A horrible history of Halloween

Here at we love a petrifying print - whether it’s a ghoulishly good greetings card, wickedly wonderful wedding stationery or a scarily suave saddle stitched brochure.

To get into the literal spirit of Halloween, we had a look into the origins of the freakish festival!


Isn’t Halloween just an Americanised ploy by retailers to get us spending?

Halloween does rake in the pennies, roughly £400 million in 2015. However, since the US spends nearly $7 billion, we’d say we are still a bit behind our cousins from over the pond. 

Funnily enough, the origins of Halloween are from British traditions. It was believed by the Celtics that October 31st was the pagan festival of Samhain, where ghosts of the dead would revisit mortals. Large bonfires were lit to ward off the evil spirits. They also believed that October 31st was a day where the walls between the two worlds of the living and the dead were particularly thin, meaning spirits could pass through.  Christian’s contributed to the name of ‘Halloween’, due to November 1st being All Hallows Day. This tradition was set up in the 8th century to oppose pagan celebrations.


Why do we do trick or treating?

Back in the 16th century people used to go door-to-door asking for food in exchange for a song or a poem across Britain. Christians again adapted this tradition, where children would go knocking on doors in exchange for soul cakes. This would be a sweet cake, which was sweet, in exchange for them praying for souls of families and friends. It wasn’t until the 1920’s in America that ‘trick-or-treating’ became the new phrase.


Why do we dress up?

Originally in Britain people dressed up because they thought by impersonating spirits they would be protected from them. For example, the Celt’s dressed in white with black faces to trick evil ghosts and ghouls. During Victorian times costumes became quite gothic thanks to the literature of the day. Nowadays films, music and TV shows are the big influences on dressing up.


What do pumpkins have to do with Halloween?

Pumpkins were not the original vegetable used for Halloween. Gaels used to carve into turnips instead to ward off fairies and spirit from settling in households. When Irish immigrants arrived in America they found they were more pumpkins than turnips and adapted their carvings.


Okay I’m ready to celebrate!

That’s great news! Check out our video demonstrating petrifying perforation which is available on leaflets and flyers. Shop:

P.S. Make sure you have the sound up. We really enjoyed making this trick/treat for you! 


01 Nov 2016 12:37
Happy Halloween!!!
01 Nov 2016 21:33
Interesting read. Happy Halloween!
04 Nov 2016 09:59
Gah - halloween
24 Nov 2016 10:43
fun blog

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