By: Emily Guiles
Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in the United States, but it hasn’t always been so.
Halloween started out as an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain, and its roots are far more sinister than the commercialized Halloween that we know today. At the festival of Samhain the Celts would light huge bonfires and wear scary costumes in order to ward off harmful spirits. This celebration took place on October 31, 2015 because the Celts celebrated their new year on November 1st.
Celtics associated Samhain with human death and sorrow, as it is considered the start of winter. Their crops would die and it would become unbearably cold, causing much death.
In 43 A.D. the Roman Empire conquered a majority of the Celtic territory and throught the course of 400 years the festivals of the Roman Empire merged with those of the Celtic people.
When Halloween first came to America it was called All Hallows Eve, which transformed into Halloween. All Hallows Eve was at first unpopular in America because of a high number of Protestants at the time, who did not believe in All Hallows Eve, while it was more popular in Europe and to the Celtics at the time because more of their citizens were of Pagan descent.
Samhain is a huge day for Druids also, they felt connected to the dead on that day and burned huge fires and held festive celebrations to celebrate it.
In the 1800’s there was a move in America which molded Halloween into what we know today. Americans have grown to love Halloween and spend approximately $6 billion on Halloween each year.
If you are looking for something fun to do this Halloween, here are some local events:
7pm – 11pm is the Haunted Hall, located at Muskegon County fairgrounds 6621 Heights Ravenna Rd and the theme is “The Magnificent Helms Hotel”.
6pm – 11pm Holton Trail of Terror, 10 acres of property near 7582 Crocker Rd. One of West Michigan’s scariest attractions for approximately 10 years.
$14 for the general public
$19 for VIP passes, which allows for a fast pass in line as the lines are sure to be long.