Written by Sera Sajeev (Grade 12)
Halloween is short for All Hallows’ Evening also known as All Hallows’ Eve.
It is celebrated on the night of October 31. The earliest celebrations of Halloween were among Celtic people who lived in areas now known as Great Britain or France. They worshiped a lot of things such as the nature, the sun and more. They also worshiped Samhain who was the lord of the dead and of the, dark winter season. They believed that October 31 was the day that Samhain called together all of the dead. And then these souls would take on the shape of an animal. They believed that all creatures wandered the Earth on that night. They perform ceremonies through the night to ask the spirits to tell the future of the upcoming year. Later on the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. The Roman Catholics had their own traditions, and customs which they brought along. They established the All Saints Day on November 1. It is a Christian festival to honor all the saints. There are some traditions for Halloween which includes Trick-or-treating. Yeah dressing up in costumes, and going door to door to get some free candy!
Here’s a story:
There is a tunnel under the old railroad tracks just to the west of the Queen Elizabeth Way in Niagara Falls. It is known as the Screaming Tunnel. A path goes through the tunnel and then up to an empty field on the hill. But the field was not always empty. One time, a large farm house stood in the field at the top of the hill, and in it lived a happy family. Then one night, the house caught fire. A young daughter was trapped in the house, and the only way to escape was through a wall of flames. The girl covered her face with her arms and ran into the doorway that was on fire. Her long hair and her long nightgown began to smolder as she ran through the flames and rushed out of the house. Her clothes completely caught on fire, and she screamed and ran blindly down the hill, away from the house. She went into the tunnel under the train tracks. Overcome by the flames, the girl fell to the floor of the tunnel. She rolled on the floor of the tunnel, trying to extinguish the flames, but her efforts were ineffective. She was quickly burned to death in the tunnel under the tracks. After that night, anyone that dares strike a match in the tunnel under the tracks will hear the agonized death screams of the burning girl, and a ghostly wind will instantly blow out the match. (from http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/2010/07/the_screaming_tunnel.html
- The Story of Halloween (vancouverandy.wordpress.com)
- All Hallows’ Eve or Halloween Greeting Cards:- (holidaysoftheworld.wordpress.com)
- Why We Celebrate Halloween (anytimecostumes.com)
- The Pagan History of Halloween (thecontroversialfiles.net)
- History of Halloween (livescience.com)
- Samhain: The Origins of Halloween (wholesalehalloweencostumes.com)