Most of us associate October 31 with candy, costumes and spooktacular decor! But do you know why we really celebrate Halloween and just how the holiday has evolved over the years?
There's a lot of information about vintage Halloween - the fact that party planning in the early 1920's would begin as early a August! Take a zombie crawl down memory lane with us to go through the fads of each time. Read on, if you dare...
Samhain Festival, 1916
Halloween gained it's roots from the Celtic Festival of Samhain where people would light bonfires to ward off evil spirits before All Saint's Day on 1st November. Both All Saint's Day and Samhain began to merge with All Soul's Day which was a day designed by the Catholic Church in 1000AD to honour the deceased every 2nd November. People dressed as saints, angels and devils. Strangely enough, Halloween traditions didn't hit America until mid way through the 19th century which gave birth to overly extravagant, spooky parties which encouraged wild outfits, parades and plenty of candy.
Halloween Costumes & Trick or Treat, 1940
Costumes weren't made at a large scale until 1940, which were sold through JC Penney and Woolworths! #throwback. The tradition of trick-or-treating as we know it today may have began with kids reciting poems or songs in return for sweet treats in the early 20s but it really gained popularity in the late 30-40s. Halloween treats included homemade treats and coins, toys, and fruit. As soon as the 50s hit, companies were producing Halloween branded treats - check out these cool vintage sweets below!
Halloween TV, 1964
'The Addams Family' hit the air on 18th September, 1964. Their seventh episode "Halloween with the Addams Family" became a classic overnight. So much so that NBC turned it into a movie in 1977 - 11 years after the show went off air!
Halloween Movie, 1974
'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' was released on 1st October 1974 and quickly became everyone's worst nightmare! The intensely brutal film spawned a film franchise, and Leatherface, the film's villain, is still a common costume today.
Masks and Celebrations, 1980
In the early '80s masks remained a popular Halloween choice, Ben Cooper, Inc were the main distributor of Halloween costumes from the late 1930s-1980s. By the 80s they had discovered licenced produces and so He-Man and Star Wars filled many shelves throughout the 80s! In the UK, we were more excited about ‘Guy Fawkes Night’ on November the 5th (a traditional event that celebrates the Gunpowder Plot). Our high streets began to realise the profits they could make and Halloween shopping didn't hit the UK until the 90s!
Halloween pre Millenium Bug, 1990's
In 1991 communication as we know it changed forever. The 'World Wide Web' was a platform for ideas to be exchanged between users. Shortly after, e-commerce picked up which gave people an easier way to shop for Halloween costumes and party decorations. The roaring 90's showed a huge rise in popularity for group costumes where friends joined to dress as their favourite singer or tv show!
Modern Halloween, Early 00s
Time to break out your Gryffindor gear, black cape, and wand. 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' the first movie in the wildly popular series, was released in 2001 which became a source of Halloween costume inspiration for years to come! Expecto Patronum!