Halloween costume

Halloween costumescostumecostumes
Fishbach, Ben Cooper, Inc., and other firms began mass-producing Halloween costumes for sale in stores as trick-or-treating became popular in North America. Halloween costumes are often designed to imitate supernatural and scary beings. Costumes are traditionally those of monsters such as vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghosts, skeletons, witches, goblins, trolls, devils, etc. or in more recent years such science fiction-inspired characters as aliens and superheroes. There are also costumes of pop culture figures like presidents, athletes, celebrities, or characters in film, television, literature, etc.


SamainCeltic New YearFestival of Samhain
Wearing costumes at Halloween spread to England in the 20th century, as did the custom of playing pranks, though there had been mumming at other festivals. At the time of mass transatlantic Irish and Scottish immigration, which popularised Halloween in North America, Halloween in Ireland and Scotland had a strong tradition of guising and pranks. Trick-or-treating may have come from the custom of going door-to-door collecting food for Samhain feasts, fuel for Samhain bonfires and/or offerings for the aos sí. Alternatively, it may have come from the All Saints/All Souls custom of collecting soul cakes.

Soul cake

soulingsoul cakesA'soalin
In other countries, souling is seen as the origin of the practice of trick-or-treating. In the United States, some churches, during Allhallowtide, have invited people to come receive sweets from them and have offered "pray for the souls of their friends, relatives or even pets" as they do so. Among Catholics and Lutherans, some parishioners have their soul cakes blessed by a priest before being distributed; in exchange, the children promise to pray for the souls of the deceased relatives of the giver during the month of November, which is a month dedicated especially to praying for the Holy Souls. Any leftover soul cakes are shared among the distributing family or given to the poor.


In order to prevent recognition by a soul, "people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities"; in North America, this tradition is perpetuated through the practice of trick or treating. In medieval Poland, believers were taught to pray out loud as they walk through the forests in order that the souls of the dead might find comfort; in Spain, Christian priests tolled their church bells in order to allow their congregants to remember the dead on All Hallows' Eve. The Christian Church traditionally observed Hallowe'en through a vigil "when worshippers would prepare themselves with prayers and fasting prior to the feast day itself."


United Nations Children's FundUnited Nations Children’s FundUnited Nations International Children's Emergency Fund
In the United States, Nepal and some other countries, UNICEF is known for its "Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF" program in which children collect money for UNICEF from the houses they trick-or-treat on Halloween night, sometimes instead of candy. UNICEF is present in 191 countries and territories around the world, but not involved in nine others (Bahamas, Brunei, Cyprus, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Singapore, and Taiwan). Many people in developed countries first hear about UNICEF's work through the activities of one of the 36 National Committees for UNICEF.

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF

national campaignTrick or TreatTrick or Treat for UNICEF
Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF profile. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF United States. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF 2015. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Canada. UNICEF Hong Kong. National UNICEF Day in Canada.


sweetscandieshard candy
Poisoned candy myths persist in popular culture, especially around trick-or-treating at Halloween, despite the rarity of actual incidents. The phrase like taking candy from a baby is a common simile, and means that something is very easy to do. A 1959 Swedish dental health campaign encouraged people to reduce the risk of dental problems by limiting consumption of candy to once a week. The slogan, "All the sweets you want, but only once a week", started a tradition of buying candy every Saturday, called lördagsgodis (literally "Saturday candy"). Candy making. List of candies. List of desserts. List of top-selling candy brands. Candy Wrapper Museum – Extensive photo archive.

All Saints' Day

All SaintsAll Saints DayAll Saint's Day
In the United States and Canada, Halloween is celebrated in connection with All Saints' Day, although celebrations are generally limited to 31 October. During the 20th century the observance largely became a secular one, although some Christian groups have continued to embrace the Christian origins of the holiday whereas others (typically Protestant groups) have rejected celebrations. On Halloween night, children dress in costumes and go door to door asking for candy in a practice known as trick-or-treating, while adults may host costume parties. There are many popular customs associated with Halloween, including carving a pumpkin into a Jack-o'-lantern and apple bobbing.

Poisoned candy myths

apples and razor bladesHalloween DangersHalloween poisoning legends
Folklorists, scholars, and law enforcement experts say that the story that strangers put poison into candy and give that candy to trick-or-treating children has been "thoroughly debunked". Worries that candy from strangers might be poisoned has led to the rise of alternative events to trick-or-treating, such as events held at Christian churches, police and fire stations, community centers, and retail stores.

