Halloween: Old vs New

Halloween, the time of year when people dress up as something they fantasize about, lets see how old halloween compares to new trends


Claire Policht

From pumpkin carving to trick-or-treating, Halloween is a holiday that many people look forward to each year.

Halloween originated as a festival known as “Samhain”. It signifies the beginning of the winter or “the dark half of the year.” This festival was to scare away the spirits and get rid of bad energy. 

 According to CNN, costumes were begun by people wearing animal skins and animal heads to trick the spirits into thinking they were one of them. Some would even go as far as wanting to trick the spirits because they were afraid of being haunted by them. People would use the idea of the spirits to their advantage by playing pranks on each other and convincing the person being pranked it was the spirits messing with them.

 In 1942, the Chicago City Council tried to abolish Halloween due to the amount of crime running rampant throughout the city. Since people were wearing masks, and many others on the streets, it was easy to get away with crimes. 

According to ChicagoSunTimes, in the year 2020, 29 people, 4 fatally, were shot over the Halloween weekend. There were 655 murders in 2020 through Oct. 31, while the city had 431 during the same period in 2019 — a 51% increase.

Back when dressing up started, the goal was to look terrifying. Participants would hand-make  costumes, often months in advance. Based on an Instagram poll, most students prefer Halloween to be scary rather than not. In recent years some people base their costumes on pop culture, for example, characters from movies and TV shows. One of the most common costumes are public workers, such as police, firemen and doctors. 

Kathleen Stewart has been a librarian at ACHS for 21 years. She loves having a Halloween spirit and finds it important to keep the tradition going. She starts by putting pumpkins out and making sure there are no creepy decorations. Stewart and her husband used to have Halloween parties and invite friends and family. Stewart strongly dislikes the scary aspect of Halloween and prefers the more Americanized pop culture side of it. 

 “My favorite Halloween costume I did was a leopard,” Stewart said 

Halloween has gone from terrifying costumes with terrifying ideology behind them to being less scary and more fun, yet some people like to keep the spooky aspect. Attending places such as haunted houses, graveyards and halloween festivals is something people enjoy doing around halloween.