Where did Halloween originate? The idea of trick or treating!

Lonnel Johnson, Staff

Halloween, the event of scaring, candy, and pranks. We go knock on the doors of our neighbors and say a line. That’s right, you guessed it, Trick or Treat! Although this event is a fun filled candy blast, we should wonder where it originated from. Why do we celebrate Halloween in the first place? What could this event truly mean?

A plastic pumpkin with an orange background behind it
This picture is a pumpkin with an orange background behind it. (baramyou0708)

Well, historians say that Halloween goes way back to a pagan festival named Samhain. Hundreds of years ago, people would dress up as saints and would go door-to-door to their neighbors. Which may have been the original trick or treating, costumes and all. It marked a pivotal time of year when the seasons changed. They believed that at the time, on Halloween, the boundary between this world and the next would get thin. Allowing them to get into contact with the dead. This, in turn, involved a lot of rituals ceremonies to supposedly connect with the dead. However, this rather heavy concept of connecting the dead and the living was replaced with ones that were a bit more easier on the heart. This manifested into a popular fortune telling game in the 19th century. Apples would be selected to represent all of a woman’s suitors. And then the apple the woman would bite would supposedly be her future husband. The woman from the 19th century believed this was a massive matchmaking opportunity

Eyeball in a glass of an unknown orange liquid with more glasses behind it with a purple background
Eyeball in a glass of an unknown orange liquid with more glasses behind it with a purple background (Yuliya Furman)

It was also reported that participants would gaze into a mirror. They hoped that they could catch a glimpse of their future. But it was also not as popular as reciting songs to the doors. in this occasion they would also dress up as saints and sing some songs. Children would go door-to-door asking for soul cakes, a treat similar to biscuits. this evolved to handing out candy to steer away the pranksters who couldn’t get any candy.

The idea of scary costumes/garbs came from some Scottish and Irish pranksters. This would act as a way to scare unsuspecting neighbors. This is how the idea of the spooky and scary Halloween costumes that we all know. But there were some problems along the way. some parties did not approve of Halloween. Such as the Puritans, who were disapproving of the holidays pagan roots. This situation did not last long, as Scottish and Irish immigrants emigrated to America, the holiday made a comeback.

“Mostly, Halloween is a fun time for all. But there are some people out there that don’t enjoy getting scared, or think they are too old to dress up. Think again. There are so many other things you can do on Halloween.” Emma Marom 

“Some people may be freaked out by the clowns that have been making news across America. But there really is nothing to be afraid of. Most of the clown attacks were mostly revealed to be hoaxes” Emma Marom 

“Halloween also gives people an excuse to act stupid. People have the opportunity to get scary costumes and wreak havoc throughout the community. Right now, clowns seem to be the scare of the year which can take Halloween to a whole new level.” Kasey Harvey 

Pumpkin with bats in the background
Pumpkin with bats in the background (anika2184)