Spooky traditions to liven up your Halloween

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Carving Jack-o’-Lanterns

Lit up pumpkins carved into scary faces can be found on porches across the country every Halloween. Where does this tradition come from? It all started with a centuries-old legend. The practice comes from the Irish myth about Stingy Jack who was sent into the night with only a burning piece of coal. Jack is said to have put the coal into a carved out turnip and roamed the earth carrying it ever since. Because of the tale, people in Ireland carved scary faces into turnips and potatoes to scare Stingy Jack away. When Irish immigrants came to the New World, pumpkins were used instead, birthing the American tradition of carving Jack-o’-lanterns. (Photo/Flickr)


Trick-or-Treating originated in the Celtic lands of Europe. In England, poor people visited the houses of wealthy people and asked for food in exchange for a prayer for the soul of the homeowner’s dead family members. The practice was later taken over by children who asked for gifts instead. In Scotland and Ireland people would dress up to collect treats from households and in return would show them a “trick” such as performing a song or telling a joke. When many European immigrants came to the U.S. during the Irish Potato Famine, Halloween and trick-or-treating were popularized. By the 1900’s, children were dressing up as their favorite characters and collecting candy across America. (Photo/Flickr)

Telling Scary Stories

Halloween is the time for horror stories in the dark. However, centuries ago, ghost stories used to be told during Christmas time. This Christmas tradition came from the practices of the Winter Solstice when people used to sit around a fire and listen to scary stories to get through the coldest and darkest days of the year. The endorphin and adrenaline rush from scary stories helped people get warmer. After the 19th century, the practice became something for the fall and Halloween, instead of Christmas. (Photo/Freepik)

Shreya is a junior here at American Heritage. Apart from Newspaper, she participates in clubs and extracurriculars such as Key Club, Model UN, YIS, HOSA, PBS and AASA. She loves writing, listening to music, watching TV shows and editing videos. She has been dancing for almost all her life and has a love for business and computer science. She plans on channeling these interests into her future career and exploring them further throughout high school. When she am not reading or rewatching Netflix shows, she is riding her bike or swimming in the pool.