Costume party

fancy dresscostume ballcostume parties
Costume parties are especially popular in the United States around Halloween, when teenagers and adults who may be considered too old for trick-or-treating attend a costume party instead. Costume parties are also popular during the carnival season, such as at Mardi Gras. Attendees occasionally dress in costume for popular science fiction and fantasy events, movie openings and book releases. Web site theonering.net held a The Lord of the Rings dress Oscar party that was attended by Peter Jackson. Star Wars parties were held to celebrate the opening of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.


In the past children would bring the stumps of turnips with them and batter the doors of those who refused to give them any money, in an ancient form of trick or treat. This practice appears to have died out. A hop-tu-naa dance was collected by both Mona Douglas and Leighton Stowell. It was believed to have been danced through the streets on Hop-tu-Naa night by couples carrying their turnip-lanterns. It is a simple procession dance for pairs of dancers which involves the Manx reel step and a combination of arches only. This dance is taught in many schools on the Isle of Man during October each year, and it is danced at many of the Hop-tu-Naa events across the island.


jack-o-lanternJack O'Lanternpumpkin carving
Highwood, Illinois, tried to set the record on October 31, 2011, with an unofficial count of 30,919 but did not follow the Guinness regulations, so the achievement did not count. On October 19, 2013, Keene, New Hampshire, broke the Boston record and reclaimed the world record for most lit jack-o'-lanterns on display (30,581). Keene has now broken the record eight times since the original attempt. Apotropaic magic. Cuco.

Mummers play

It is generally performed seasonally or annually, often at Christmas, Easter or on Plough Monday, more rarely on Halloween or All Souls' Day, and often with a collection of money, in which the practice may be compared with other customs such as those of Halloween, Bonfire Night, wassailing, pace egging and first-footing at new year. Although the term mummers has been in use since the Middle Ages, no scripts or details survive from that era and the term may have been used loosely to describe performers of several different kinds. The earliest evidence of mummers' plays as they are known today is from the mid- to late 18th century.

Calan Gaeaf

Halloween. Day of the Dead. Allantide.

Halloween card

Halloween postcardsHalloween,
A Halloween card is a greeting card associated with Halloween. The concept originated in the 1890s United States, experiencing a peak of popularity there in the early 1900s. Until the advent of the common home telephone, Halloween cards occupied a role similar to Christmas cards and birthday cards. Today, many cards from the popular designers of the period are sought after as memorabilia. An early reference to a Halloween card is made in volume 4 of Ingall's Home and Art Magazine published in 1891, in which a sample design is depicted in the article Domestic Helps for the Home by Laura Willis Lathrop.

Halloween (poem)

HalloweenHallowe'enHalloween" (poem)
"Halloween" is a poem written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1785. First published in 1786, the poem is included in the Kilmarnock Edition. It is one of Burns' longer poems, with twenty-eight stanzas, and employs a mixture of Scots and English. The poet John Mayne from Dumfries, a comparatively obscure follower of the Scottish Muses, had attempted a poem on the subject of Halloween in 1780. Having twelve stanzas, the poem makes note of pranks at Halloween; "What fearfu' pranks ensue!", as well as the supernatural associated with the night, "Bogies" (ghosts). The poem appeared in Ruddimans Weekly Magazine, November 1780, published by Walter Ruddiman in Edinburgh.

Caramel apple

caramelcaramel applesdipped in caramel
In recent years, it has become increasingly popular to decorate caramel apples for holidays like Halloween. Methods used to do this include applying sugar or salt to softened caramel, dipping cooled, hardened apples in white or milk chocolate, or painting designs onto finished caramel apples with white chocolate colored with food coloring. Classically, the preferred apples for use in caramel apples are tart, crisp apples such as Granny Smith or Fuji apples. Softer, grainy-textured apples can also be used, but are not preferred.

Mischief Night

Devil's NightGate NightHalloween Eve
Some 40,000 volunteer citizens patrol the city on Angels' Night, which usually runs October 29 through October 31, around the time most Halloween festivities are taking place. In rural Niagara Falls, Ontario, during the 1950s and 1960s, Cabbage Night (Nuit de Chou) referred to the custom of raiding local gardens for leftover rotting cabbages and hurling them about to create mischief in the neighbourhood. Today, the night is still celebrated in Ontario but is also commonly known as "Cabbage Night" in parts of the United States areas of Vermont; Connecticut; Bergen County, New Jersey; Upstate New York; Northern Kentucky; Newport, Rhode Island; and Western Massachusetts.

