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It goes without saying that there's a very heavy stigma attached to Halloween. With the holiday closing in, I feel it's important to share what I know with you: The truth. Although Halloween had Pagan roots, it shouldn't intimidate anyone from going out on this particular night. And regardless of your beliefs, I hope to shine some light on this particular day.
Halloween has Celtic origins and it was celebrated on October 31st. It's a day when it is believed the Veil is at its thinnest and is what keeps us separated from the spirit world. For more information on the Veil, you can check out my other article titled: Do You Believe Your Interpretation of Hell is Accurate? Think Again. In it, you'll read about the afterlife and what the Veil is capable of doing.
Mexico has their own tradition called Day of the Dead. This holiday is mainly about honoring your dead relatives, whether you do so by lighting candles or leaving offerings. The people of Mexico will dress up as the dead by painting skulls on their faces. The idea is to blend in with the spirits so that they don't flee. What is interesting about this is that the dress up aspect is sometimes colorful, rather than always dark and ominous. Day of the Dead broke away from the Pagan beliefs by bringing in their own belief at the time, which was Catholicism.
Christians from North America should take note that Halloween was renamed All Saints Day for the church. Without going into too much detail, just know that their focus for this title change was to honor dead saints. It's commonly believed this is where Trick-or-Treating took off. Between 1920 and 1930, families would go door to door dressed up and request food, candy, and sometimes money. The origins of this tradition are actually much older. During medieval times, this was called Souling which involved going door to door asking for soul cakes in exchange for prayers.
Samhain is the Pagan tradition. There's not enough information to pinpoint where Samhain's traditions began, but we do know it involves working with the dead. Some will use spirit boards to contact, whereas others will leave offerings. Similar to Day of the Dead, some will dress up. The original Celtic belief was that the costumes were designed to help hide the living from the dead so that they wouldn't be harmed or harassed. It's important to note that Samhain isn't limited to October 31st. Technically the Veil stays thin for some time before and after Samhain.
Now that I've explained three different traditions for this holiday, there's a huge point to be made. The intention is everything. Whether you are contacting any dead person through a spirit board or a dead relative through a Seance, intention means more than many would think. This works for Halloween as well. If you want to contact a demon, well, Halloween is the right time to do it. But don't expect evil to come your way just because your thirteen-year-old son knocked on a door asking for candy. The Veil is thin whether you believe in it or not. It doesn't necessarily mean you should shut yourself in your home. Just be careful.
Now, I've heard some odd stories that I can't prove or disprove because they have no source. Jack-o-lanterns are said to be based on a real man named Jack who is stuck in the afterlife. A bizarre one that got me was the witch at midnight. It's said if you wear your clothes inside out and walk backward at midnight, a witch will appear. Probably to tell you to go home because you look stupid. One thing is certain though...Mediums are greatly affected by Halloween. The Veil is meant to keep us from seeing spirits. Thinning the Veil would be making more spirits visible at once. Halloween can crank a medium's ability up to an intimidating point. My wife used to dread Halloween because of this.
I hope this helped. There is a ton of additional information that you can find on Halloween, and I recommend researching if you're still uneasy about the holiday. In the meantime, please feel free to read some of my other articles.