Mon., Oct. 31
Halloween's Haunted History
In the not-so-distant past, Halloween was all about innocent tricks, nickel candy bars, paper-masked ghouls, bedsheet ghosts - neighborhood fun on a fall night. It traces its roots back to Scandanavian and Celtic traditions, to celebrations marking the changing of the seasons and a slow descent to winter. But our modern adaptations of the holiday (this year Americans alone are expected to spend $7 billion on candy, costumes, and decorations) completely remove the aura of the simple seasonal celebration.
It's become the era of haunt communities, devotees that spend the other 364 days of the year preparing for the holiday. It's the age of Halloween slasher flicks, fright nights, haunted houses, elaborate and sometimes questionable costumes, and endless piles of candy. Today we talk with Lesley Bannatyne, author of Halloween Nation, about how Halloween has become one of our most beloved holidays, and where this game of gory one-upsmanship is leading us.