Geography of Halloween

English-speaking countries, also in other locationsobserved in several countriesother places
It has been associated with the influence of United States culture, and "Trick or Treating" (in German, "Süßes sonst gibt's Saures") has been occurring in various German cities, especially in areas such as the Dahlem neighborhood in Berlin, which was part of the American zone during the Cold War. Today, Halloween in Germany brings in 200 million euros a year, through multiple industries. Halloween is celebrated by both children and adults. Adults celebrate at themed costume parties and clubs, while children go trick or treating. Complaints of vandalism associated with Halloween "Tricks" are increasing, particularly from many elderly Germans unfamiliar with "Trick or Treating".

Punkie Night

As Cooper and Sullivan (1994) explain, this relates to the tradition where children would beg for candles on this night, and threaten people who refused to give them anything (compare the custom of Trick or Treat). Cooper and Sullivan also explain how a Punkie King and a Punkie Queen would typically lead the proceedings. No one knows how the custom originated, although it is almost certainly linked with Hallowe'en and similar traditions can be found across the Westcountry. As Morrell (1977) explains, the word "Punkie" is an old English name for a lantern, and jack o'lanterns for Punkie Night may be made of swedes or mangel-wurzels rather than pumpkins.

Trick or Treat (1952 film)

Trick or Treat Trick or Treatshort of the same name
The film introduced the song "Trick or Treat for Halloween" which was written by Mack David, Al Hoffman, and Jerry Livingston and performed by The Mellomen. The film opens with the song "Trick or Treat for Halloween", the lyrics of which tell the film's moral – one must be generous on Halloween or face trouble. One Halloween night, Witch Hazel observes Huey, Dewey, and Louie trick-or-treating. When the trio go to their uncle Donald Duck's house, Donald decides to prank the boys (giving them a "trick" instead of a treat). So instead of giving them candy, he intentionally puts firecrackers in their bags, then pulls a string that dumps a bucket of water on their heads.

Thanksgiving (United States)

ThanksgivingThanksgiving DayFirst Thanksgiving
By the beginning of the 20th century, these mobs had morphed into Ragamuffin parades consisting mostly of children dressed as "ragamuffins" in costumes of old and mismatched adult clothes and with deliberately smudged faces, but by the late 1950s the tradition had diminished enough to only exist in its original form in a few communities around New York, with many of its traditions subsumed into the Halloween custom of trick-or-treating. Abraham Lincoln's successors as president followed his example of annually declaring the final Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving. But in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt broke with this tradition.


folk talefolktalefolk
Halloween. Hoodening. Gestures. Groundhog Day. Louisiana Creole people. Mime. Native Hawaiians. Ouiji board. Powwows. Practical jokes. St John's Eve. Shakers. Symbols. Thanksgiving. Thumbs down. Trick or Treating. Whaling. Yo-yos. Buck buck. Counting rhymes. Dandling rhymes. Finger and toe rhymes. Counting-out games. Dreidel. Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Games. Traditional games. London Bridge Is Falling Down. Lullabies. Nursery rhymes. Playground songs. Ball-bouncing rhymes. Rhymes. Riddles. Ring a Ring o Roses. Jump-rope rhymes. Stickball. Street games. Applied folklore. Costumbrismo. Family folklore. Folkloristics. Intangible cultural heritage. Legend. Memetics. Public folklore.

Haunted attraction (simulated)

haunted attractionhaunted househaunted houses
Halloween-themed haunted houses in America seemed to begin emerging during the Great Depression, about the same time as trick-or-treat. During the 1930s, '40s and '50s, it was common for magicians to incorporate supernatural themes into their stage performances, evolving into the tradition of the traveling "ghost show" or "spook show" incorporating comedy, displays of "mentalism" and theatrical special effects. During the 1950s these specialized shows were often performed as pre-show entertainment before screenings of popular horror movies. The Haunted Mansion opened in Disneyland August 9, 1969. The attraction became a near-instant success.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Hocus Pocus Villain SpelltacularMickey's Boo to You Halloween ParadeMickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
Unlike regular hours, the events include trick-or-treating throughout the Magic Kingdom with special treat locations being identified by large inflatable towers. All of the locations are indicated on the party map (which you can pick up when you arrive). Candy that is handed out includes those from the Mars' Wrigley family of candy. Guests are provided a small trick-or-treat bag when they arrive, however, you can bring your own if you prefer. Originally, a stage show and meet-and-greet with animated Disney Villains led by Dr. Facilier titled The Disney Villains Mix and Mingle, was held at the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage.