Halloween Traditions, Superstitions and Beliefs

happy-halloweenHalloween may seems like it’s all about wearing wicked costumes and treating with candies- but the holiday is actually all about performing fun filled traditions through-out the day. All these traditions have become popular in the early 1900s and have its roots in Pagan beliefs. Dating back about thousands of years, Halloween was originally known as ‘Samhain’, which can be translated as ‘summer’s end’ in Gaelic.

Actually, this holiday was brought to the different countries of world by Scottish and Irish immigrants, which is a blend of Christian and Celtic cultures and is celebrated with tons of outstanding traditions, divinations and feasting.

In this article, you will explore some fun filled traditions and superstitions regarding Halloween Eve. Let’s figure out some most popular and enticing traditions and customs that are usually performed on Halloween.

Jack ‘O’ Lanterns

There is a long and deep story behind this most popular Halloween tradition. According to Celtic Folklore, this tradition was brought by a drunken farmer, whose name was Jack and who used to trick the devil. But unfortunately, his tricks were failed and turned him away from both the gates of Hell and Heaven, when he died. After, he was left with no choice, but to wander here and there around darkness of purgatory. After a long struggle, Jack developed a lantern from a turnip and a burning lump of coal, so that he can scare the evil souls around him.


There are many superstitions regarding this tradition- like some people believe that placing Jack ‘o’ lanterns outside home would help lost souls to return their home when they wander the streets on 31st October. Whereas, few people believe that Jack ‘o’ lantern’s scary carved faces help to frighten away wicked souls rumoring around on Halloween Eve.

Basically, people usually prepare Jack ‘o’ lanterns by carving pumpkins or gourds and placing candles or some kind of light inside them. Normally, they hang or place them at the door steps or outside their homes, so the evil souls would become scared due to these ugly faces around. Now, they also put some short halloween quotes or messages on it to greet people a happy halloween.

Trick or Treating in Costumes


In recent times, it was believed that on the night of Halloween or Samhain, the veil between the worlds of humans and spirits was thinnest and that all the evil souls who had passed away could come back to mingle with the living. The Celtic myth shows that the visiting ghosts during Samhain could disguise themselves as human beings, such as kids, beggars and more and knock on your door asking for food or money. If you refused to give anything, you might be cursed or haunted all night.

Another superstition explains that dressing up as a ghoul would fool all the dreary ghosts around that you are one of them, so they would not try to harm you. In this way, this tradition became popular and customary in U.S. in the early 1950s.

According to general practice, kids dress up themselves as witches, vampires and other wicked creatures and go door to door asking for treats and money. This ancient tradition provided a healthier activity to all the young souls, in which they can wear amusing costumes and gather tons of candies and treats on Halloween.

Traditional Halloween Colors

jac-o-lanternEvery occasion, which is celebrated on Earth, is recognized by a specific color theme it brings in. Similarly, the Halloween comes along with very vibrant and bright colors to make our day even more colorful and happening. So, the traditional Halloween colors include orange and black which has its roots in the pagan celebrations of the harvest and autumn, indicating the colors of crops and turning leaves. Whereas, black symbolizes ‘death’ or ‘the end’ of summer and beginning of dark and long winter nights.

Nowadays, purple, green and red are also being included in the color theme of Halloween decorations. They also include these colors in their invites and color shades for their halloween invitation wording and elements. Even in ornaments and costumes they use.

Mischief Night

For teenagers and younger souls, Halloween is all about playing different kinds of pranks with neighbors and relatives. From smashing Jack ‘o’ lanterns to toilet papering houses and egging, this ‘Mischief Night’ can be full of devilish plans and menacing pranks.

In recent eras, the Celts were used to celebrate this night with amusing games, bonfires and playful pranks. Over time, however, the activities and pranks became more dangerous, costly and frightening. While trick or treating and other similar traditions were merely innocent fun, but few pranksters began to go too far and made this night more dreary and mischief.

All these modern celebrations have their roots in a cross cultural stew of folklore traditions and Celts myths, out of which some are less than a century old, while others date back over 2000 years. So, celebrate your upcoming Halloween with a wide range of prehistoric beliefs and the expansive modern legends. Have fun this season!