Have you ever wondered about the legends of Halloween?
I love learning the history behind literally everything.
Halloween is no exception to that.
How did Halloween come to be?
What are the legends behind this spooky fun holiday?
Don’t be a scaredy cat!
Let’s get started!
Halloween Costumes And Scary Food
Today we know Halloween as a day we can dress up in great costumes both bought and made at home.
We can chose to wear a cute costume or dress really scary.
We look for the best costumes and costume accessories to blow everyone’s mind around us.
Watching our friends freak out telling scary stories about vampires, zombies, the dead, and so much more.
There are great decorations both scary and cute that you can make or even buy.
We make scary food to freak out guest out like this delicious vegan spooky spaghetti.
The smell of fall all around us and beautiful leaves falling with a small chill in the air.
We set out on adventure to gather as much candy as we can.
Then head home to rot our teeth out and eat candy until we puke.
Such a wonderful holiday!
What Started Halloween
One of the legends of Halloween started about 2,000 years ago as Samhain.
Samhain means “summer’s ends.”
Samhain was celebrated by the Celtic people in Europe to end the harvest and start the dark time.
This was close to November 1st.
They believed that during this time the spirits from this world would cross into another world.
The people would put on costumes and would light huge bonfires to warn of the spirits.
After they completed their harvest they would light a huge wheel that was symbolic of the sun.
They then would sacrifice cattle and take some of the fire back to their homes to light their hearths.
They celebrated for 3 days and 3 nights where they would show themselves to local kings.
If they refused to be apart of this celebration then the gods would punish them.
They believed punishment from the gods was illness or death.
Legends Behind Trick – Or – Treating
It isn’t clear when trick-or-treating actually started but there are traces back to medieval times.
When poor children would dress up in costumes and go to wealthy peoples homes to receive soul pastries in return for their promises to pray for the home owners dead relatives souls.
This later became known as “souling”, children would use souling to receive other gifts such as food, money, and ale.
In Ireland this practice was known as guising which they instead would sing songs or do tricks to receive money and other gifts.
In the 20th century pranks became a huge thing related to Halloween.
When the great depression happened trick-or-treating had a new trend that was mischievous.
Young adults and children would vandalize properties, assault people, and play other horrible pranks on people.
The Spooky Story Behind Halloween Candy
In the 1930s popular treats to be handed out on Halloween night were homemade goodies, coins, and toys.
However in the 1970s that all came to an end and the only acceptable treat to accept from a stranger was store bought wrapped candies.
Parents of children became so scared that the real boogieman was going to tamper with the goodies and harm their children.
The media began telling stories of poisoned candy or apples with razor blades in them being give to children on Halloween night.
In 1974 a child died in Houston from eating poisoned candy from his father.
This story took the media and many organizations started to offer alternatives too trick-or-treating.
Fall festivals ran by schools became a safe replacement for Halloween.
Although there are no cases actually reported of a madman poisoning candy for random children some parents still to this day have a fear of their children’s candy being poisoned.
All reports of poisoned candy have lead to a family member.
There was one report in 2000 where a man had found some candy bars at a post office that he worked at.
He brought them home and handed them out for Halloween and had later discovered there was marijuana in the bars.
Even the reports about razor blades and needles are usually a family member playing a stupid trick.
There was one case in 2000 where a man put needles in candy bars and handed it out to the neighborhood children.
No one got severally hurt but there was one report of a boy who got poked with the needled but didn’t need medical attention.
His finding lead to the man’s arrest.
Legends of Halloween Monsters
Monsters became part of Halloween as early as the 1970s.
There are many different legends of how each monster came apart of Halloween.
Bottom line they all have a scary story to them which goes along with the time of darkness.
The media ran with the scary legends making them apart of our Halloween traditions today.
Witches and their mysterious black cats are one of the oldest legends of Halloween.
Legends of Halloween Of The Jack-O-‘Lanterns
Jack-O-Lanterns were invented in the 19th century using turnips.
It was said that these were lite up to warn off evil spirits from peoples homes.
An old Irish legend says that a man which they call stringy Jack tricks the devil.
The devil then condemned him to walking the earth unable to reach heaven or hell.
It is said that he carved a lantern out of a turnip to use in the darkness as he wondered the earth.
Later the Irish used pumpkins because they made an even spookier candle-holder.
Today there are tons of great ideas for making fake pumpkins to take out the work and mess of a real pumpkin.
Halloween Legend Of Witches
Witches are one of the oldest Halloween legends in today’s world.
I personally love the legend of witches and don’t find them scary myself.
However, when witches were first discovered the thought of educated woman was not something the world liked at all.
Back before medicine people just died of illnesses or suffered from wounds that became infected.
These woman started developing ways to help cure people using different remedies.
The church believed that healing should be used only by the men of the church.
They believe that if someone became ill it was God’s punishment for a sin they committed.
These woman later were executed because the church said they were anti-Christians.
They would tie them to a stake and burn them alive or hang them.
Most know this as the Salem witch trials.
The stories of witches grew from that and became these wild stories of flying on a broom stick, mixing potions of evil, and having supernatural powers.
The Legend Of The Black Cat
Black cats are the staple of Halloween and have been for years.
There are many forms of the black cat.
Some say the black cat appears as a fairy, a ghost, or just in the normal form of a cat.
The legend of the black cat goes back to witches.
They are iconic of misfortune and agents of evil.
Many believed that the black cat could steal the soul of a recently passed relative by walking over the body before it could be buried.
By doing this the black cat could steal the soul before the gods can grab it.
Many believed that a witch can transform into a black cat.
People began to execute the black cats because they feared the stories.
I personally love my two black kitties and find them very loving and friendly.
There are so many legends that have come since the first celebration of the end of the harvest.
No matter which ones you chose to add into your Halloween celebrations the truth is it’s about having fun with it.
Halloween is a time to celebrate with scary stories, bonfires, and some yummy homemade apple cider to celebrate the end of summer.
There are tons of fun ideas to make Halloween come to life even in less scary ways.
Check out this cute craft witch you can do with your kids.
Personally I love the legends behind Halloween and I love good hair-raising Halloween movies.
They are so fun to learn about and there are so many different beliefs and stories.
Please leave a comment below and feel free to share with your family and friends.
Most of all enjoy the Halloween spirit with your loved ones.