Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated each year on October 31. Maybe we can’t trick or treat anymore, but we can delight in remembering the highlights of our childhood Halloweens. This article rounded up a few of the fun, quirky, nostalgic spooky Halloween traditions of yore — some of which are alive and well today. Let have a look back at frightful Halloween trends and customs through the years.
Door-to-door sweets retrieval from strangers is that everykid looks forward to all year, but how on earth did this tradition come about?
Trick-or-treat actually has a couple of sources. One is the early Celt tradition of dressing up like demons at the end of the year. The meaning is if you ran into one, he’d think you were part of his posse.
The other is from the Middle Ages known as “souling,” inwhich the poor would go to wealthier homes on All Souls Day and offer prayersfor their dearly departed in return for “soul cakes.”
Over the centuries, soul cakes gave way to Snickers andprayers gave way to tricks, but the practice of going house-to-house remains.
The Classic Witch Halloween Costume
There was the classic witch before TV and movies madevampires and werewolves and witches are popular. We all love “The Wizard of Oz”and beloved as everyone’s with the last-minute go-to costume.
All you needed was a broom, and maybe a pointy hat. Itwasn’t actually associated with witches until the 18th century. Bonus pointsare green face paint and nose warts.
Maybe you passed the yard while out on a jog, maybe you werea kid trick or treating, but at some point, those bones sticking out of awell-manicured lawn took you by surprise.
Yearning to re-create this childhood favorite in your ownyard? You can make some plastic gravestones with fake hand for the classic“dead body in the front yard” thing that surprise every visitor.
The Monster Mash
Inspired by ’60s dance records and the simultaneous horrormovie craze, Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s “Monster Mash” actually topped the chartswhen it was released in 1962 — and again in 1973. How about a revival untilnow? Put it on repeat at your Halloween bash and see if it catches the trendson.
The signing ghost
Speaking of Halloween, you couldn’t trust any doorway. Stepunder an awning on Halloween night in the ’90s and there was a solid chance youwere going to hear this “eerie” tune.
The ‘Scream’ mask
Teenage dudes everywhere the perfect Halloween costume withthe scream mask to terrify and annoy their friends from 1996 to this very day.
Also check out: Funeral Traditions
The Addams Family
Whether you watched the show in the ’60s or the movies inthe ’90s (ideally both), the Addams became the iconic Halloween family you love— and fear.
Bonus points to the mysterious and spooky gang for offeringa huge variety of fun Halloween costumes and treats, except that nobody wantsthat much hair in their Halloween candy.
Jack of the Lantern
The reason we all have these kits every October is becauseof an Irish folk legend about “Stingy Jack.”
This Jack dude apparently tricked the Devil — twice! — andwasn’t allowed to go to Heaven or Hell upon his death. Instead, he was doomedto roam the earth forever with a coal lantern which, for some reason, he putinto a turnip. Fast forward a few centuries, pumpkins take over for turnips,and Stingy Jack, for all we know, is still wandering around, turnip in hand.
What Halloween decorations, costumes, and traditions you are expecting this year? Be prepared for Halloween this year, but don’t overlook the Halloween traditions that still exist today.