Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, and I always felt somewhat bad about it because I believed it to be a time that people would worship evil demons and witches coming out to hunt our souls, but it turns out, in a sense, it’s a joyful holiday.
Halloween is a time that marks the end of the summer, the end of a lighter time in the year and when the darker times of winter begin. This could indicate why people thought that it was an evil time for the world, because the joys of the sun begin to disappear and you essentially go into hiding for the winter.
NowPublic explains that in the older days the Celts celebrated the day as “The Festival of the Dead,” which was the time when the line between the living world and the dead was easier to cross, inviting the idea that spirits could come over into the world that we live in.
Back then people didn’t feel it was scary that old family ancestors could cross over, and actually welcomed the idea of long-lost relatives coming back for a visit. It was the thought that this was a time that evil spirits knew they could get over into the living world and try to find a body to possess.
The people would celebrate the dead and honor those that they had lost, but they would do so wearing scary costumes because it was a thought that if you wore something scary, the evil spirits wouldn’t think you were a human and would leave you alone out of fright. In this case, the scarier the costume, the better.
All of this led to our huge interpretation of what Halloween is today. We have haunted houses, decorations for our yards and, of course, we still dress up in costumes—arguably the best part.
When you take the streets of Athens to celebrate Ohio University’s famous Halloween Block Party, know that you are doing two things: you’re having a good time, and you’re protecting yourself from the evil spirits that want to possess you.
Adam Wondrely is a junior studying creative writing and journalism. Is Halloween your favorite holiday? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.