Halloween is probably the spookiest time of the year!

The tradition says that the festivity originated initially from the Celtic harvest festivals, called Samhain. On the night of the 31st of October, which at that time was the last day of the year and the beginning of the dark winter, spirits, and evil creatures visited people. Nowadays many countries celebrate this day with fun activities such as trick-or-treating, dressing up in scary or fun costumes and carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns.

Jack-o’-lanterns and the theme of horror

The folktale narrates that: 

On route home after a night's drinking, Jack encounters the Devil and tricks him into climbing a tree. A quick-thinking Jack etches the sign of the cross into the bark, thus trapping the Devil. Jack strikes a bargain that Satan can never claim his soul. After a life of sin, drink, and mendacity, Jack is refused entry to heaven when he dies. Keeping his promise, the Devil refuses to let Jack into hell and throws a live coal straight from the fires of hell at him. It was a cold night, so Jack places the coal in a hollowed-out turnip to stop it from going out, since which time Jack and his lantern have been roaming looking for a place to rest.

Encyclopedia of Death and Dying (Glennys Howarth, Oliver Leaman), Taylor & Francis, p.320

The first carved lanterns were made out of turnips because pumpkins are originally from Mexico and came to Europe and became popular after the discovery of the Americas.

With the diffusion of this custom, still up to this day, people carve their pumpkin with interesting faces to scare off the evil spirits.

Halloween should not be confused with other festivities happening during this time like All Hallows' also known as All Saints’ Day, a Christian religious holiday falling on the 1st of November or the 

The Day of the Dead, in Spanish el Día de Los Muertos, a Mexican holiday in which people gather together to pray and remember their loved ones and family members that died, falling on the 2nd of November.

The tradition nowadays

During Halloween adults and kids love to dress up and impersonate all sorts of characters, even from the horrific folktales that the tradition narrates.

The sweet side of this festivity is that kids can fill up their baskets with candy.

In fact, Halloween makes the Sweets Business earn a solid profit. According to the BusinessInsider:

Americans are predicted to spend $2.6 billion on Halloween candy.

And if you are on a diet or simply avoiding sugar, remember we always have amazing pictures on our website which could be the perfect present for all occasions!

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What costume will you wear this Halloween?

Would you be Casper the Ghost?

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Maybe a scary witch flying on her broom?

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Maybe you can go for something fun and be Dorothy's dog Toto!

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Either way, enjoy your candy and if you are in Transylvania you may want to skip a castle or two...

View on Count Dracula's Castle  available for purchase on imsvintagephotos.com

You never know, you might knock on Count Dracula's door.