Halloween originated in Ireland and evolved from the Irish-Celtic festival called Samhain, a remembrance of the dead held on the evening of 31st October.
Traditionally, a Barm Brack is served; a fruit studded bread baked with tiny objects inside that are supposed to predict the upcoming year. A ring indicated finding true love and marriage; a thimble meant you would never marry; a rag predicted poverty, and a coin meant you would be rich.
Trick-or-treating evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to placate spirits who roamed the streets at Samhain, a sacred festival that marked the end of the Celtic calendar year.
According to tradition, if a person wears their clothes inside out and then walks backwards on Halloween, they will see a witch at midnight.
Because the movie Halloween (1978) was filmed on a low budget of $300,000, they had to use the cheapest mask they could find for the character Michael Meyers, which turned out to be a William Shatner Star Trek mask. Shatner initially didn’t know the mask was in his likeness, but he said he was honoured when he found out years later.
Top 10 Halloween Movies as voted by Time Out (14th August 2019)
1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
2. Suspiria (1977)
3. Poltergeist (1982)
4. The Thing (1982)
5. Hereditary (2018)
6. Get Out (2017)
7. Alien (1979)
8. Freaks (1932)
9. The Shining (1930)
10. 28 Days Later (2002)
Did you know?
Although it is unknown precisely where and when the phrase “trick or treat” was coined, the custom had been firmly established in American popular culture by 1951, when trick-or-treating was depicted in the Peanuts comic strip. In 1952, Disney produced a cartoon called “Trick or Treat” featuring Donald Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.