As the evenings grow colder, and the now rotting leaves slowly begin to fall, we fear the night more than usual.

By. Nisie G Jimenez


The exciting and secular Halloween traditions have begun. Halloween usually consists of slasher flicks, elaborate haunted houses, sexy costumes, and lavish parties for adults. Not the same for children, as Trick or Treating is a more innocent ritual. The dark and mysterious background of the Halloween tradition, however, may not be as harmless. 

            The Celtics believed November 1st to be the start of a new year and the beginning of Winter. The thought of Winter isn’t as frightening to us as it was to the Celtics. Over 2,000 years ago, the Celtics didn’t have the technology to brave a harsh winter, often coupled with human death.  The day before the official start of a new year on October 31st was when the spiritual plane collided with the living and invoked fear throughout the Celtic communities. Celtics would leave food and wine outside of their doorstep to appease these angry spirits to keep them from destroying their crops or freighting them. The manifestation of these spirits was also used by Celtic Priests to make predictions, and towering bonfires were eructed in the spirits honor. The expectations given by the priest would sometimes bring comfort to those who feared the mysterious Winter. 


            Throughout time, Halloween kept its superstitious nature, but the traditions often varied.  American Halloween Tradition is the one we have grown to love the most. Before the 19th Century, Halloween traditions were not very popular as strict Protestant beliefs made it difficult. But, by the middle of the 19th Century, Halloween Festivities became part of community celebration where neighbors would share food, drink, and spooky stories. While this began as an American Colonial tradition, it wasn’t long before the rest of the country took part in the Fall celebrations. In fact, without immigration, we would not have the same Halloween traditions we enjoy today. When the Irish came to the United States in 1846 to escape the potato famine, they brought the fun Halloween tradition of dressing up in costume and going house to house for food and money. 

It is incredible how old Halloween traditions were able to transform through time to accommodate current customs better. Instead of going house to house for food and money, children now “trick or treat” for candy. Bobbing for apples was once used by women to predict who their future husband would be, and is now a playful Halloween party game. The fearful spirits and demons that haunted the Celtics now entertain us through horror films and haunted houses.    

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content