Share this Story

A ghoulish Halloween history lesson!

Meagan Morris is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist living in New York City. In addition to SheKnows, Morris contributes to many publications including The New York Times, Yahoo! News, PopEater, NBC New York and Spinner. Follow he...

Learn the history of Halloween!

Ever wanted to know about the history of Halloween? Read on and learn more about one of our favorite holidays!

Explore the history of Halloween

We know that Halloween is a time of trick-or-treating, ghoulish costumes and Halloween parties, but we're not sure about the true history of the holiday.

You feel the same way? Thought so.

That's why we delved into some research to uncover the history of Halloween to share with you. Feel free to take it to your Halloween bash this weekend and school everyone with your tip-top knowledge of Halloween history.

Celtic origins

Halloween is thought to have originated in Celtic history with the festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in.) The festival name roughly translates to "end of summer" in Old Irish. The Samhain festival celebrated the end of the light half of the year and welcomed the "dark half."

The Celts believed the border between life and afterlife is thin during the transition from light to dark year, allowing good and bad spirits to pass from this world to the Otherworld. Family ancestors wanted to keep the good spirits in this world and took to scaring off the bad spirits with black masks and costumes. It's believed that's where the Halloween costume tradition originated.

Origins of the name

The word Halloween is thought to be derived from an old Scottish term from the 16th century -- All Hallows Even (evening,) or the night before All Hallows Day. It was commonly spelled as Hallowe'en up until the start of the 20th century.

More Halloween history

There's a lot more to the history of Halloween. If you're interested in learning more, check out The History Channel's special Halloween history page and have a Boo-tiful Halloween!

Oh yes, we just had to say it!

Fun Halloween celebration ideas

Homemade Halloweent party decorations
Halloween Tie-Dye shirt
Easy Halloween costumes for adults

Tagged in
Recommended for You
Comments
Hot
New in Holidays & Seasons
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!