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Haunted Holiday’s History

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The spirit of Halloween fills the air as the long nights become lit from jack-o’-lanterns, a ominous deep voice on the TV promotes a new scary movie, and everyone starts stocking up on candy given to trick or treaters or eat when no one is looking.

While many people know bits and pieces on this haunted holiday’s origins, few people know the full story of where it came from and how it turned into the Halloween we celebrate today, started with or where it came from.

“I know some reasons [Halloween originated] would probably include mourning for lost loved ones,” English teacher Robert Laliberte said. “Probably a time to celebrate the changing of seasons.”

However, history.com says the holiday came from Celtic people celebrating Samhain, or their new year, on Nov 1. They believed the barrier between the living and the dead was thinnest the night before Samhain, Oct 31. They had bonfires where they sacrificed animals and crops to survive the winter ahead and invented wearing costumes.

“I think they [wore costumes] simply out of boredom back then, that’s probably why and they wanted to scare the [expletive] out of some people,” Nathan Polo said. “There were ghosts [costumes] because people heard about ghosts stories and all that, and I think they just wanted to make it fun.”

Although most people dress in costumes now of days to scare people, originally according to history.com people dressed up because they were afraid the dead walking amongst them would possess them, and wearing animal skins and heads as costumes protected them. This later lead to people trick or treating while wearing the costumes.

“During the Irish potato famine,” Lauren Goldman said. “People would go to each other’ houses asking for food and that’s how trick or treating came to be.”

According to albany.edu, poor families would dress their children in costumes then have them go door to door in hopes of getting money, food, or drinks.

Telegraph.co.uk says that the jack-o’-lanterns come from Ireland. In Ireland, they would carve faces into beets and turnips to scare away wandering spirits on Halloween. However, when they came to America, pumpkins were more commonly found so they switched to pumpkins. Though most people think there is a different history behind this Halloween tradition.

“I think people were just really bored back then and didn’t want to carve faces into bodies or even carve faces on pieces of soap,” Polo said. “ So they were like, ‘what the are you gonna do with a pumpkin so they just carved it out, they gutted it, like that’s not too bad of an option.”

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Haunted Holiday’s History