ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The History of Halloween (Samhain) Through The Ages

Updated on September 3, 2013

The Long History of Halloween

Halloween's history goes back to more than two thousand years ago when the holiday was celebrated by the ancient people, who celebrated it as "Samhain." Halloween is known by other names, such as: All Hollow's Eve and All Saint's Day. Samhain is pronounced (sow-en). The colors of Halloween are black, brown, and orange. The origin of Halloween goes back to the ancient Celtics, who celebrated Samhain. Samhain was a festival, where activities of the ancient Celtics included wearing costumes to ward off bad ghosts. Bad ghosts were thought to come back to the earth along with the good ghosts, to cause a lot trouble and havoc for the living. The ancient Celtic people would celebrate Samhain by lighting bonfires, in order, to ward off the bad ghosts. Summer would come to a close at the end, and then, it would be time to harvest the crops, so people would gather together to celebrate the end of the harvest, just before the long, cold winters would set in. The end of the harvest was often associated with death, and the Celtic people believed that bad ghosts could come back to earth to haunt them, and cause a lot of havoc. The ancient Celtics believed that the ghosts (good and bad), were the deceased returning back to the earth. Halloween originated from different religions and, of course, pagan beliefs, and Halloween has seen changes through the ages, but still many of the traditions are the same, for instance: carving pumpkins (originally turnips were used), bobbing for apples, treats (trick-or-treating for candy now a-days), monsters, ghosts and goblins, etc...

Wacky Witch Riding Her Broomstick

A Wacky Witch Riding Her Broomstick on Halloween Night.
A Wacky Witch Riding Her Broomstick on Halloween Night. | Source

Jack o Lantern and Black Cat

A Jack o Lantern and Black Cat
A Jack o Lantern and Black Cat | Source

Halloween in America

Halloween became a tradition in America a long time ago, but in the beginning, Halloween was not so popular. It's popularity has grown a lot through the years to today, though. In America, people long ago, were celebrating Halloween by telling ghost stories, and there was much mischief making of all kinds. Earlier Americans would celebrate the harvest, have dances and parties. People would dress up in costumes and go house to house, asking for food or money, which would later become America's tradition of trick-or-treating. The tradition of trick-or-treating was also known as guising. Trick-or-treating may have its origins in Irish and English traditions of long ago.

In the late 1800's there was a movement for Halloween to become a "Holiday." Today Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday, after Christmas.

A Squirrel and Halloween Candy

A Squirrel Holding Halloween Candy
A Squirrel Holding Halloween Candy | Source

The Symbols of Halloween

There are many symbols that represent Halloween, which are haunted houses, ghosts, goblins, pumpkins, cats (especially black cats), the colors: black, brown and orange, the harvest, the moon, and others, which includes the dead, as well, that are all symbols of Halloween. The origin of the Jack o' lantern was believed to come from an old Irish folklore about a stingy man, whose name was Jack, who had tricked the devil too many times. Because of this, Jack wasn't allowed to enter heaven or hell. The first Jack o' lanterns were carved from turnips, which were hollowed out, but, later on in time, pumpkins were used. Pumpkins were a lot bigger than turnips, and they were much easier to get, because they were much more plentiful than turnips.

Halloween Witch

Halloween Witch
Halloween Witch | Source

Halloween: Good and/or Bad

Halloween in the 1950s and 1960s seemed rather safe than it does today. Halloween is lots of fun dressing in costumes and going trick-or-treating for candy, especially many years ago, when the news didn't report stories about razor blades in candy apples, or chocolate bars laced with drugs meant to kill. Halloween doesn't sound like fun with all of the dangers that are out there potentially harming or killing some innocent soul or souls out there. Halloween can be good and/or bad. People can't be too careful when it comes to the lives of their little ghosts or goblins. Halloween is, also, known as "Hell-Night" when older teenagers go around causing troubles. Some of the troubles caused are soaping windows, throwing eggs at houses, toilet-papering properties, and destroying or vandalizing properties. Halloween can be good or it can be bad.

Cute Kitties Begging for Halloween Candy

Happy Halloween in 2013!

It trick-or-treating safe?

Do you think it is still safe to Trick-or-Treat?

See results

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)