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Halloween’s Spooky Past

Boo! Not to scare you, but Halloween has a pretty freaky past.

It used to be an ancient festival, starting over 2,000 years ago where people would light bonfires and dress up in costumes to ward off ghosts for the rest of the year. The festival evolved to a time where you could honor the dead and remind any spirit you wronged to please, please, please forgive you!. 

About 1,000 years after that, the holiday changed a bit more. The Catholic Pope declared November 2nd as the day where the living would honor the dead and November 1st was All Saints’ Day, also known as All Hallows, where the living would honor the saints. That makes October 31st All Hallows Eve, which turned into Halloween a bit later. 

So where do the costumes and candy corn come into play? To honor the spirits, people would leave treats outside their doorstep. To summon the spirits in, people would dress up in scary costumes and also “trick” people into thinking they were in fact the spirits themselves, so they could score some extra treats to bring home. 

And then of course, Halloween became another Hallmark holiday, with its original meaning watered down, which leaves us where we are today with parties, costumes and candy galore! 

Speaking of… Check out our costume ideas that are all inspired by our favorite pop culture icons and as a bonus are super easy to DIY. 

In New York City? We’ve sourced some of the best things to do around town to get into the Halloween spirit. 

Maybe dressing up isn’t your thing, but you’re all about the candy. If so, one of our favorite artists By Robynblair has a selfie-optimized candy themed installation at Showfields where you can get your candy fix on and take some great content for the ‘gram! 

And if you’re looking to trick-or-treat like a pro, West Chelsea, Yorkville and the Upper West Side get our vote for the best spots in town to see the best decorations and score the most candy. 

And finally, if you’re in the mood to skip trick-or-treating altogether, but still want a sugar rush, we love some of the spooky-inspired desserts from Billy’s Bakery and of course, a trip to Economy Candy on the Lower East Side is always worth it this time of year because… ‘tis the season! 

What are you dressing up as this year? Let us know in the comments!

By SN Edit

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