Halloween Through the Ages


Sapphira Smith, Entertainment Reporter

Halloween has been around for more than 2,000 years. Originating from the Celtic holiday, “Samhain” it was started as a way to protect yourself on a day that the evil spirits could come back. It was started as more of a new years tradition, as it was celebrated because the new year was beginning. On this day, they believed that the barrier between our world and Hell was thinner than usual. So they would wear scary masks to scare away the evil spirits. They would also burn dolls made to look like themselves, to keep themselves safe for the upcoming year. 

As time went on, the holiday became more and more widely known. The original rituals done by the Celtics were eventually stopped for the most part, for it was seen as witchcraft. Meanwhile, in Ireland and Scotland, they had their own traditions that they followed for Halloween. In Ireland, the term for a wanderer was Jack. On the night of all hallows eve, they believed that wandering souls would come out. So, in order to keep these “Jacks” away from their homes, they would carve faces into turnips and hang them on their doors. After people from England and Ireland started to move to America, they brought their Halloween traditions with them. In America, they had a harder time growing turnips, but pumpkins grew everywhere. So, they carved lanterns into them, resulting in the creation of the ‘Jack ‘o’ lantern.’

Dressing up for Halloween started off with scary masks and cloaks, but after Samhain turned into a less known holiday, people decided they still wanted to dress up, but because they couldn’t dress up in the same way, they decided to get more creative with their costumes. At first, the most they would do for costumes was a scary mask and a nice outfit. Originally the scariest masks were actually farm animals. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen pictures of Halloween costumes from back in the day, but I find them to be genuinely terrifying. 

As time went on, people wanted to have more fun with their costumes, so they would wear masks, and a costume to match the mask. Costumes just kept getting better and better. Then clowns were born, and for some reason, this changed Halloween forever. Since then, people have gotten more unique with what they want to be, and so, we dress up for Halloween in a variety of costumes. Honestly, if I were a spirit at this time of the planet, I would definitely be afraid of everyone. So whose evil? Us or the spirits?

“I wish more people knew about where Halloween came from so we could still go into it with the same intent instead of using it primarily as a reason to get away with wearing very skimpy clothes,” senior, Missy Sifre, said

“I think my favorite Halloween tradition is trick-or-treating because it’s such an odd idea. We just go to random peoples houses and assume they have fun size snickers for us. I wish I wasn’t old so I could keep going out, but people look at me weird because I’m an adult,” 40 year old, Jacob Smith, said. 

Halloween is a crazy holiday and there are so many traditions and stories that are all packed into this one holiday. It’s like the world ate a bunch of spooky stuff and just threw it up and we called it Halloween. Witches, vampires, werewolves, zombies, the list of Halloween creatures goes on and on. I love Halloween, the entire season is so fun. I could even argue that it is better than Christmas, but that’s an argument for a different day. As Halloween approaches, remember the true reason you’re wearing those cat ears, and stay safe out there.