What are we celebrating when we carve out Jack-o-Lanterns and encourage our youth to go out in costumes and ask for candy from strangers? This documentary shows us the ghoulish past and transformation of one of our oldest holidays still celebrated.
Originating back in Ireland thousands of years ago during Celtic times. The origins of Halloween are very spiritual and are connected to harvest times, Druid priests and the supernatural and the dead coming to life.
The Celts offered blood sacrifices to appease the gods and animals were thrown onto huge bonfires and used remains to develop prophesies. There is still the fear of the unknown and this documentary seeks to give some insight into the origins and history.
Ancient Romans had a role in shaping the Halloween we have come to know…honouring the dead and the harvest.
Christianity changed things somewhat and Pagans and Christianity come into conflict with the Christians attacking the Pagan traditions. Guy Fawkes night celebrates the attack by the catholic rebel upon the protestant parliament. The origins of traditional Halloween and even witch craft etc are explored and eventually all the evil deeds are replaced by fun event with children taking over the festivities from adults. The prominence of Irish immigrants brought Halloween more to America. The USA has completely adapted what was such a pagan festival and now has Halloween Parades which were introduced to attemt to thwart the mischief and vandalism which started to develop. Detroit in the 1970s seen a shocking series of events when hundreds of buildings were set alight on “Devils Night” and the population became increasing fearful of each other rather than the traditional outline based upon the pagan rituals.
America spends a huge fortune on Halloween making it the second largest commercial event in the calendar…adults have now again become engaged in the festivities and it remains to be seen what shape Halloween will develop into in the future.
Jeremy Scahill is one of the best reporters in the United States. He is the founding editor of The Intercept, an online news publication, and author of some of the best US mi...