It’s that time of year again – when the ghouls and ghosts come out to play, and the pumpkin farmers earn their entire year’s worth of profit. It’s … Halloween!
But what is Halloween? Well, we here at The Ghost Bus Tours are happy to enlighten you. Of course, at Ghost Bus HQ every day is packed full of ghosts, spooks and spectres (not to mention blood, death and horror!) but this time of year is extra special.
The origin of Halloween dates to a Celtic harvest festival known as Samhain (pronounced sow-in), which marked the end of the summer season and the beginning of winter. The Celts believed that on the 31st October (the last day of summer) the spirit world was closest to ours and certain beings may be able to enter this plane of existence. They burned bonfires and danced around them to keep the evil forces at bay.
Then the Church got involved. In the year 609 or 610 Pope Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon in Rome to the Blessed Mary and all martyrs. Old Bony Face did this on 13th May, and ordered that day to be an anniversary to commemorate dead martyrs. This was All Saints Day, also knows as All Hallows Day. Then in the year 835 All Hallows Day was officially moved to November 1st. So the night before was All Hallows Eve – now known as Halloween.
Where did ‘trick or treating’ originate from?
The tradition of trick or treating may date back to the medieval period, where soul cakes were baked to commemorate the dead. These cakes were given to the poor who would travel door to door singing or saying prayers for the dead. This practise of ‘souling’ continued right up to the 1930s. This noble act of generosity has now been replaced by kids expecting to be handed sweets while dressed as their favourite horror movie character. Costumes have existed since the 1800s, and still traditionally consist of ghosts, witches, vampires, devils and monsters – except in America where they now include costumes of anything and everything!
Many people gather together for Halloween parties where they share their favourite horror movies, but the bravest thrill seekers seek out a ride on The Ghost Bus Tours. Looking for things to do over Halloween? Look no further. Our unique brand of comedy horror is ready to entertain you. Check our website for an update on the extra tours available over this festive period. See you soooooooon!