The creepy history of Halloween – from ‘bone fires’ to visits from ghosts

Happy Halloween! It’s the spookiest day of the year, which is celebrated on October 31 annually.

Every year children and adults around the world dress up in scary costumes, go trick or treating, eat sweets and watch horror movies.

You may love taking part in the holiday – but do you know the origins of Halloween?

While It may not come as a surprise that the history of Halloween is dark, you may be surprised to know just how creepy it is.

Halloween is one of the oldest traditions the world, and has its roots in Celtic tradition – meaning it’s more than 2,000 years old.

It was originally called Samhain, which translates as “summer’s end” in Gaelic.

The end of summer, and the beginning of the dark, cold winter was often associated with human death.

So it was also a time of communicating with otherworldly spirits.

The Celts believed that the night before their new year (on November 1), the boundary between the worlds of the living and dead became blurred.

They believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth, so the Celts would light huge bonfires in honour of the spirits.

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But not everyone wanted to be reunited with spirits – so some would use ashes from bonfires to blend in with the ghosts.

This is where the tradition of Halloween disguises is said to have originated.

They also believed that the spiritual presence on Samhain made it easier for Celtic priests, also known as Druids, to predict the future.

These predictions were an important source of comfort during the long, dark winter.

They would burn crops and animals on the bonfires as sacrifices to the Gods, and villagers would wear costumes of animal heads and skins.

This is incidentally where the name bonfire came from – disposing of the bones in “ bone fires”.

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