Halloween has a dark history


Chance VanNoy

Before the sun starts to set, the Haunted World gets ready to give people the fright of their lives.

Chance VanNoy, Photographer

The Festival of Samhain is the oldest form of Halloween; the Celtic holiday started nearly 2,000 years ago. Samhain was celebrated at the end of every harvest. 

According to history.com, “Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago, mostly in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on Nov. 1.” The Celtics were the first people to celebrate Halloween. 

This holiday was celebrated in modern day Ireland, United Kingdom and Northern France. The traditions included starting bonfires where they would sacrifice animals and crops, wearing costumes that were made from bone and fleece. The costumes and bonfires were to ward off ghosts, and they had druids, better known as Celtic priests, predict their future.  

The Roman Empire ended up conquering most of the Celtic territory. Over the course of 400 years, the Festival of Samhain and All Saints’ Day were combined into one. All Saints’ Day was a day to honor every Christian Saint on Nov. 1. 

The two holidays were combined to become All Souls’ Day celebrated on Nov. 2, the day after All Saints’ Day. All Souls’ Day would have massive bonfires which were not for sacrifice. They also had costumes of angels and devils, but they were not made from bones.  

All Saints’ Day ended up becoming All Hallowmas on Nov. 1. The Festival of Samhain became All Hollows’ Eve, celebrated on Oct. 31. All Souls’ Day was still celebrated on Nov. 2.  Once the Irish and British immigrated to America, the three became one holiday, and it soon became Halloween. The traditions changed once it became one day.  

Bonfires were lost and costumes became whatever people wanted to dress up in as, normally as spirits, ghosts and monsters. People stopped sacrificing animals and crops. Instead, they would hand out money to the poor who would go knocking door to door. Later on, this turned into trick or treating where young children would go get candy and girls would also get their futures told by yarn tricks. Yarn tricks were outlines of shapes made from yarn. Sometimes it would say the name of their future husband, other times it would show the looks of the man they will marry in the future.  

Through the 2000 years that Halloween has been around, it has changed from sacrificing animals and plants to protect crops from demons to kids going out through their neighborhoods enjoying themselves and getting candy. Halloween has had many dark things from its past become the traditions people know and love today.