Halloween Tradition Origins

My+family+bought+6+pumpkins+this+past+week%2C+and+they%27re+all+sitting+on+the+back+porch%2C+ready+for+carving.+But+when+did+jack-o-lanterns+become+a+staple+for+Halloween%3F
My family bought 6 pumpkins this past week, and they're all sitting on the back porch, ready for carving. But when did jack-o-lanterns become a staple for Halloween?

My family bought 6 pumpkins this past week, and they're all sitting on the back porch, ready for carving. But when did jack-o-lanterns become a staple for Halloween?

My family bought 6 pumpkins this past week, and they're all sitting on the back porch, ready for carving. But when did jack-o-lanterns become a staple for Halloween?

Diana Dudenhoeffer, News Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Halloween enthusiasts across the globe have had October 31 marked on their calendars for months, and now that the month is finally here, some can hardly contain their excitement.

  It is now the time for everybody to display their Halloween decorations proudly throughout their homes.  Some Halloween traditions are truly bizarre, and they would raise some eyebrows if we weren’t so used to them.  But where did these strange traditions begin?

Jack-O-Lanterns

 We have Irish folklore to thank for Jack-o-Lanterns.  The name is derived from an old myth about a man named Stingy Jack.  According to Leslie O’Malley from authenticirelend.com, Jack was a drunkard who always played tricks on people.

  One day, the Devil came to his home to take his soul and punish him for his sins.  But instead, Jack tricked Satan and forced him to  promise never to collect his soul.

  Jack lived out the rest of his life without any worry, but when he died and showed up at the gates of heaven, God would not let him in because of all his sins.

  Jack went to Hell and begged the Devil to let him in, but Satan stayed true to his promise to never take Jack’s soul and did not let him into Hell.  Instead, the Devil trapped Jack in an afterlife that is neither Heaven nor Hell, only allowing him a single ember (placed inside a hollowed-out turnip) so that Jack could see.

  Stingy Jack became known as “Jack of the Lantern,” or simply “Jack O’Lantern.”

  According to The History Channel, turnips and potatoes were used as a canvas for art in Ireland.  When Irish immigrants came to America, they transferred the custom to pumpkins, which grow naturally in the States.  Stingy Jack’s eternity in purgatory with a hollow turnip is the reason why carving pumpkins is a modern tradition.

 

Bedsheet Ghosts

  According to The Daily Beast, before the 21st century, it was custom to place a white burial shroud on a dead body.  Instead of a ghost appearing in the clothes they died in, it became popular in the 19th and 20th centuries for ghosts to appear in the flowy white with which we are so familiar.

 

Haunted Victorian Mansions

  Victorian mansions were very popular up until the late 1800s.  In a period of economic growth in the northern states after the civil war, Krystal D’Costa says that it was popular for northerners to display their wealth by buying these distinct and expensive mansions.  

  However, by the early 20th century, these homes went out of style.  In order to convince consumers that they needed to buy cheap and quickly made furniture (think Ikea) and homes, advertisers began to associate the Victorian mansion as dusty, old, and tacky, according to Shaunacy Ferro from co.design.

  The stigma was only solidified when entertainment like “The Addams Family” and Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” became an integral part of pop culture.  

 

Clowns

Clown phobia—or coulrophobia for those science folks—is real albeit rare.  And there’s a real reason behind some people’s fear of these laughable characters.  

  Ale Russian from People Magazine explains that it is human instinct to recognize patterns and be able to differentiate what is and isn’t safe.

  Humans rely on facial expressions as a means of communication, and because clowns have a smile painted on their faces, it disrupts that pattern and waves a red flag in our minds.  

 

Handing out Candy to Trick-or-Treaters

  Celtic civilizations more than 500 years ago thought that villagers left out tables of food as an offering and dressed up in costume in order to keep spirits away from their village, according to The History Channel.

  It is likely that traditions like this one are the beginnings of Halloween and the reason why we hand out candy to those trick-or-treating.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Sports

    Beer League Hockey

  • Showcase

    Astrology Star Signs

  • Showcase

    Erosion of our Rights

  • Showcase

    Bond Issue Reconstruction

  • Halloween Tradition Origins

    News

    Recap of Drury’s Architecture Day

  • Halloween Tradition Origins

    Sports

    New Football Starters

  • Halloween Tradition Origins

    Feature

    Who Really Runs The Show?

  • Halloween Tradition Origins

    News

    Girl’s Tennis Goes To State

  • Halloween Tradition Origins

    Opinion

    Team Sports Quiz Changes

  • Halloween Tradition Origins

    Showcase

    Girls Softball Powers to Districts

Halloween Tradition Origins