Halloween (All Hallows Eve) – Trick Or Scam?

Later in this article I will state why I think Halloween is a scam.

Firstly though, here is what Halloween is all about.

Halloween (All Hallows Eve) - Trick Or Scam

A BRIEF HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN

Around 2,000 years ago the people of Ireland, then known as the Celts, celebrated their new year on November the first.

This date signified the beginning of winter, a time when mortality rates were much higher, due to the cold and dark associated with the following few months.

Therefore, the Celts believed that on the night before, October 31st, there was a link between the worlds of the living and the dead.

On this evening, they thought that the ghosts and spirits of the dead would return for a night, intent on damaging crops and causing great mischief for those they left behind.

To this end, they celebrated the night with a festival known as Samhain which was a time for Druids and priests to make predictions about the coming year.

Furthermore, the Celtic people would wear costumes made from animal skulls and skins, and would sacrifice animals and crops to their deities on huge bonfires.

In later years, the Celts became integrated with their Roman conquerors and there was a mixing of their respective cultures, beliefs and festivals.

The Romans honoured Pomona, goddess of trees and fruit. Her symbol, an apple, became associated with Samhain and may explain why ‘apple bobbing’ is still popular on Halloween to this day.

Later still, Pope Boniface IV attempted to hijack Samhain for the Church.

This he did by assigning All Saint’s Day to November 1st. The olde English translation of All Saint’s Day was ‘Alholowmesse’ which later evolved into ‘All Hallows’.

Therefore Samhain, the night before, became known as All Hallows Eve.

I believe the majority of Americans still use this term, though in Britain the phrase further evolved until October 31st became known as Halloween.

MODERN HALLOWEEN COSTUME

A large part of modern Halloween celebrations involves dressing up in costumes, much like the original Celts.

However, the nature of the attire has changed somewhat.

Instead of animal skins, people are far more likely to be seen dressed as ghosts, skeletons, vampires or even popular television characters. (Staggeringly, the winner of the best Halloween outfit at my kids’ school last year went at Snow White!!).

HALLOWEEN GAMES

Bobbing for apples has already been mentioned but it is not the only game that is based on the early celebrations.

Another game often played is divination where a blindfolded child has to choose a piece of paper upon which is written a prophecy.

By making the choice themselves, it is said that the prophecy will come true for them during the course of the following year.

Another game that is well known is trick or treat.

This is probably the main point of interest for children at Halloween, as they not only get to dress up, but they also go knocking on people’s doors, asking for treats.

If a treat is not forthcoming, then a trick will be played which will often involve throwing eggs at windows for example.

PUMPKINS

The pumpkin is itself a part of Irish tradition, though not originally part of the Samhain festival.

Whilst emptying a pumpkin and placing a light inside to turn it into a lantern was begun by the Irish, the carving of faces onto pumpkins actually originated in America where crops grew to a much larger size.

WHY DO I THINK HALLOWEEN IS A SCAM?

At the beginning of the article I stated that I believe Halloween is a scam.

Why do I think that?

Well, it has nothing to do with occultism, something that ‘Devil’s night’ has become associated with in recent years.

That is because Halloween, as you now hopefully know, was never a Christian festival in the first place.

Instead, my belief that Halloween is a scam is to do with the commercialism of the event.

Samhain began as a festival, borne on the fears of those who lived at the time, who did not fully understand or comprehend the world they lived in.

Two millenniums later and modern man has a good grasp of science, adequate heating (in the majority of countries), crops tend not to fail and, for the most part, people do not believe in mischief-making ghosts and spirits coming back to play havok on October 31st.

Why then, do we still recognise and celebrate Halloween?

Simply, because clever marketing tactics are employed by retail companies looking to turn a profit, and here’s how –

  • Overpriced pumpkins
  • Overpriced and flimsy costumes, unlikely to be re-usable the following year
  • Increased sales of sweets and other gifts to be handed to trick or treaters
  • Associated sales of plastic teeth, ambient music collections and other worthless rubbish

Oh, and don’t forget that dentists see an upturn in business after the kids have eaten all the sweets they receive too 😉

CONCLUSION

Halloween can be great fun, especially children who come home at the end of the evening with a huge amount of sweets.

