Niagara Gazette — The same report compares trick-or-treating to “the late medieval practice of “souling”, when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (Nov. 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2)”.
“It is claimed to have originated in Ireland and Britain, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. The custom of wearing costumes and masks at Halloween goes back to Celtic traditions of attempting to copy the evil spirits or placate them, in Scotland for instance where the dead were impersonated by young men with masked, veiled or blackened faces, dressed in white.”
So, maybe that’s where the whole dark side comes from, but as I said, I never really quite saw it that way, I still don’t.
Instead, I see it as a fun time for masquerading, partying, and reminiscing about happier times before it became so dangerous in so many places like Detroit, for example.
As if Detroit cannot be frightening enough as it is lately for other reasons, writer Laura Sternberg reminds us that tonight is known there and in other cities in the Midwest as Devils Night.
She writes, “The night before Halloween, October 30th, has traditionally been a night of pranks and mischief in much of the Midwest and some of the northeastern United States, as well as some parts of Canada. Devil’s Night in Detroit can probably be traced back to mid-1880s Ireland, where the night of mischief was originally attributed to fairies and goblins. In the United States, the holiday morphed into a night of soaping windows and toilet papering trees. In other words, October 30th was the “trick” to Halloween’s “treat” and gave suburban kids a night of rebellion and anarchy.”