Halloween is just around the corner and you are wondering what to do this year. Should you stay home and have friends in? Should you go to that same boring party you went to last year? Remember you went and tried to talk with a group, then finally caught on when they didn’t respond that they were dressed as mimes. Disaster! Why do people even celebrate Halloween after elementary school? Where did it come from? What’s the big deal?
The Truth About Halloween
Halloween is not, as some have come to believe, a night of devil worship. There are many possible origins of Halloween, some pagan some Christian, and they date back to at least the 700’s. The celebration we know today is Christian based, though other religious leaders have spoken in favor of participation in the fun as it does not jeopardize individual’s spiritual beliefs. Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve falls on the night before All Saints’ Day and is a time in the Christian church that is set aside to honor the saints and pray for the dead.
I was told many years ago by a minister that dressing up in scary costumes was actually done to ward off evil spirits. It could have stemmed from trying to dress like the Saints. The early Christians were superstitious and created practices to help them understand things they could not explain.
And Then There’s Trick or Treating
According to Encyclopaedia Britannica (2012), Trick or Treating likely stemmed from the practice of souling, a tradition involving the baking of soul cakes to hand out to poor people, often children, promising to pray for the departed in exchange for a cake. In some countries, it is still a night to honor the dead.
But for most people in the USA, it has become a night of fun and frolic. People really get into dressing up and taking on a new personality for the night. Costumes can get creative as can food. Halloween allows you to put bugs, spiders, worms, fingers, eyeballs and any other kind of creepy thing in snacks, sweets and drinks. For kids, is there a better night? You walk around for two hours and collect a sack full of candy! How great it that?
But maybe this year you want to do something a little different. Maybe you need a change of pace. Maybe you need a road trip.
Always happy to oblige here at America Unraveled, we did a little road tripping for you. We found 10 fun places that are great for all ages to celebrate Halloween. Get ready to start packing because we are, to quote Willie Nelson, “on the road again.”
10. Skaneateles, New York
To begin with, this is a picturesque setting; a lovely town with an adorable village along Skaneateles Lake. Such a charming downtown. They have apple and pumpkin picking, corn mazes and a hay fort. Lots of wholesome enjoyment for the family. So fun and so beautiful. And if you hang around for the next month, they start their Dickens Christmas celebration the day after Thanksgiving. Charles Dickens and friends are dressed and ready to chat and share their events with you. Even at Christmas, we love to dress up! So head to this area to enjoy some Halloween happenings.
9. Chatham, Massachusetts
So let’s talk about another city with character and charm, Chatham, MA. Just being in Chatham is inspiring. It is such a lovely place filled with history and character. Beautiful. Right on the ocean, at Cape Cod. They celebrate beginning on October 14th with Pumpkin People in the Park, where visitors can pose and be amazed by the creative pumpkin displays. The Pumpkin People are created by local businesses, organizations, and individuals and are on display until 10/31.
On 10/22 Chatham Merchants’ Association hosts Oktoberfest which offers crafts and games for kids, professional entertainers, food trucks, a beer tent (I told you there would be things for all ages on this road trip), music and vendors. You can’t beat celebrating Halloween by the Sea. Thousands will be here, so be sure you are one of them!