All Hallow’s Eve originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain where people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated Nov. 1 as a time to honor all saints, known and unknown. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, walking through haunted houses, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating sweet treats.
Fear PDX, a cluster of haunted houses in the Menlo Park Plaza at Portland, Oregon, is an annual event featuring frightful monsters, ghouls, and ghosts. The event goes through Halloween and up to Nov. 3. They offer four haunted houses with staff dressed up in frightful costumes and special effect makeup carrying a weapon and a crazed attitude. The staff, acting as insane lunatics, jump out and scare the lights out of the guests, and sometimes follow them, but only for a meter or two. For those who wish to go, details are listed on their website.
House of Shadows, alike Fear PDX, is a “Carn-evil” full contact experience with “the fear set in as soon as you drive in and has you screaming for your life by the time you leave.” The House has a Halloween edition, which ends on Nov. 3, a “Scary Burlesque” show for those 18 and older, and even “The Nightmare After Halloween” Christmas edition.
For those who enjoy calmer autumn activities, pumpkin patches and apple picking are great ways to commemorate the fall spirit. Gilligan Road on Sauvie Island, located in Portland, Oregon, offers corn mazes, hay mazes, duck races, a grain train, hayrides, even a petting zoo! At night, with the cost of $15, there is a haunted corn maze to walk through. Customers receive fresh food from the pavilion, including caramel apples and apple cider, and a face painting.
Douglas Farm, which is also on Sauvie Island, lets their customers pick their own fruits and vegetables on their farms. They are the 4th generation specializing in “U-pick” crops and specialize in growing the best in farm-fresh produce. Items currently available to pick include tomatoes, peppers, apples, pumpkin, and eggplants. Items available at the fruit stand include pumpkins, squash, apples, tomatoes, and jams.
Downtown Camas recently held their annual Boo Bash. The event took place on Oct. 24 in which the store owners and employers offered free candy to the children dressed in their costumes. It is quite alike to the regular Halloween trick-or-treating event, though it allows the businesses to promote themselves through sugary treats.“You get a lot of free candy and sometimes they pass out full-size Snickers bars, Twix, and fidget spinners; and free ice cream” said Mia Montler, an elementary student and theatrical enthusiast. Ally Montler, sister of Mia, only had one downside to report. Ally said, “Every lollipop that I got was strawberry, and I hate strawberry” Overall, Boo Bas is an enjoyable experience for business workers, parents, and especially children.
Trick-or-treating holds a special place in the hearts of those who grew up celebrating Halloween. Dressing up, walking from house to house, each home representing another piece of candy, it’s all too fun to pass up. Though as kids grow to teenagers, some think that trick-or-treating loses its luster, so they prefer to do other Halloween-related festivities. However, some prefer to hang on to that joy for just a few more years. Ella Hieronymus, a Sophmore at Camas wishes to spend her Halloween night trick-or-treating with her friends but feels the pressure from adults that she should stop. “See, it’s sad because parents always are thinking like ‘Oh, teens just shouldn’t go trick-or-treating.’ It’s free candy. We’re not doing anything. We’re dressing up. We’re still kids.” She also feels as if it is “just rude and you should be able to decide when to stop” trick-or-treating.
Costumes allow people to become someone else. For those who craft their own Halloween costume receive a great reward of gratitude when the costume represents what the creator has worked towards. A common denominator of costumes is dressing up as what deems to be the trend of the year, as well as a healthy dosage of classic costumes, like a clown or cat. For adults, the top five most popular costumes are witches, vampires, zombies, pirates, and Avengers characters. For children: princess, superhero, Batman, Star Wars character, and a witch is the top five most popular costume. Many fads came and left throughout the year, but during Halloween, many will temporarily resurface and remind us of what once had been popular. Mason Ramsey, America’s beloved Walmart yodeler, Fortnite avatars, as well as their dances, Bob Ross, perhaps a better artist than Da Vinci, and a rather new character, Blow-up T-rex, are all likely to resurface for the holiday. If one of these creatures happens to be taller than you when you answer the door, just remember to gently hand over your biggest candy bar.
Speaking of candy, the sugary delight savored around the globe, it is Halloween’s main attraction, at least for modern-day children. The top selling candy: Candy Corn. Americans purchase over 20 million pounds of it a year, though it is unlikely that every last one of those millions of candies was actually consumed. Americans purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy a year for Halloween. The day of the year with the most candy sales? October 28th. Of all the 365 days in the year, the top five candy selling days are all in October. The second most popular Halloween candy, other than Candy Corn, is Skittles, M&M’s a close third. For those who still want to enjoy Halloween’s sweet treats, but don’t want to go overboard with sugar, Hershey’s Special Dark candy bar deems to be the healthiest Halloween candy.
Halloween is celebrated by 175 million Americans, but it is also loved all around the globe in many different ways. From November 1 to November 2, Mexico and parts of Latin America celebrate Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) to honor those who have passed away. It is believed that the Gates of Heaven open up at midnight on October 31 and the souls of children return to Earth to be reunited with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the souls of adults come down from heaven to join in the festivities. The multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.
At the end of every October for the past 21 years, nearly 4,000 costumed Halloween enthusiasts from all around the world have gathered in Kawasaki, just outside Tokyo, for the Kawasaki Haloween parade, which is the biggest parade of its kind in Japan. Several of those dressed up sported complex theatrical facepaint or prosthetics including horns or huge fangs.
All Hallows Eve allows people to bond over the freights and spooks of ghosts and spirits. Some may prefer the traditional celebration that worships and honors all saints, though most enjoy the using costumes, candy, and classic movies to share their appreciation for the saints. However one may want to celebrate Halloween, it should all be in good fun. Have a safe and Halloween.