Halloween, the fastest growing holiday in the country, offers a unique window on American culture. This volume traces the history of Halloween celebrations from their earliest roots in the British Isles as well as explores the vital influences of the ethnic, religious, and occult heriages of the diverse peoples who settled in America.
Halloween, related to a seasonal celebration that likely began more than 1000 years ago in the British Isles, has drawn from the traditions of various American ethnic groups to evolve into its 20th century incarnation. Young readers and adults alike will enjoy learning the odd facts about pumpkins, witches, and ghosts. Among the latter, Humphrey Bogart's spirit is said to haunt New York city every October 31, warning, "Don't stick around California too long."
While some may question Bogie's advice, none will argue that Halloween has a truly fascinating history.
Interested in Halloween History?
There are so many good Halloween history resources now that it's hard to capture all of them here. Instead, I'll recommend a few: I especially like the Halloween chapter in Ronald Hutton's Stations of the Sun; Isaac Bonewits' web article, "The Real History of Halloween," and Jack Santino's Halloween and Other Festivals of Death and Life.