Background History About Hallowe’en


Cionna Washington (9th), Reporter

The spooky day is coming up, and there’s probably a lot that you don’t know about it! So I am here to tell you the history of this spooky day. Some parents are afraid to let their kids out at night because of incidents that happen at night in general.


The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic Festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later on Hallowe’en. 


You probably think “Halloween” is the only correct spelling; it actually can be spelt as “Hallowe’en” with an apostrophe between the two E’s because the word Halloween is derived from the words Hallow Even. Hallow means holy or saint, and even means eve, the night before something. Hallowe’en is a contraction for Hallow Even, the night before All Saints Day. The apostrophe stands for the missing V. But you don’t have to spell it that way; it can be spelt both ways!


Do you know where trick or treating came from? Well there are two theories, one is it became a thing because children and sometimes poor adults would dress up as saints or angels and go around door to door during hallowmas begging for food and money in exchange for songs and prayers, often said on behalf of the dead. 


The other theory is that it could have been the excessive pranks on Hallowe’en that led to its adoption as a holiday tradition. These pranks were popular among “rowdy young people ” and often amounted to expensive damage, vandalism and physical violence.


Have you ever wondered when Hallowe’en got so popular in the United States? Well, it wasn’t until the second half of the 19th century that Hallowe’en really started to gain popularity. Due to rigid Protestant belief systems in colonial New England, the holiday wasn’t so popular in those regions. 


On Hallowe’en, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthy world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they had left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. 


What creepy facts do you know about Hallowe’en?

When I interviewed a current 9th grade student at Turlock High School, I asked her, “What creepy fact do you know about Hallowe’en?”

Areanna Rico responded to my question with, ¨People used to call candy corn ¨Chicken Feed.¨

If you think about it, there are probably other spooky facts about Hallowe’en! In your free time you should read/watch the history about this spooky day.