Halloween: The Past and The Present

Image an effort by some homeowners to encourage “trick or treaters” to wear costumes

Halloween, that time of the year when the kids go out in their scariest costumes going from house to house asking for candy. It’s the night when the words “trick or treat” can be heard so often like the moans of the undead during the apocalypse. The thing about repeating those three words again and again though is that it quickly loses its meaning. It turns the phrase into a mantra, the words hold meaning but it is only said because it has to be.

In the past, Halloween was a time to live in fear. It was believed to be the day when the doors of the spiritual world was fully opened, allowing evil spirits to come in to our world and torment the living. To prevent the disastrous consequences of the dead haunting the living, or playing tricks on them, sacrifices were made to appease the spirits. Thus the phrase “trick or treat” is actually a threat coming from the spirits, it was a foreboding omen.


Clowns are always scary

Today though, October 31 is a day of fun and celebration. A day where the three words are taken as an adorable way of asking for candy instead of the creepy threat it was in the past. Halloween has indeed changed a great deal from its dark past, an interesting example at the way culture adapts to the changing times.

If it had never changed a knock on the door would be pretty scary especially when its coming from a kid in a devil costume wouldn’t it?


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