Later, half stolen by the church (as so many pagan festivals were) it became All Hallow's Eve, the eve of All Saint's Day (hallowed meaning holy) and All Saints day a day to honor the saints. Of course people liked to cling on to the superstitions and fears of the past too, so spirits and the departed were caught up in it all over again.
The idea of dressing up seems to stem from the Scottish tradition of guising, where children dress as the dead and perform entertainments in exchange for apples, cake and nuts. In Americia this has become trick or treat with vague threats for those households not giving treats to those dressed up!
The Day of the Dead in Mexico (Dia de Muertos) also occurs around this time so it is of no wonder that it too is stirred into the melting pot of myth, magic, respect and fears of the dead in costume and decoration, though it's origins are slightly different.
In the US trick or treat costumes have totally moved away from those of the dead or of scariness, with people dressing as cowboys, cartoon characters and animals. But in the UK we still look to scare or at least cause a squeak of surprise with our costumes, drawing from around the world with vampires and werewolves from Eastern Europe, mummies from Egypt, voodoo and zombies from Haiti, ghouls, wraiths, goblins, ghosts and skeletons. (and even killer clowns!)
|Spider Ghoul - guaranteed to give you nightmares|
While I won't be attending a halloween party this year I do plan on greeting the trick or treaters that visit the house in costume!
|Stop staring at my coccyx!|
There is no excuse not to look fabulous while terrifying if you pop over to the Morphsuits website and check out the amazing costumes. This year I will be wearing the gorgeous Sugar Skull suit, with a mask of course. But there are many frightening suits to choose from. How about a clown costume? A monster? an alien?
What would you choose?
Pop over to Facebook and let me know - or let Morphsuits know! and visit me on twitter to see me in the suit on halloween.
You still have plenty of time to choose and buy a suit - prices start at £9.99 and they have suits and fancy dress costumes for all shapes and sizes, adults and children.
I was sent a Sugar Skull Morphsuit in exchange for this post. And for reference, I'm a size 12/14 and the ladies large is slightly too big on me! So while there is extra room for pumpkin pie and sweets, you might be better buying a medium if you are a 12.