A Night of Frights: Where Did it Start?

Many+children+enjoy+this+holiday+by+trick-or-treating+with+family+and+friends.

Many children enjoy this holiday by trick-or-treating with family and friends.

Simran Vaswani, Photojournalist

Halloween has a deep history, and not many people know about what the story is behind it. All we know is the sweet treats! Did you know that Halloween dates back over 2,000 years? Many people have the notion that this holiday is just children knocking on doors for some chocolate, but it has a rich past that not many know of. 

It all started in the 8th century, when the Ancient Celtics would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. They celebrated the new year with a festival on November 1st. This day marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of the frozen winter. Later on, Pope Gregory III designated the first of November to All Saints day. October 31st became known as “All Hallows Eve” and later Halloween. “To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires” and this is  “where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.” While the celebration commenced  “the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes” (History.com). By the time the Romans conquered the Celtic territory, both holiday versions were combined. There were two days that the Romans honored in October. The first was Feralia which set aside a day to  the dead, and the second was a day to honor Pomona, a god of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is an apple, which brings in the tradition of bobbing for apples. Halloween later traveled to America in colonial New England, where common festivities included “play parties,” dancing, singing, and telling stories of the dead.

The idea of “trick or treating” came from America, and it originally started with “Young women [who] believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors” (History.com editors). In the 1800s, more and more people attempted to make Halloween popular and started to make it more of a community celebration. Neighbors would play ‘ghostly’ pranks on each other and enjoyed the evening by playing games and trick-or-treating. In Yorba Linda there are many attractions and activities to celebrate the spooky season with.

I typically celebrate Halloween with my friends and family, and it’s a great experience every year”

— Erin Ha (9)

 Another way to celebrate is stopping by the Yorba Linda Trails and Treats Halloween Hike! This is a fun event where you embark on a scenic route while stopping for treats and taking pictures. A more frightening event would be Knott’s Scary Farm, a theme park with spooky characters lurking around. At Knott’s Scary Farm, there are haunted houses, and this is generally for young adults who are the age of 13 or older. A more kid-friendly alternative would be Knott’s Spooky Farm, where there are more attractions for younger children. 

Halloween is a holiday that has evolved throughout our time, and it continues to add on more new traditions. Yet it will always be a spooky holiday full of frights!