Conversely, it can also be a huge annoyance.

I know personally that after the 50th knock on my door it starts to test my patience.

Additionally, some may even live in fear of Halloween.

I know some elderly people in my area who feel quite intimidated by elder children who levy all kinds of threats if sweets or money are not given to them.

Ultimately, Halloween in this day and age bears little to no resemblance to the original festival of Samhain.

Verdict : Halloween has become a RETAIL SCAM, designed to extract money from those who probably have no idea what they are commemorating in the first place.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

Comments

  1. What happens when two vampires meet?

    – It is love at first bite! 😀

  2. Everything else aside, I was fascinated about the history of halloween. Thanks for writing this.

  3. But what do you know I could cast a spell on both of you and keep you under my feet for the rest of your lives heeheehee 😈

  4. you guys said a lot

    • You know what women are like Jon! 😉

      • I do?

        Long day at work to make up for yesterday?

        • I’ve just walked in the door.. been a very tough day indeed.. still searching for that elusive virgin!

        • I think you are probably right Jon, there are simply none left in this country. Well, none over the age of consent anyway :(

        • Ha ha – they say ‘fugly’ here too!

          Talking of which, have you seen Aruna’s picture yet?

          (it’s the last one I used in this post)

        • While I admire your persistence, I am not sure that I understand why you (with all your wisdom on scams and hoaxes) have not given up yet!

        • Speaking satirically and assuming that you mean “over the age of consent” AND “willing to consent” you are probably right.

          however, there are no doubt, a shockingly large number of genuine virgins. the problem (if indeed it is a problem) is that there is a reason they are still virgins.

          you can take that to mean they are as we say “fugly”

          or

          they have not ‘given it up’ because they have decided not to, and most likely you will not be the one to sway them from this course… no offence 😐

  5. I hate talking to myself so I better go to bed now

  6. If this was one of your tongue-in-cheek posts I wish I hadn’t made that comment

  7. Ah I finally got to read this post and now can make a relevant comment, can I?

    You had mentioned overpriced stuff but this is true for any festival.Just hiking the prices once a year is not a scam is it? Children enjoy festivals and so do some adults scam is when you get nothing in return or something totally unexpected. everyone knows what to expect out of eating too much chocolates.

  8. which unfortunately ( that is for you 😀 ) you have seen already

  9. Anyway I had edited my profile so there is only my pic there right now

  10. 😆
    Ok I repeat… 😀 you don’t 😀 really care for a facebook invitation 😀 do you? 😆

  11. hey I didn’t mean it in a wrong way i was just joking
    I guess i should have put one of those smilies 😈

  12. SEE u just did it…avoiding my question

  13. Scammy you are actually very clever…you don’t really care for a facebook invitation do you?

  14. Allo allo means whaat

    • ‘Allo Allo’ was the way that a British soldier, disguised as a French policeman, used to say, ‘hello, hello’ with his poor accent (part of the humour was that he couldn’t actually speak French).

  15. The first three I haven’t heard of

    • Allo Allo was a spoof about the French resistance, or lack thereof, during the Second World War.

      Only fools and horses is linked to above.

      It Aint Half Hot Mum was about performing, but otherwise useless, soldiers stationed in the jungle.

  16. I loved some mothers do ave em but I have forgotten it was so long back

    • Oooh Betty!

      The character of Frank Spencer was brilliant and, you are right, that must have been from the 1970s as I was very young indeed when I used to watch it.

      • Sorry I had to go for shopping…
        comedy serials I used to love watching–
        different strokes
        i love lucy
        some mothers do ave em
        the bill cosby show

  17. Now that was an interesting automobile pic

  18. But I just checked out his site some beautiful pics there…earlier there were pics of cars showing the rear ends, i am not an automobile person

  19. I bet from now on Jon would never feel left out!!!!

  20. HA HA HA
    :mrgreen: I look so adorable don’t I?

  21. My favourites would have been –

    Allo Allo
    Only Fools and Horses
    It Aint Half Hot Mum
    Some Mothers Do Ave Em

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