to expose the hollow interior. To create the lantern effect, a light source is placed within before the lid is closed. The light source is traditionally a flame such as a candle or tea light, but artificial jack-’o-lanterns with electric lights are also marketed. It is common to see jack-o’-lanterns on doorsteps and otherwise used as decorations prior to and on Halloween.


à    Apple Bobbing: also known as bobbing for apples, is a game often played on Halloween. The game is played by filling a tub or a large basin with water and putting apples in the water. Because apples are less dense than water, they will float at the surface. Players (usually children) then try to catch one with their teeth. Use of arms is not allowed, and they often are tied behind the back to prevent cheating.

In Scotland, this may be called «dooking». In northern England, the game is often called apple ducking or duck-apple. In Ireland, mainly County Kerry, it is known as «Snap Apple», and in Newfoundland and Labrador, «Snap Apple Night» is a synonym for Halloween


à    Visiting Halloween Attractions:

  • Los Angeles Haunted Hayride {old abandoned zoo}
  • The Queen Mary: Dark Harbor {“haunted” mazes}
  • Knott’s Scary Farm {theme park}
  • Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights {spooky attractions}
  • Warner Bros. Horror Made Here
  • Medieval Mile Museum {Kilkenny, Ireland}


à    Telling Scary Stories:

  • The Clown Statue: An adolescent babysitter caring for two small children phoned their parents late in the evening to ask for permission to cover up the life-size clown statue in the corner of the family room. “It’s not that I don’t like it,” she said. “It just kind of freaks me out. I can’t watch TV with that thing in the room”. Their reaction freaked her out more.
  • Lovers’ Lane: A teenage couple is parked late at night on lovers’ lane. The boy gets out of the car, heading for the bushes to go to the bathroom, but he doesn’t return. After waiting what seemed an eternity, his girlfriend finally hears what she thinks is his footsteps approaching. Only it’s not footsteps. It’s something scraping back and forth across the roof of the vehicle.
  • Aren’t You Glad You Didn’t Turn on the Light?: Supposedly, at another college in the state, a girl was studying late and went back to her dorm room to get some books or notes. So she wouldn’t disturb her roommate, she didn’t turn on the lights when she got her stuff from her desk. Later when she went back to her room, she found her roommate dead and a note written in lipstick on the mirror. It said, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light?”
  • The Vanishing Hitchhiker: As darkness fell, the man came upon a female hitchhiker in a tattered white dress. She begged him to take her home. He obliged. Then a strange thing happened as he pulled into the driveway of the address she had given him. It was a moment he’d never forget.
  • Bloody Marry: Five young girls stood before the bathroom mirror in the dim glow of candlelight, chanting together: “Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary”. The thirteenth time they said it something very odd and very frightening happened. Not all girls lived to tell the tale.
  • The Hook: A teenage boy drives his date to a dark and deserted lovers’ lane for a make-out session. He turns the radio on, setting the mood and leaning in for a kiss. Suddenly the announcer’s voice breaks through with a dire warning: “Ladies and gentleman, a convicted murderer has just escaped from a nearby asylum…”




à    Watching Horror Films:

         Mild ones:

  • The Eye {2008}
  • Psycho {1960}
  • Prom Night I {2008}
  • Carrie {1976}
  • Night Of The Living Dead {1968}
  • The Sixth Sense {1999}
  • Disturbia {2007}
  • The Uninvited {2009}
  • The Blair Witch Project {1999}
  • Quarantine {2008}


         Best Horror Films

  • The Exorcist {1973}
  • The Shinning {1980}
  • Alien {1979}
  • The Thing {1982}
  • The Wicker Man {1973}
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre {1974}
  • Halloween {1978}
  • Hereditary {2018}
  • Dawn of the Dead {1978}
  • It Follows {2015}
  • Get Out {2017)



  • Coraline {2009}
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas {1993}
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet St. {2007}
  • Corpse Bride {2005}
  • Sleepy Hollow {1999}


    Sources: Wikipedia, Candywarehouse, Cbc, La.Curbed, Thoughtco, Imdb, Gamesradar